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Valentine's Red Velvet Cupcakes

I know I posted a few Valentine's recipes a few weeks ago, but there was one more I wanted to try. These Red Velvet Cupcakes were inspired by the success of my Blue Velvet version a few weeks back, and by a decorating idea for 'sweetheart' cutouts I found on the wonderful blog by Audra, the Baker Chick. 

I used the recipe from the Blue Velvet version, although obviously changed the food colouring used.  I first tried Wilton's Red Red (1 1/2 tspns) but this seemed a bit orangy, so I added some Sugarflair Poppy Red (1 tspn) and a small dab of Wilton Violet to deepen the colour. I think it worked really well.This means that my US Cake Flour  also made another appearance. I can't tell you how pleased I am at how they have turned out. They are incredibly tender and the cream cheese frosting is fast becoming my favourite of the moment.

Using a Wilton 1M icing tip, I couldn't believe how easy it was to create this lovely rose swirl effect (piping is a fairly new area to me). I then left some plain, and decorated the others three different ways.

The simplest was just adding some sparkle by way of edible glitter.

Then I tried slicing off the top of the cupcake and using a heart cutter to make a cutout, then piping a rose swirl and reaffiixing the top so that the rose effect peeks through:

For the final one, I then took some of the heart cutouts and used them as toppers:

Red Velvet Cupcakes (makes 11 - 12 depending on if you can eke out the filling)

1 cup caster sugar
4oz/113g softened unsalted butter
1 large egg
1/2 tbspn cocoa
1/2 tbspn Wilton Red Red food colouring
1/2 tspn Sugarflair Poppy Red food colouring
dab Wilton Violet food colouring
1 1/4 cup US Cake Flour
1/2 tspn salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tspn vanilla extract
1/4 tspn bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tspn white vinegar

For the frosting:
4oz/113g cream cheese at room temperature
2oz/56g softened unsalted butter
1/2 tspn vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 155 fan / 175 conventional. Prepare a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix.

Mix the cocoa and food colourings to form a paste and add this to the bowl.

Mix well.

Sift the flour and salt together, and add this to the mix in thirds, alternating with the buttermilk. Add the vanilla.

In a small bowl, mix the bicarbonate of soda with the vinegar and then add that to the mixture.

Scoop into the prepared pan, so that each cupcake case is no more than two thirds full.

Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until a cocktail stick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Make the frosting by beating the butter and cream cheese together, then add the vanilla and icing sugar. Beat well until smooth and creamy.

To make the cut out hearts, slice off the top of a cupcake, using a serrated knife and the top of the cupcake case as a guide. Place the top, top side down on a cutting board, and using a heart shaped cutter, stamp out the middle.

Pipe a swirl of frosting (or spread on the cupcake), then replace the top.

You can of course decorate any way you like:

As I said, I'm really pleased with them. At least they will make for a less dramatic Valentine's for Mike than last year, when I gave him the news that our third son was on the way.

Happy Valentine's Day 2012,



  1. These are beautiful, Susie! I love how you used the cut out hearts from one cupcakes as a toppers for another. Simply lovely! Your buttercream roses are perfect!!!

    1. Thanks Anna, I'd never tried the piping the roses before but was really pleased with them. Thanks for taking the time to comment :-)

  2. Anna is right these are gorgeous! I love how you set up the four different cupcakes, super cute! Have an amazing Valentines!

    1. Thank you Serena, that's so kind. Have a lovely day, too.

    2. Hi Susie,

      The cakes are amazing. I am trying to purchase the red-red food colouring however I can only find Wilton's Icing?

      Is this what you used to make the cakes so red?

    3. Hello there!

      The Wlton's colouring I used is a small pot of a gel paste colouring - in the UK they are stocked at Hobbycraft, or you can find them online at lots of the UK based cake and baking retailers. I know that my local asda has also started to sell some gel colours (much thicker than the usual liquid colours you get so they don't affect the consistency), but I don't know how good they are.

      Hope that helps, happy baking! :)

  3. Your cupcakes are so beautifully decorated, I am lost in admiration!

    1. Aww, thank you - I must admit I amazed myself with them as I'm normally a bit slapdash! Glad you like them :-)

  4. These look absolutely gorgeous! I love the cutout idea. Following you as well :)

    1. Thanks Jo, that's great! Hope you enjoy the blog as much as I do yours! :-)

  5. wow!! I love the cutout hearts and the perfect rose piping. Must remember this for next year :)

    1. Thanks baking addict. Still amazed by how pretty they turned out (especially for me). Just goes to show if I can do it anyone can :)

  6. Wow! Brilliant! Love these :) What nozzle did you use to get that awesome rose effect?

    1. Hi Emma! You use a Wilton 1M nozzle - hold it straight up and then pipe rotating from the centre of the cupcake outwards. The way the icing then falls, and folds over on itself forms the rose. It's really easy and I think it looks so effective! :)

  7. hi, i love the rose swirl effect in the 2nd pic down...

    can you please tell me what the consistency should be like for the frosting, when its just right for piping these swirls? never done any piping before so i dont know lol!

    also another first, ive never had cream cheese frosting, so what does it taste like?!!


    1. Hi Louise, glad you like them. The consistency of the icing is a little thicker than buttercream is normally - this is helped by using the cream cheese which helps make it smooth. I find then that you get a crisper effect on the rosé 'petals' than you might with a softer buttercream. If you think of the consistency of cream cheese, then that's what you need.

      I really like the taste of the frosting - to me it's very similar to buttercream, but as you get a slight tang from the cheese, it helps to counter the sweetness of icing sugar and so it's not overly sweet. You can't taste the cream cheese as such, it's just not as sweet as normal buttercream.

      Hope that helps and good luck!

      Happy baking,

      Susie :)


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