We all know I can’t resist a bit of themed baking so of course I was going to make something to celebrate Valentine’s Day! Relationships may come and go but there’s one partner that has never let me down – CAKE! Ah sweet sweet cake! We all love it don’t we?! I decided to take part in Intellicig’s campaign to help #SpreadtheLove this Valentine’s Day, doing a random act of kindness and whipping up some delicious treats for my friends and family. And to spread the love even further you can win your own Valentine’s baking set to help you make your own sweet treats and help spread the love yourself. I decided to make Red Velvet Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and love heart sprinkles – the perfect Valentine’s Day treat!
I decided to follow the classic Hummingbird Bakery recipe as they are known to sell the best red velvets around! My cupcakes turned out pretty well, though I seemed to have practically half the icing left over so I would make half the amount next time (or more like double the amount of cupcakes mwah ha ha!) My cakes where quite a dark red rather than the bright red you often see in cake shops but I hate it when you can taste food colouring in baking so I’d be cautious about adding too much more but think maybe half a teaspoon would be ok.
They were nice and light and fluffy, though I did find that my icing didn’t thicken up as much as I’d have liked it to so I had to be quite careful when icing my cakes that it didn’t melt everywhere! However I was really pleased with the finished look as they looked very cute, and they definitely went down well with my boyfriend and the girls at work! So I successfully #SpreadTheLove hurrah!
For the cakes:
** 60g unsalted butter
** 150g caster sugar
** 1 egg
** 10g Cocoa powder
** 20ml red food colouring
** 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
** 120ml buttermilk
** 150g plain flour
** 1/2 teaspoon salt
** 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
** 1 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
For the cream cheese frosting:
** 50g butter
** 300g icing sugar
** 125g cream cheese
** Pretty sprinkles to decorate (I went for pink and red sugar hearts and silver balls)
1) Preheat your oven to 170C / Gas Mark 3.
2) Use an electric mixer to beat your sugar and butter together. This may take a while but it should go through the grainy, bitty stage and become fluffy and creamy. Then turn up the speed and slowly add the egg and mix until all is well incorporated.
3) Grab another mixing bowl and sift in the cocoa powder. Add in the food colouring and the vanilla extract and mix it together until you have a paste like consistency. Make sure that all the cocoa powder is incorporated and you don’t have any loose bits of powder.
4) Add the cocoa mix to the butter / sugar bowl and mix it all in together.
5) Slow the speed of your whisk and add in half of the buttermilk and once this has all been incorporated add in half of the plain flour. Once this has all been mixed together well, add the other half of buttermilk, mix and then add the remaining flour and mix it on a high speed until you have a really nice smooth texture. Add in the salt, bicarbonate of soda and white wine vinegar and (you guessed it) MIX!
6) Then spoon the mixture into cute little Valentine’s themed cupcake cases (I used some pink polka dots ones), filling each one two thirds of the way full. Pop these into the oven for about 20-25 minutes until the cake is springy and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
7) Take the cakes out the oven, leaving them to chill in the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Now it’s time to make the icing! Mmmm delicious icing!!!
8) Sieve the icing powder into a bowl and then add in the butter. You’re going to need to whisk it all together to make a light creamy mixture. Depending on the size of your bowl it might be best to add just half the sugar to start with, or your kitchen might be engulfed in an icing powder explosion cloud!
TOP TIP: Add a dash of milk if your icing sugar is taking a long while to take to the butter it will help it blend together better.
9) Next add your cream cheese and mix it all together. It will be quite runny at first but keep going and it should thicken up and become more of a standard butter icing consistency than a batter consistency. However be careful not to overbeat it as it could split and become runny again. About 5 minutes after it has all incorporated together should do it.
11) Once your cakes have completely cooled, carefully spread the cream cheese frosting on top. Add a sprinkle of love hearts and some silver balls and voila! Cute Valentine’s Day Red Velvet Cupcakes!
I was lucky enough to be given an adorable Valentine’s Day baking kit to help me on my mission to #SpreadTheLove, and the cherubs at Intellicig are offering you the chance to win one too! Intellicig are an electronic cigarette company who make a “Share-a-starter kit” with the idea that people can buy one and pass it onto a friend who is looking to switch to electronic cigarettes. I’m not a smoker myself but have seen first hand how hard it can be to kick the habit and think the share-a-starter-kit is a great idea to #ShareTheLove and give someone the support and kick start they might need to make the switch to electronic cigarettes and help them quit smoking.
All you have to do to win is enter the Rafflecopter below!
Let me know if you decide to make these Valentine’s Day Red Velvet Cupcakes. Nothing says I love you like red chocolate cupcakes with pink love heart sprinkles! And don’t worry if baking’s not your thing, any little act of kindness can help #SpreadTheLove and make a huge difference to someone else.
How will you #SpreadTheLove this Valentine’s Day?
*Thank you to Intellicig for inviting me to take part in their #SpreadTheLove campaign and offering me a baking kit to give away to one of my lovely readers. All thoughts are honest and my own for more information please see my Disclaimer Page.