Hummingbird Bakery has made their best selling cupcake recipe available to the public, which is great news to someone who doesn’t live very near their shop! If you follow the instructions precisely, they come out perfectly. They were even better than the ones I had last time I went to Hummingbird, which were a tad dry. These cupcakes have a lovely, deep red sponge and a sweet and silky cream cheese frosting. Make sure you mix the ingredients well so that the colour and texture of the cake are even.
- 60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 150g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 10g cocoa powder
- 20ml red food colouring
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 120ml buttermilk
- 150g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar (distilled white vinegar)
- For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 300g icing sugar, sifted (confectioner's sugar)
- 50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 125 cream cheese, cold
- You'll also need:
- 12-hole cupcake tray, lined with cases
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.
- Put the butter and the sugar in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and well mixed. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk. Beat until well mixed, then add half the flour, and beat until everything is well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added. Scrape down the side of the bowl again. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until you have a smooth, even mixture. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.
- Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 mins, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile for the cream cheese frosting: Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 mins. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.
- When the cupcakes are cold, spoon over the cream cheese frosting on top.
I like my cupcakes to be in the large side (coming to the top of – or even over – the case when baked), so my recipe only made 9 cupcakes. Hint: a friend told me to pour the vinegar directly on the bicarb soda to get a good fizz and make the batter the right consistency. That’s how I did it. The video below shows the two ingredients mixed in a small bowl first and then incorporated. Another tip: Icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar) is very messy. Either cover the bowl with a clean dish (tea) towel, or use a very large bowl to prevent the sugar from ending up all over the place.
Watch the how-to video from Hummingbird Bakery:Pin It