Monday, 12 December 2011

Christmas Candy Cane Cupcakes: Red Velvet with Peppermint Frosting

Welcome to my week long Christmas recipe event! I will be sharing all the yummy recipes that I baked for the Christmas Cupcake Stall I ran last week.

I'm still not a red velvet fan myself, but I know for whatever reason (is it just for the fact that they are red?) that they are a crowd pleaser and so I felt like no candy cane cupcake would be complete without a splash of red! and of course the obligatory two tone red and white frosting.  Traditionally, red velvet cupcakes are always paired with cream cheese frosting but just for something different I paired mine with peppermint frosting to match the candy cane flavour.

I've had a few people ask me how you create two tone really is super easy.  You just need to fill two disposable piping bags with the separate colours and then put both piping bags inside a third piping bag with the nozzle attached.  I usually pipe out a small amount to start with before I pipe directly onto the cupcakes, because it takes a little while for the colours to blend properly.  If you're still not sure, there is a fantastic tutorial with photos to help here.

Red Velvet Cupcakes:
Makes 12 regular and 24 mini cupcakes

113g unsalted butter, at room temperature
335g caster sugar
2 large eggs
35g cocoa powder
6 tbsp red food colouring
1 tsp vanilla extract
242g buttermilk
280g plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
On medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar for 3 minutes until light and fluffy.  Turn the mixer to high and add the eggs.  Scrape down the bowl, and beat until well incorporated.
In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a thick paste.  Add to the batter and mix on medium speed until completely combined.  You may need to stop the mixer to scrape the bottom of the bowl to ensure all batter gets the colour.
Reduce the mixer speed to slow and add half the buttermilk, add half of the flour and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl and repeat with the remaining flour and buttermilk.  Beat on high until smooth.
Reduce the mixer to slow to add the salt, soda and vinegar.  Turn to high and beat for another few minutes until completely combined and smooth.
Divide the batter evenly between the cases and bake for 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then place them on a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

Peppermint Frosting:
Makes enough to frost the above
From 'Cupcakes from The Primrose Bakery'

110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
60ml semi-skimmed milk, at room temperature
1/2 tsp good quality peppermint extract
500g icing sugar
Few drops of red food colouring (I used Red Extra)

In a free standing mixer, beat the butter, milk, peppermint extract and half the icing sugar until smooth - this can take up to 5 mins.  
Gradually add the remainder of the icing sugar and beat again until the buttercream is smooth and creamy.  
Taste the icing at this stage to see if you want to add more peppermint extract (if you are using standard mint extract that you get in a supermarket you may need to add slightly more than half a tsp).
Add a few drops of red colouring and beat thoroughly.  Check the colour, add more as needed.

To assemble:

Pipe a swirl of frosting onto each cupcake.
Use mini candy canes to decorate, or if only regular sized ones are available - cut them down to size with a very sharp knife (cutting a small amount off the bottom and off the top of the hook so they are in proportion).  This is what I did.
Sprinkle with red sanding sugar to finish off.


  1. I love the two tone frosting and they match perfectly with your cake stand! the candy cane toppers are cute finishing touch x

  2. I can't believe you're not a fan of red velvet - I love it. Thanks for the tip on 2 tone icing, I have yet to give that a try.

  3. Perfect for Christmas! Ive never tried red velvet so I'm not sure if it's yummy..but it looks good

  4. Yum they look so good!! I always wondered how you got the 2 tone icing...thanks for the tips! :)


  5. I'm a big fan of cream cheese icing, but I do like the sound of peppermint with red velvet!



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