Hummingbird Bakery red velvet cupcakes
Hummingbird Bakery red velvet cupcakesSubscribe to Sainsbury's magazine
People can’t resist Hummingbird Bakery’s cupcakes. Here, founder Tarek Malouf shares his step-by-step guide to making the famous bake. Mix all the ingredients well so the sponge has an even colour and texture. To make a red velvet layer cake instead, double the quantities below, divide between three 20cm cake tins and bake for 25 minutes at the same temperature
- 120g soft unsalted butter
- 300g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 20g cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp red food-colouring paste*, such as Sugarflair in Red Extra
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 240ml buttermilk
- 300g plain flour
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 3 tsp white vinegar
For the cream-cheese frosting
- 100g soft unsalted butter
- 600g icing sugar
- 250g full-fat soft cheese, chilled
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4 and divide 16 paper cases between 2 x 12-hole cupcake trays.
- Put the butter and the sugar in a free-standing electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the eggs and beat until well incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, food-colouring paste, 3 tablespoons of water and vanilla extract to make a thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix 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 slowly pour in half the buttermilk. Beat until well mixed, then add half the flour, and beat until 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.
- Divide evenly between the paper cases 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 for about 15 minutes in the trays before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely
- While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. Beat the butter and icing sugar together in a free- standing mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on a medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed – cover with a tea towel to stop the icing sugar going everywhere. It will have a sandy texture. Add the soft cheese all in one go and beat until fully incorporated. Turn the mixer up to a medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy - at least 5 minutes - but do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.
- See tip below if you want to sprinkle the tops with crumbs. When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the frosting onto each one, gently smoothing over with a palette knife and making a swirl of frosting on each one.
Tip For the classic decoration, trim a little off the top of each cooled cupcake before icing, and crumble finely into a bowl. After you’ve frosted the cakes, scatter with these red velvet crumbs.
For a really strong shade of red, food-colouring paste is best, and Sugarflair pastes (sugarflair.com) are suitable for vegans. Alternatively, you could use a 15g tube of Dr Oetker Extra Strong Red Food Colour Gel (available in store) mixed with 2 tablespoons of water, although the colour won’t be as intense.