Blue Velvet Cupcakes

2 Aug 2016

I'll be the first to admit that this was a bit of a fail. Does that cupcake look blue? No, it's probably closer to black. I definitely used way too much food colouring, but because the results are so tasty, I thought I'd share this recipe anyway! This is my take on blue velvet cakes. Never heard of it? Me neither until Pinterest suggested I take a look at them. I instantly fell in love with the unusual, rich blue colour and just had to make some. But lo and behold, I couldn't find a UK friendly recipe anywhere, and I mean anywhere. I trawled the Internet top to bottom and all I could fine were recipes from the US. This girl does not know how to measure out a cup of butter, so I decided to make up my own!

So you've probably heard of red velvet, right? Well, this is pretty much exactly the same, except blue. You still get the fluffy and light cake, with the slight hint of cocoa and subtle tang of buttermilk. That's what I used as the base for my recipe and it worked pretty darn well. As for the food colouring, I opted to use this gel colouring from Sugarflair. I'd never used gel colours before, but I knew that they gave off a much more vivid colour than other colouring methods and that's exactly what I wanted! I bought the Navy shade and the Grape Violet shade, to give my blue a bit of body. Of course, I realise now that I used waaaay too much of the blue, so go easy! As for the icing, I went for my trusty white chocolate buttercream. This stuff is the bees knees, and I'm not just saying that. It's what I usually opt for over most other things when decorating because it's so light and yummy.

For 12 cupcakes, you will need:
60g softened unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
1 egg
10g cocoa powder
Blue and violet food colouring of your choice
Half teaspoon of vanilla extract
120ml buttermilk
150g sifted plain flour
Half teaspoon of salt
Half teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1.5 teaspoons of white wine vinegar

For the buttercream, you will need:
110g softened unsalted butter
250g icing sugar
150g white chocolate
1 tablespoon semi-skimmed milk (if needed)

  1. Preheat your oven to 170c/gas mark 3 and line a 12-hole cupcake tray with cases. I used these adorable elephant cupcake cases.
  2. Put the butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl and beat until light, fluffy and well combined. The more these two are mixed together, the better! Add in your egg and keep beating until everything is incorporated.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, food colouring and vanilla extract. I put in about three quarters of a teaspoon of blue colouring and just a smidge of violet, but now I know that I should've put in a lot less blue. It all depends on what kind of colouring you have and how blue you actually want your cakes. You want to try and block out the brown of the cocoa, but remember you can always add but you can't take away.
  4. Once you've combined the cocoa, colouring and vanilla, add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until it is evenly coloured. Use a rubber spatula or a spoon to scrape the sides of the bowl, making sure to get everything combined.
  5. Pour in half of the buttermilk and beat in slowly until mixed in, and then add in some of the flour, beating again until incorporated. Repeat this process until both the buttermilk and flour are mixed in. Scrape the sides of the bowl again to get every little bit in.
  6. Add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and white wine vinegar (don't be put off by this) and beat again for a couple of minutes to be sure that everything is fully combined.
  7. Spoon the mixture evenly into your cases so that they're two-thirds full and pop into the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. Remove them from the oven once they're done and leave them to cool slightly in the tray, before turning them out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Whilst you cakes are cooling, you can make the icing! In a large bowl, beat the butter to soften it a little. Gradually add in the icing sugar, beating each time, until it forms a smooth paste.
  9. Melt the white chocolate in a separate bowl, and gradually add to the mixture, again, beating each time, until the mixture has slightly thickened and is smooth. If it is too thick, this is where you can add the milk. If it's too runny, you can gradually add in icing sugar until it becomes your desired texture.
  10. Once your cupcakes are cooled completely, ice them as you like! I used a piping bag with a star nozzle to get a little swirl on mine, but how you ice them is entirely up to you. I also added some milk chocolate vermicelli for a little something extra.
Like I said, these cupcakes are seriously delicious and are definitely something a little different. I can imagine them going down a storm at a party, especially a St. Andrew's Day party, seeing as though mine are white and blue. If you do try this out, let me know how it goes!

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