Beautiful Crimson Swirly Cakes

A nice big slice of red velvet cake is one of my favourite tea-time treats.

One of the recipes in my new book (only 7 weeks until publication date – eek!) is Blood Red Velvet Cake – the theme being Snow White and her ‘lips as red as blood’….

As I can’t divulge the book recipe just yet, here is my slightly different cupcake version. These are unadulterated red velvet sponges with a silky smooth vanilla buttercream with a cheeky swirl of raspberry jam. Yum!

Crimson Swirly Cakes

[Makes 24 cupcakes]

Cake batter

250g plain flour, sifted

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

½ teaspoon salt

120g softened unsalted butter

250g caster sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

240ml buttermilk

½ teaspoon red food colouring paste

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon vinegar

Icing

60g unsalted butter

300g icing sugar – sieved

 1 tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon seedless raspberry jam

edible glitter to decorate

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas 5 and fill two 12-hole muffin trays with paper muffin cases.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth, pale and fluffy, using an electric hand whisk or mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Mix the buttermilk and the food colouring paste together in a measuring jug.
  5. Pour a third of the buttermilk/colouring mixture into the creamed butter and sugar, and beat well until combined. Then add a third of the flour/cocoa powder and beat well. Repeat this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been incorporated and you have a smooth and even mixture.
  6. Next, in a small cup, combine the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar and fold into the cake batter.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin trays, filling the paper cases about two-thirds full. Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes until the cakes are springy to touch or until a skewer inserted into the cakes comes out clean.
  8. Place the cakes onto a wire rack to cool.
  9. Whilst the cakes are cooling you can make the icing. Place the softened butter in a large bowl and whip it up, using an electric hand mixer. Add the icing sugar a bit at a time and cream it together with the butter. Add the milk and vanilla extract and mix well until you are left with a smooth, thick creamy icing.
  10. When the cakes have cooled completely, pipe or spread the icing on top of each cake. Pop your raspberry jam into a disposable piping bag, snip off the end, and then pipe a thin swirl of the jam onto the top of each cake. Add a little dusting of edible glitter and you’re done!

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