Baking: Red Velvet Cupcakes: The Two Food Colours

I believe that my first batch of Red Velvets were bitter from the food colouring I used. I used gel food colouring, which is more intense and potent than liquid food colouring. While this helps give a beautiful crimson shade to the cupcakes, it also has a tendency to make things taste quite bitter. This is why my second batch, recipe linked referred by Kara at Butter Hearts Sugar (check it out, awesome blog!!!) worked out much better than Martha’s. The recipe called for quite a bit of liquid food colouring, but it didn’t have that bitter, slightly metallic flavour of the last batch. Here’s the recipe:

2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 ounces of red liquid food colouring (2 bottles! Wow!)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together into a bowl.

2. Mix the cocoa powder and food colouring into a smooth paste. Make sure you work out the lumps.

3. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time until incorporated. Beat in vanilla and red cocoa mixture. Scrape down the sides to ensure the red is distributed evenly.

4. Alternate the flour and buttermilk, adding the dry ingredients by thirds, the butter milk by half (dry, wet, dry, wet, dry). Combine vinegar and baking soda in a small bowl (this will fizz. Reliving grade school volcano science experiment is optional.) and add to batter, stirring to combine well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl by hand to ensure everything is combined.

5. Divide batter evenly amongst cupcake liners (obviously in a cupcake pan). Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Make sure you don’t overcook these. Allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring cupcakes to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

I left these at room temperature in an air-tight, covered container.

These were much better. All yum, no yech. This is how all baked goods should be. Oh, and I actually found buttermilk at the grocery store! No need to use the good ole milk and vinegar trick this time! It works just fine, but it is nice to actually get the buttermilk.

These were nice and sweet, slightly chocolate-y with the vanilla flavour. None of the ass flavour of the previous cupcakes. To celebrate, here is a picture of happy cat.

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3 Responses to Baking: Red Velvet Cupcakes: The Two Food Colours

  1. Yay I’m so happy these worked out well for you. No ass flavor is definitely a win :p

  2. stephanie says:

    hey there, i was just reading your blog and was wondering where you came across actual buttermilk? i’ve looked for it but could not find it. also thought you may like to know that instead of milk and vinegar (which really makes sour milk) i use plain yogurt in cupcakes that require buttermilk. great substitute as it makes the cakes really moist! red velvet cupcakes have been my most popular so far!!!

    • Laura says:

      I can occasionally get it from the grocery store in the dairy section, but it isn’t always there. I find that the vinegar/milk trick works best when using whole milk and stirring the vinegar well and letting it sit for a bit. It isn’t quite the same, but it does the trick most of the time. 😀

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