Scarlet…. Red Velvet Cupcake

I have always loved red velvet cupcakes. The bright red colour coupled with a tinge of chocolatey taste topped off with the tangy cream cheese frosting. Just that, I have never succeeded in making the perfect one. There is always the issue of runny frosting, if not that the cake does not turn out right.

Finally found the recipe that gives me a perfectly textured cupcake followed by a nice and smooth cream cheese frosting. Image

Red Velvet Cupcake ( makes 20-24 cup cakes)

2 1/2 cups cake flour (sifted)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt (can be omitted if you use salted butter)

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

2 oz liquid red food colouring (I used 2 whole 28gm bottle red food colouring bought from NTUC)

~ *114gm unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups caster cugar

2 eggs (room temperature)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk ** (substitution below)

1 tsp white vinegar

1 tsp baking soda

* the recipe I adapted used butter according to the US packing size. So I had to measure the butter in grams instead as each stick of butter in Singapore is 250gm.

** Instead of buttermilk, I added 1 tbsp vinegar into the “1 cup” measuring cup and topped up the rest with full cream milk. This has to be left sitting for 10-15minutes.


1. Pre-heat oven at 180 degree celcius. Line muffin tray with papercups (I used cups with bottom diameter of ~47mm and height of ~46mm)

2. Prepare the vinegar + milk mix

3. Sift cake flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.

4. In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder and red food colouring until there are no lumps.

5. In a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time.

6. Beat in the cocoa + food colouring mixture. Carefully scrape down as often as possible.

7. Pour in 1/3 of the sifted flour mixture and mix well. Followed by 1/2 buttermilk (or milk + vinegar mixture), beat again. Alternating with the flour and milk mixture. End with the last portion of flour mixture.

8. In a separate small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda. And quickly stir. This will cause a small fizz. Add into the batter and mix well.

9. Fill the cups with the batter about 2/3 full. I used a “1/4 measuring cup” and it will perfectly fill the batter to the desired height.

10. Bake for about 20-30 minutes. Ensure that you rotate the tray in between. It should be ready when you insert the toothpick and it comes out clean. ( I would usually keep it in the over for another 2-3 minutes to let it really set, as I usually get the cups peeling after a while because the cupcakes did not properly set). Let it cool before you frost.

I think the secret to a nice textured red velvet cupcake is that the batter must not be left out for too long. Once you have scooped it onto the cups, bake them immediately!


Cream Cheese Frosting

~450 gm cream cheese, soften (you will need 2 x 250gm of the Philadelphia cream cheese)

~114 gm unsalted butter, soften

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

pinch of salt (can be omitted if you use salted butter)


1. In a mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth

2. Switch to low speed (powder may cause a storm in high speed!), add vanilla, salt and powdered sugar. Once the sugar is properly mixed, turn it to high speed.

3. Frosting can be used immediately or refrigerate until your next use.



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