Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe

If I regularly read recipes, does that make me an avid reader? I actually spend quite some time every week just looking up recipes for meals to prepare at home, as well as tips and inspiration for my baking. Yeah – it counts as reading.

Let me not digress. I wanted to share with you, a recipe I use to make my red velvet cupcakes. This classic is quite popular around here so you find many variants. The ones that I particularly have disdain for are the ones which are dry, red and taste like plain cupcakes. Now, they have the ‘red’ part correct, but not at all the ‘velvet’, which is a big no-no. This may sound strange but I also want a cupcake which will not break apart when I peel off the paper. You know what I mean? I don’t like my cupcakes with too much sugar, because I think that’s the job of the icing. But sometimes, your cupcakes already tell you that there’s too much sugar when you bake it, just look at this image here:


Flop – too much sugar

I’ve made the mistake several times of adding too much sugar to  a cake or cupcake recipe. This happens primarily late at night when I’m still baking, and I use the 1/2 cup instead of the 1/4 cup – imagine! Anyways, you live and you learn :-).


When your sugar-to-flour ratio is messed up, vs when it’s just right

I generally find success when I use this recipe, give it a try and tell me what you think:



  • 2 – 2.5 cups castor sugar
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs @ room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk @ room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 35 ml red food coloring
  • ½ cup hot diluted/weak coffee
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 0.5 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder


  • Line cupcake tins with line paper.
  • Pre-heat oven to 175 °C.
  • Beat the sugar and oil until they are well-combined.
  • Add the eggs, one by one, into this mixture – beating after each addition .
  • Alternately add in your buttermilk and flour. Do not add more than one cup of flour at a time, mixing after each addition. So, flour-buttermilk-flour-buttermilk-flour.
  • Add the vanilla essence and food colouring, mix again. Your batter should be a deep red (not burgundy though). If not, add some more colouring.
  • Pour in the weak coffee (make sure it’s hot) and vinegar, and mix into the batter.
  • Sift the baking soda, baking powder and salt to the batter and mix.
  • Sift the cocoa into this and mix, making sure that it is well combined.
  • Spoon the batter into the paper cups, about halfway to three quarters of the cup (depending on how high you want the cupcake).
  • Put these into the oven for about 15 minutes but not longer than 18 minutes. Towards the 15 minute mark, use a toothpick to see if the cupcakes are done.
  • Remove them from the oven and place them down to cool for about 5 minutes before removing them from the pan.
    • *Suggestion – Once they are cool, store in the fridge for 2 hours before icing. For this, you must practice patience.
  • Top it with an icing of your choice, and enjoy!

There you have it. The reason I suggest that you put it in the fridge is so that it can moisten further. The buttermilk aids in this, along with the vinegar but the fridge really does a good job in addition.

Hope it turns out well!


Choose wisely!

And all that sweet stuff, B.


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