Introduction: Red Velvet Cupcakes

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Red velvet cupcakes

Makes: 12
Preparation: 30 minutes + cooling
Cooking: 25 minutes

125g (4oz) butter, softened
125g (4oz) caster sugar
2 eggs
125g (4oz) self-raising flour
1tsp vanilla extract
4tbsp buttermilk
10 drops of red food coloring
25g (1oz) cocoa powder
1tsp white vinegar

Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F/ gas mark 4. Stand 12 silicon cases or paper cake cases in a 12-hole muffin tin. Beat together the butter and the caster sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the flour, followed by the vanilla extract, buttermilk, food coloring, cocoa powder and vinegar to make a vibrant red mixture.
Divide the mixture between the cases, filling them about two-thirds full. Bake for 15-20 minutes until risen and springy to the touch. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Basic butter cream frosting

Makes enough to ice 12 cup cakes

75g (3oz) butter, softened
2tbsp milk
1tsp vanilla extract
225g (8oz) icing sugar, sifted
Food coloring, optional
Beat together the butter, milk, vanilla and half the sugar to combine add the remaining sugar and beat until fluffy.
using a piping bag fitted with a large star tip pipe rosettes and sprinkle colored sugar on top.

Tip: refrigerate the decorated cupcakes for at least an hour before serving so that the topping sets properly.