Red velvet cupcakes with vanilla frosting and black roses

Saturday 26th was this blog’s 1st birthday! Yay for the blog! And so I decided to bake it a cake. I got a book of Zombie themed cupcakes from my friends Nikki and Michael for my birthday last month and so decided to give one of the cakes from that a go. I liked the look of the cupcake decorated with black roses – partly ‘cause they were stylish and partly ‘cause they were one of the less gruesome options!

The base for the cupcake is a red velvet recipe – I’ve never made red velvet cupcakes before but they came out rather well, if I do say so myself. The vanilla frosting is a bit more complicated than just icing sugar and a bit of butter but it’s worth the effort. I have to say, I bought ready-made black icing from Sainsbury’s for the roses rather than making icing and colouring it with black food colouring. I made enough mess with the red food colouring as it was!

The recipe listed here make about 12 cupcakes but I scaled it down to make just 4. If you make 12 cupcakes then you’ve gotta eat 12 cupcakes!

For the cakes:

60g of unsalted butter
140g of caster sugar
1 large egg
½ a teaspoon of vanilla essence
4 tablespoons of red food colouring
A pinch of salt
30g of cocoa
225g of plan flour
120ml of buttermilk
½ a teaspoon of cider vinegar
½ a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

Preheat the oven to 180

Line a muffin tin with paper cases

Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg until well mixed in.

In a separate bowl beat the vanilla essence, red food colouring, salt and cocoa into a thick paste.. Beat this paste into the butter mixture.

Add the flour in three loads, alternating with the buttermilk. Try to both start and end with flour. Mix well between each addtion.

Stir the vinegar into the bicarb and add to the mix, folding in with a spatula. Leave to stand for 3 minutes.

Spoon the cake mix into the paper cases, ¾ filling each.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely before decorating.

For the vanilla frosting:

60g of unsalted butter
4 tablespoons of full-fat milk (I used semi-skilled milk as I didn’t want to buy a bottle of full fat milk just for 4 tablespoons!)
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
360g of icing sugar
2 tablespoons of double cream

Beat the softened butter until smooth.

Add the milk, vanilla essence, the double cream and two thirds of the sugar and blend until smooth.

Slowly add the remaining sugar, beating constantly until smooth

For the roses:

I have to say, I cheated and bought black icicng, rather than coluring my own icing. Unlike the recipe suggestion I didn’t bother using xantham gum to thicken the icing either – it seemed just fine as it was.

To start the rose break off a small piece of icing and roll it into a flat, thin petal shape. Roll this into a cone and set aside – this will form the centre of the rose.

Roll out the other petals one by one and wrap them around the central cone, overlapping each one and making the petals slightly bigger with each layer.

I popped each rose on a cupcake and then put them all in the fridge, just to firm up both the roses and the vanilla frosting.

Making the flowers is fiddly and time consuming, however that may be because this is the first time I’ve done it – practice makes perfect, after all. (And they do look nice once you’ve done ’em.)

The end result was very tasty, although the two different types of icing did make the resulting cupcake quite sweet. Also the height added by the rose, and the messiness of the frosting did make them difficult to eat in a clean and sophisticated fashion!

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About neilche

Hi. My name's Neil. I live in Brighton with my flatmate Alberto and I work as a Librarian at a local college. I like cooking, eating and socialising with friends. Which is what prompted me to start this blog. I cycle everywhere around town - it helps to work off the calories!
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