If you've ever had a Red Velvet cupcake you'll know that the sponge should be bright red in colour, with a light chocolate taste and topped with a gorgeous cream cheese buttercream.
However, you may have tried to bake these at home and found yourself in a stress over the cupcakes not turning out as you'd expect. Baking Red Velvet cupcakes can take a few attempts to perfect, but don't give up...
When we first started developing our Red Velvet recipe it took a few 'trial and error' batches before we nailed it. We decided to share with you what we learned about Red Velvet, so you can perfect your Red Velvet recipe and enjoy that gorgeous taste (slathered with cream cheese frosting of course) whenever you get the urge to bake a batch for yourself.
Learn how to perfect your cream cheese frosting by reading our post Why is my cream cheese frosting runny?
Below are our tips for baking awesome Red Velvet sponge:
- Don't use too much cocoa powder. Red Velvet is not a chocolate cake, and this should not be the cake's dominant flavour. Add no more than 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder to your favourite cupcake recipe. When you're mixing it should look very light in colour. If looks like chocolate, you've added too much.
- Use a combination of butter and oil for your fat content, we recommend 90/10 ratio (butter/oil) for a really moist cupcake sponge that won't peel away from the cases once baked.
- Add a teaspoon of distilled white vinegar to your milk (1/2 a teaspoon if you're using buttermilk) to give the Red Velvet sponge it's unique flavour.
- Use only paste or gel food colouring, not the Red colouring that you pick-up in the supermarket. This will ensure your sponge stays a vibrant red colour, rather than turning a shade of red/brown.
- Don't use bicarbonate of soda, a lot of recipes call for this but in our experience it reacts too much with the vinegar during bake and you'll end up with sunken cupcakes.
- Use a little extra flour than normal, this will help provide solid structure to your cupcake whilst it's baking. We add 25g more flour to this recipe than our other cupcake recipes.
- Your batter should not be runny. Instead you should have a light mousse consistency.
- Always top with cream cheese buttercream, this is the standard for Red Velvet and should always go together (unless you don't like it of course, in which case just use a vanilla buttercream)