Nigella’s red velvet cupcakes

You know you’ve had a good day when you fall in love twice.

No matter how well you think your cupboards are stocked, or how happy you are with your kitchen appliances, cooking in your mum’s kitchen really takes it to another level.  On my coveted list: a spice drawer, a benchtop so long you need rollerskates to get from one side to the other, cupboard space,  and this. This! The most beautiful appliance of them all.

Sigh. The coveted Kitchenaid.

Sigh. The coveted Kitchenaid.

Dad surprised Mum with her Kitchenaid a few Christmases ago, and Mum cried. I’m not joking. As this takes pride of place on her benchtop, something tells me she would notice if I ‘borrowed’ it. Mum tells me I just need to be patient until one day I have one of my very own – thirty years of marriage patient, to be precise.

The next thing I fell in love with, and something that I (and you!) can make at home, were these red velvet cupcakes. I’ve tried a few red velvet recipes in my time, why I didn’t first consult the expert (Nigella Lawson), I’m not sure.

Mum had a printed copy of the recipe, and I immediately knew it was a Nigella special due to the following phrases: ‘vividly coloured mixture’, ‘extraordinary batter’, ‘juicily tinted’. Bless!

I hope you will also fall in love with this recipe. It makes 24 cupcakes and will take you around 40 minutes.

Kitchenaid + red cake batter = baking bliss

Kitchenaid + red cake batter = love, squared

What you’ll need

250g plain flour

2T cocoa powder, sifted

1t baking powder

1/2t bicarb soda

100g butter, at room temperature

200g caster sugar

1T red food colouring

2t vanilla extract

2 eggs

175ml buttermilk

1t white vinegar


125g butter, at room temperature

1.5 cups icing sugar, sifted

2T milk

Here’s what to do

1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius, and line muffin tins with paper cases.

2. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarb soda in a bowl.

3. Cream the butter and sugar together. When the mixture is soft and pale, add in the food colouring and vanilla extract.

4. While beating, add in: one spoonful of dried ingredients, one egg, another spoonful of the dried ingredients, another egg, and then the remaining dried ingredients.

5. Lastly, beat in the buttermilk and vinegar, then divid the batter between the 24 muffin cases. The cupcakes will need approximately 20 minutes in the oven.

6. Wait until the cupcakes have completely cooled before icing. I used a Vienna Cream icing (recipe from that innocuous Women’s Weekly Cookbook, Children’s Birthday Cakes) which calls for: Beat butter until it starts to turn white in colour, add half the icing sugar, gradually add in the milk, and then the remaining icing sugar.

The pic below in no way does these cupcakes justice, but it was a quick snap before they were devoured at a picnic:



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