13 February 2010

Red Velvet Valentine Cupcakes

dairy free egg free nut free

I have a number of cake recipes on this blog that can be easily substituted for cupcakes (Perfect Chocolate Cake and the Lamington sponge) but I must confess: I am still not completely satisfied with the vanilla versions. While I continue to battle the kitchen for a moist vanilla version that rises and STAYS RISEN, my chocolate cake recipe is, luckily, ideal for these cupcakes.

Red velvet cake is an American tradition - vanilla sponge with a dash of cocoa and  red food colouring. They possibly originally used beetroot juice which would be the more natural option, and better for those with sensitivities to artificial colours. Red velvet cake goes very nicely with cream cheese frosting and a sprinkling of coconut (I bought some organic and preservative-free shredded coconut - I thought preservative-free coconut was a myth to be honest, it's virtually impossible to find!)

And yes, it's also Valentine's Day. If you give a damn, these are perfect.

Makes 12 (at least)

170g plain flour
200g caster sugar
30g cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp soda bicarbonate
225ml rice or soy milk
50ml vegetable oil
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4-5 drops of red food colouring (natural or otherwise!)

Dairy free 'cream cheese' icing
65g dairy-free margarine (Nuttelex)
125g Tofutti cream cheese (dairy free), softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups icing sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 180 C. Line a 12 hole muffin/cupcake tray with cupcake liners.

Sift together in a large bowl the flour, sugar, soda bicarb, cocoa and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, oil, vinegar, vanilla and add to the dry ingredients, mixing well until smooth. Add red food colouring and mix again until all combined.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes, until risen and firm to touch. Cool in tray for 10 minutes then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate with dairy-free cream cheese icing and sprinkle with shredded coconut.


  1. Looks delicious, QB. Will definitely be trying these - and your savoury recipes - in the coming weeks.

    Keep them coming!


  2. Umm, if you use the cream cheese icing, these are not dairy free, or vegan...just sayin' ;) Any suggestions for a dairy-free alternative frosting?

  3. Woops! I was hasty in my cutting and pasting and forgot to 'vegan-ise' the icing in my post. You can use Tofutti dairy-free cream cheese spread with Nuttelex, or just use a normal 'buttercream' icing using Nuttelex and icing sugar. Thanks for picking that up Daniel!