I must admit that me and my husband don’t really ‘do’ Valentine’s Day; we think it is so commercial now that we don’t even buy cards. Having said that it is nice to do something special and I will usually try and cook a nice meal or get a little treat in for both of us. This year I am making Red Velvet Cupcakes, I haven’t made them before but I am really pleased how they turned out and I think they taste pretty scrummy. I used the recipe out of my Hummingbird Bakery cookbook and I know they look complicated but I’ve always had really good results with this book. As mine are for Valentine’s Day I used a small heart cookie cutter and cut a slim heart out from the top of each cake. Once I had frosted the cakes (with my terrible piping skills, I’m sure you can do better!) I popped the little cake heart back on top. They do look a brighter red in real life but I used Dr Oetkar gel and I think the liquid would be better.
As you can see little hands cannot resist them.
- 60g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 150g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 10g cocoa powder
- 20ml red food colouring (Hummingbird recommend Dr.Oetkar; I would definitely agree)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 120ml buttermilk
- 150g plain flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1½ tsp white wine vinegar
- 300g icing sugar
- 50g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 125g full fat cream cheese, cold
- Preheat the oven to 170˚c (Gas 3).
- Cream the butter and sugar together with a fork then beat in the egg with a handheld mixer (or freestanding mixer as Hummingbird suggest; I don’t have one).
- In a separate bowl mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Add half the buttermilk and mix slowly, then add half the flour and mix slowly. Repeat this process with the remaining buttermilk and flour. Mix on high until the mixture is smooth and well blended.
- Finally add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and white wine vinegar and mix on a medium/high speed for a couple of minutes.
- Spoon the mixture into paper cases and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
- While the cakes are cooking you can make the frosting by adding the icing sugar, butter and cream cheese to a bowl and mixing for around 5 mintues until light and fluffy. The Hummingbird book says to mix the icing sugar and butter first but I find it easier to do it all together because it stops the icing sugar from going everywhere!
- Once the cakes have cooked and cooled on a wire rack use a cookie cutter (or do it freehand if you are feeling brave!) to cut a heart shape out of each cake.
- Spread or pipe the frosting onto the cakes then add the little cake hearts back on top.
Let me know if you make them, they didn’t last very long in our house!