Now this, THIS is a red velvet cupcake. I’ve blogged about #redvelvetfails in the past. (Ahem, Martha). But then, came Paula Deen, and her full-fat, high in sugar, full of love recipes, y’all. High in calories but delish. And lo and behold, I became a red velvet baking queen. I made her recipe for a baby shower (you can see how they looked here, awfully cute with pink roses) but I didn’t stop there.

The problem with the Martha Stewart recipe was that it fell flat in flavour and colour. If you’re anti-food colouring, you’re not going to like this recipe. But that’s what it comes down to. Good food colouring. Not the Wilton brand or the stuff you find at the grocery store.You’ll need to order some from the professional baking stores or from Williams-Sonoma. The better the quality the less you need to use. If you’re still with me, here’s the recipe from Paula Deen.

The photo at top is how I decorated my regular-sized cupcakes while the ones below are mini cupcakes I decorated for Valentine’s Day. Really, though, I think the ones in the top photo are the way to go. So grab some red decorating sugar while you’re picking up the food colouring gel.

 

Substitutions: None. But I used the best possible ingredients: Valhrona cocoa, Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract, full-fat cream cheese. If you’re going to make red velvet cupcakes, at least make them properly.┬áIf you’re on a diet. Just eat half of what you would normally eat. Or eat a mini. It’ll sate your sweet tooth and keep you just as happy as eating the whole thing, believe me.

Would I make these again? Oh yes. Oh yes and yes. I bought a red velvet mini at a gourmet food shop just yesterday and it was obviously slightly old because it was dry. These are better.

Grade: Five stars out of five. Iconic, moist, impressive. Can’t go wrong. Make a huge batch and freeze them if you must (wrap in plastic wrap and then put in air-tight containers or baggies.