I'm always looking for an excuse to bake and so when my boyfriend suggested that I could make something for him to take in for his French class I jumped at the chance. Being slightly obsessed with red I decided on these beauties which have been on my to do list for months. I realise that some people are getting a little bored of the whole cupcake thing but living in the Netherlands where cupcakes aren't available at every corner I still get excited about them. And they seemed to go down well with everyone so it was win, win for everyone involved. I got to bake and they got to eat! Now all I need is a red Kitchenaid to go with the cakes. Hint, hint.
The cupcake itself isn't too sweet and is rather plain actually as it only uses 10g of cocoa powder for 12 cupcakes. The cake is really just a platform for the deliciousness that is the cream cheese frosting which I most definitely did not eat with a spoon from the bowl. I was worried about putting too much on and them being too sweet and sickly but I honestly don't think that you can put too much on. Pile it high! This frosting would be a great base for additions too. Maybe a little lemon zest for lemon cupcakes or even a little finely chopped stem ginger if you're making ginger ones.
Ever so slightly adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook
Makes 12 cupcakes
60g unsalted butter at room temperature
150g caster sugar
10g cocoa powder
20ml red food colouring (I used Dr. Oetker)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
150g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar (I used cider vinegar as this is what I had and it was fine)
Preheat the oven to 170C (fan oven) or gas mark 3. Beat the butter and sugar together using an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Turn the whisk up a little and slowly add the egg until it is well incorporated.
In a separate bowl mix together the cocoa powder, food colouring and vanilla extract to make a thick paste. Add this to the butter mixture and mix until everything is combined and evenly coloured. Turn the mixer down to slow and slowly pour in half the buttermilk and beat until mixed. Add half the flour and again beat until evenly mixed. (Scrape down the sides of the bowl to catch any stray bits). Repeat with the remaining buttermilk and flour. With the mixer still on a slow speed add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar and beat until everything is well mixed.
Spoon the mixture equally between 12 paper cases and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before allowing to cool on a cooling rack to cool completely.
When the cupcakes are completely cooled spoon the cream cheese frosting on top.
Cream Cheese Frosting
300g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold
Beat the icing sugar and butter together with an electric whisk until well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until well incorporated. (Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure). Turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy. (About 5 minutes).