Red Velvet Cake
(6 inch square cake)
120g unsalted butter, at room temperature
300g caster sugar
20g cocoa powder
40ml red food colouring (we recommend Dr. Oetker's or a paste colouring as red food colourings vary in strength)
1tsp vanilla extract
300g plain flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
3tsp white wine vinegar
For the cream cheese frosting
300g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.
2. Put the butter and the sugar in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or
use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and well
mixed. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract
to make a thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly
combined and coloured (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a
4. Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk. Beat until well
mixed, then add half the flour, and beat until everything is well incorporated. Repeat this
process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added. Scrape down the side of the
bowl again. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until you have a smooth, even
5. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat
until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.
6. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated
oven for 40 mins, 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
turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
For the cream cheese frosting:
Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a free-standing electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 mins. Do not over beat, as it can quickly become runny.
When making red velvet cake Dr.Oetker Red Food coulouring really is a must. In all my years baking and after lots of trying and testing I have yet to find a brand which produces the same deep red colouring in this cake as the Dr.Oetker liquid red colouring (not the gel!).