Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe

Many things come to mind when I think about the movie Steel Magnolias: first learning about diabetes, friendship, Sally Field cracking umpteen eggs in a bowl in that confrontation scene with Julia Roberts. What intrigued me most was the red velvet groom’s cake at the start. As a child I wondered how red velvet cake tasted. I didn’t get this experience until a few years ago, and boy, it was worth the wait. I fell in love with it. As I’ve talked about red velvet cakes since, I’ve discovered (in Australia, at least) there are still some of us coming across it and others had never heard of it before. This post is for you guys.

I made these for the morning tea last week. I may still tweak the recipe a little. As you can see in the picture the icing isn’t as neat as it could be, but that’s what happens when I’m icing them at 10.26am and people were due to start arriving at 10.30am. I was rushed!


Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes


125g butter
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon red food colouring
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
2 cups self-raising flour
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/3 cup cocoa


250g cream cheese
150g white chocolate
125g softened butter

Makes 18

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees (fan-forced).
  2. Line regular-sized muffin tins with 18 muffin cases.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, red food colouring and vanilla. Stir in the bicarbonate soda and vinegar.
  4. Combine the flour and cocoa powder and stir into the batter. Spoon into prepared cases.
  5. Bake in the preheated for 20 to 25 minutes or until top springs back when touched. Take out and leave to cool. Then ice.
  6. For icing: melt the white chocolate and allow to cool to lukewarm. Beat the cream cheese until light and gradually beat in melted white chocolate and softened butter. Mix together. Top the cupcakes.
  1. I mistook how much red food colouring I thought I had, so the pictures above show what the cupcakes look like with 1/2 instead of a full tablespoon. So they’re really ‘pinkish’ than a true red.
  2. I like the cream cheese icing, but a purer white chocolate ganache would probably work as well.
This recipe is a combination of two I’ve found online, adapted to what I had in my pantry at the time.
This is week one of the 1 recipe a week for a year ‘living list’ challenge.
It has begun! *cue fanfare**eep! what have I started?!*

1 New Recipe A Week
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Karen Andrews is the creator of Karen Andrews. This is one of the most established and well-respected parenting blogs in the country and is a two-time finalist in the Best Australian Blogs competition. She is also an author, award-winning writer, poet, editor and publisher at Miscellaneous Press. Is an exercise junkie (when she finds the time).


  1. Shelly says

    Haven’t watched that movie in years. I remember fondly though how it features in an online quiz that we created on our computer.

  2. says

    That red velvet cake from Steel Magnolias has always stayed with me, too! Mostly because it was an ARMADILLO. I for one welcome the red velvet cake to Australia. It definitely has a role to play in our fickle foodie scene… :)

  3. says

    It’s true Red Velvet Cupcakes / cake is a fairly new idea for us Aussies I only discovered it a few years ago also. I’m sure your guests enjoyed them :)

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