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Saturday, 29 January 2011

Hummingbird Red Velvet Cupcakes

It is disappointing when you spend the whole week looking forward to the weekend, to find these two blessed days off wet and grey. And with no signs of the London weather easing up you must find fun indoor activities to occupy yourself. So last weekend I set to work, and went on an epic trip to Sainsburys in search of all the ingredients for The Hummingbird ‘Red Velvet’ cupcakes. I have had the Hummingbird cookbook for over a year, but never had the time and motivation to actually attempt one of the recipes.

After traipsing round the supermarket I had everything, plus a few other irresistible items, namely pretty but unnecessary cake decorations. The shop came to about £25 which seemed like an awful lot for cake ingredients, but at least I got a handful of nectar points.

When you visit the mouth-watering Hummingbird shops, the cakes look dreamy and impossible to recreate, so I was expecting a challenge. Surprisingly the recipe was very easy to follow correctly and after 45 minutes of preparing and cooking, my little cakes were cooling, looking absolutely perfect. I whipped up the icing and voila! My cakes were complete and appeared just as yummy as the original versions. And it was all brilliant fun too.

For once I sat scoffing a cupcake feeling like I really deserved it.

Here’s the recipe and ingredients for you to make your very own red velvet cupcakes.


60 g unsalted butter,
at room temperature
150 g caster sugar
1 egg
10 g cocoa powder
20 ml red food colouring (preferably
Dr. Oetker Red Food Colouring)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
120 ml buttermilk
150 g plain flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1½ teaspoons white wine vinegar
a 12-hole cupcake tray, lined with paper cases

Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3.
Put the butter and the sugar in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and well mixed. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well incorporated. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Turn the mixer down to slow speed and gradually pour in half the buttermilk. Beat until well mixed, then add half the flour, and beat until everything is well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added. Scrape down the side of the bowl again. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until you have a smooth, even mixture. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.


300g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold

Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy- for at least 5 minutes. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.


  1. Those cupcakes look amazing!


  2. Oh yum yum this really looks good!

  3. yummy! wow you did spend a lot on ingredients. at least they came out perfect, though! thanks for sharing the recipe (: i love baking!

  4. I loved this, great!!
    Fantastic post!!

    ...OH MY VOGUE

  5. Yum, they look soo good :) x

  6. thank you :) you blog is very sweet i following you to :)

    xo anja

  7. That looks beyond delissssh. I have a broken oven :( I don't know how I get by life. Haha. Thanks for the comment, following you too!

  8. yummy! x

    p.s. I'm having a valentine's giveaway on my blog if you'd like to check it out. xx

  9. so cute cupcakes!I would like to ate them all :D
    you can visit my blog and if you will like we can follow each other:)

  10. red velvet is my absolute favorite! so delicious

  11. those cupcakes look delish - might have to make some myself!

  12. thank you so much for you lovely comment! red velvet is my favorite!!!

  13. You have a lovley Blog!!!

  14. Thank you so much dear! You made my day! :)
    OMG your cupcakes look so delicious!!!


  15. yummy <3 thanks for sharing!

  16. wow, it's look yuumiiie.
    thank you a lot for the comment and for the following.
    love mari.

  17. How deliciously amazing! I want cupcakes now, yummy!

  18. OH MY GOSHHHHH ! They look so YUMMMMMMMMY !
    Love your blog,

  19. Oh I have to try out that recepie Yum. Following you now. Love the blog

  20. youve got a really cute blog :) maybe you wanna follow me, like I follow you now!

    X, Annie

  21. hmmm yummy :) and cute Blog :)

  22. Yamyy post :)

    I follow you and if you wanna, you can follow me too ;)

  23. they look so good. you deserve all of them!

  24. OMG yummmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!

    xx Thessy & Yiota
    .sabo skirt. - OPENING MARCH!

  25. So delicious, I want one of theseeeeeeeeeee right now! :D

  26. yummm this look so delicious... =)
    i love your blog too....following u too hun...

  27. Sweet cupcakes! I had a recipe very much like this years ago and I've lost it.. I'm so happy that I found this. I have to write this down immediately!

  28. Mmmm:) Red Velvet's my absolute favorite. I had a wonderful homemade cake of it this weekend and now i just want to bake! lovey lovely