This is the only cupcake that I enjoy eating more than one, and I got to make it from scratch after a long overdue delay. The velvety sweetness and moist, soft texture are irresistible…


Hmm!!! Where should I begin?! I generally don’t like cakes. I do eat them from time to time occasionally, but only in small pieces. It’s all because the texture of cakes is too doughy (It’s hard to explain). I’m more into the chewy and crispy texture than soft and flaky one. I guess that’s more understandable to explain my texture description…
Red velvet is different! Ever since I heard of its name and looked the photos, I had an obsession to try it out and figure out how they made it so red and moist (according to the photo). It doesn’t look flaky as the other cupcakes, probably because of the oil substitution for butter in the recipe. It’s the case for most cake recipe. Oil is used instead of butter if you are looking for a soft and fluffy cake. It is less fragrant than the cake made with butter, but it is way more moist and softer. Only until I came to Canada for about 1 year did I try my first red velvet. It wasn’t the cupcake, but a nice slice of cake. I remembered being so in love with it because of the texture and the cream cheese frosting. I later enjoyed the occasional red velvet cupcakes at Second Cup cafes. In my opinion, Second Cup offers a great selection of great tasting cakes than other chains or franchises. For better tastes of cakes, the small and more independent bakeries would have better quality, like at Bobbette and Belle. Their passion coconut cupcakes are a must-try!!!
Tagging a long during the photoshoot
So, back to the making of the first red velvet cupcakes!!! I had been planning to make red velvet cake/cupcakes before when I was back attending York University. However the long list of ingredients turned me off, and so I put it off for a long time (about 3 years???). I know, it’s a shame of laziness…
Fortunately, it was brought up again recently in December 2014. My big cousin was getting married around Christmas, and I was flying down to Houston to attend it. Knowing this, her litter sister asked me to plan a wedding cupcake tower for her. I was excited and accepted right away, and it was no other than the red velvet cupcakes that she had planned to make!!! I spent a few days before the trip to look for a decent red velvet cupcake recipe, and like many other times before, I had to mix up all the recipes I had searched for in order to make up my own recipe. I got there, we spent one whole day shopping for the flowers and buying the ingredients, and spent the whole evening that day to test try the recipe.
Trolling at the photoshoot
While most people were at the rehearsal dinner for the official wedding the next day, I got a little helper with me in the kitchen. She is cousin to my cousins from the other side of the family (complicated eh?!), and her nickname at home is Sóc Nâu (“Brown Squirrel” in English – and as a result, she loves squirrels… My uncle’s in-laws family like to name their kids with funny nicknames, related to animals or cute things)
The little helper measuring her sugar for the batter, efficient I have to say
First batch of Red velvet cupcakes

 The first batch didn’t go so well, as I was new to the stove at my cousin’s place, which was 25 degrees hotter than it was supposed to be. The cupcakes came out springy and nice and all, but it was a bit dry and chocolatey. Right when I decided to make a new batch, I heard news that we couldn’t do the cupcakes anymore as the groom’s family didn’t want to display cakes at the church where they would do the ceremony. We decided to put off the whole thing. However I was determined to perfect my recipe, so I did it twice when I came back to Toronto. The second batch was not bad at all, but the butter cream was a bit runny and too sweet. The third batch, which was the most current at the time I was writing this post, was almost perfect. The cake came out nice and moist and red, and the butter cream was perfectly shaped!!! I was really happy with the result. I then decided that it was time to share the recipe on my blog, which is why you are reading it now 😀 I did give some away to my friend and she said she would have asked me to take care of her wedding cake with these cupcakes had she not ordered macarons for the reception already. That made me happy 🙂

Below is the recipe I combined from many I researched online. I found it work quite well. If you have any problem or question, don’t hesitate to contact me via email or comment below this post

The very failed piping experience lolol – Houston, TX


Product from the third batch of red velvet cupcake. I used Christmas red colour 🙂

Servings: 20 – 22 cupcakes
Cooking time: 30 minutes for the cupcakes and 10 minutes for the frosting


  • Red Velvet Cupcakes

– 1 1/2 cup sugar
– 1 cup vegetable oil
– 2 large eggs
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 tsp red gel colouring
– 2 1/2 cake flour
– A pinch of salt
– 1 tbsp dutch-processed cocoa powder
– 1 cup buttermilk
– 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
– 1 tsp baking soda

  •  Cream Cheese Butter cream

– 2 sticks of butter (1 cup), soften at room temperature
– 1 block of cream cheese, soften at room temperature
– 250g powdered sugar
– 1 tbsp heavy/whipping cream


  • Red Velvet Cupcakes
My first batch of batter, in Houston, TX

– Preheat oven to 350F or 175 C. Line the cupcake molds with the paper cups
– In a mixing bowl, beat together sugar and oil until well blended
– Add in 2 eggs and vanilla extract. Beat until well blended at a slow speed to prevent air to come in the batter. Once the mixture seems incorporated, blend in the red colouring
– Mix together in a separate bowl the flour, a pinch of salt, and cocoa powder. Sieve t
hrough to make sure there’s no lump. Mix in a third of the flour to the egg mixture. Once combined, add half of the buttermilk. Mix well. Continue with 1/3 of the flour and the rest of the buttermilk. Finally mix in the rest of the flour
– In a separate small bowl, quickly mix baking soda and cider vinegar to form the foam, and immediately add in the batter, mix well
– Pour the batter evenly in each of the lined paper cups and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool to prepare for butter cream piping

  • Cream cheese butter cream
Butter cream in the process of beating

–  In a large bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese until pale and fluffy. This process takes about 3 minutes
– Continue beating, gradually add in the powdered sugar until completed incorporated. Continue beating the cream for another 3 minutes
– Add in the heavy cream and beat for another 3 minutes
– Prepare a piping bag with desired tip (I used 2D from Wilton – a large and floral tip) and pipe on to the cooled cupcakes. Keep refrigerated and serve cold.

Notes and Tips:
– At the first stage of the batter making process, make sure you have the oil and sugar well blended together, so that there won’t be funny texture in the cake later

– If you don’t have buttermilk, you can use the same amount of whole milk and add 1 tbsp of white vinegar. Stir and leave for about 5 minutes and you’ll have buttermilk

– During the mixing process, make sure you mix with very slow but fast enough speed just so that the ingredients will mix together, but there is no air incorporated in the batter. This way the cake will come out moist and soft

– When adding vinegar and soda mixture, make sure you mix them well and it is still foaming up when you add it to the batter. You need to be fast and bake the cake as soon as possible. As far as I know, there is a certain chemical reaction involved that helps keep the cupcake moist and soft, and rise up. Vinegar and baking soda mixture is used to substitute beaten egg whites in raising the cake while leaving it light and fluffy. The egg white contains a lot of protein that might harden the cake after baking, which is not very ideal for cupcakes

This is the smooth butter cream but not beaten enough,
hence the runny shape

– For frosting, make sure you beat the butter and cream cheese long enough to incorporate the air into the cream and lighten it up. The long beating time allows the butter cream to be smooth and easy to apply, and evaporates any moisture from the butter, making it easier to form shape during piping. The powdered sugar will absorb the rest of the moisture in the cream. During the process, it will start to become creamy and going towards the finish, the cream will start to look less creamy and stiffer. That’s when you can start piping your cupcakes

Green tea version of the butter cream!!!

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