Well Mothers Day (In NZ, Australia and USA) is actually this Sunday.  I am still trying to get used to all the different dates for all the  different celebrations now that we are living in New Zealand.  But I think dates aside, I don't really need any excuse to bake.  I will do this quite happily in any hemishpere on any date!

What a perfect way to say thank you to your mum, by giving her something home baked. (By all means indulge her with store bought presents too...we all like getting spoilt!)

Red velvet cupcakes is the epitome of indulgence in cupcakes, I feel.  That luxurious deep red (I know they don't quite look that gorgeous deep red yet, more like a dark pink that cant quite decide which colour it really is).  The secret is in the baking, then the colour morphs into the deep red velvet.

There are so many variations out there, but I was inspired by Nigella's version in "Kitchen".

For the cup cakes

250g Plain Flour
2 Tbl Cocoa powder
2 Tsp Baking powder
1/2 Tsp Baking soda
100g Butter (soft)
200g Castor sugar
1-2 Tbls of Red food colouring (you can use the gel paste, and then you will require alot less as they are very concentrated) I used a liquid form, adjust your amount according to the shade you prefer, it does get darker when you bake.
2 Tsp Vanilla essence/extract
2 Eggs
175 mls Buttermilk
1 Tsp Vinegar

1. Preheat the oven to 170 c and line your muffin trays with paper cases, I used a gorgeous black and white patterned case, so it was a real contrast with the red.

2. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl

3. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar until pale and and fluffy, and then add vanilla and all the food colouring, I know it  sounds crazy, but just do it, its liberating!



4. While continuing to beat, ad a large spoonful of the dry mixtureand then 1 egg and then another spoonful of dry mixture and then the egg and then the rest of the dry mixture.

5. Next beat in the buttermilk and vinegar and then divide the scrumptious mixture into the muffin trays.  Bake them for 20 minand then leave to cool on a wire rack.

Creme Cheese Frosting

I love the tangy element in this frosting, i think all butter frosting is gorgeous but this just adds that sophisticated kick

500g Icing sugar
125g Creme cheese (full fat)
125g Soft butter
1 Tsp lemon juice
Sprinkles of your choice for decoration

Using a hand held mixer, blend the icing sugar and butter and creme cheese, add the lemon juice and beat until you have a smooth icing.  Decorate as you please, either swirls or ice the cupcakes using a spatula.

Un iced cup cakes can be frozen for up to 2 months. defrost at room temp for 2-3 hours.  The icing can also be frozen separately. defrost in the fridge overnight. Beat before using.


Until next time