I made these divine cupcakes today and they are even better then ever! This recipe is from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook, copyright Ryland Peters & Small 2009.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
60g unsalted butter, room temperature
150g caster sugar
10g cocoa powder
20ml red food colouring
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
150g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
Cream cheese frosting:
300g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold
a 12-hole cupcake tray, lined with paper cases
Preheat the oven to 170C.
Beat the butter and sugar on medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy and well mixed. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until incorporated.
In a separate bowl, mix together cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly coloured and combined. Turn the mixer to slow and slowly pour in half the buttermilk. Beat until well mixed, then add half the flour, and beat until well incorporated. Repeat with remaining buttermilk and flour. Scrape down the side of the bowl and turn mixer up to high speed and beat until you have a smooth even mixture. Turn the mixer to low speed and add the salt, bicarb and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.
Spoon into cases until 2/3 full and bake in oven for 20 - 25 mins or until the sponge bounces back when touched. Leave to cool slightly in tray, then turn out onto a wire cooling rack. Ice when cupcakes are cold.
Cream cheese frosting:
Beat the icing sugar and butter together on medium-low speed until it comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer to medium-high and continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 mins. Do not overbeat as it can easily become runny.
Note: I don't use buttermilk unless I have it on hand, I use regular milk with a splash of vinegar as a buttermilk substitute. Put the milk and 1 tsp vinegar in a glass jug and leave it to stand for 5 mins and then use as per the recipe. Also great for pancakes.
I use food colouring paste, it's strong stuff, so approx 1/4 tsp and add a few drops of milk/ water to make a paste.