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Pre-heat the oven to 180C or 160C fan-forced. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer for 4 – 5 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a separate bowl, mix the food colouring and cocoa together to a paste.
Add this to the batter, ensuring the sides are scraped down. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add 1/3 of the flour mix to the batter, folding gently through.
Alternate with ½ the buttermilk and the remaining flour in thirds.
Mix the vinegar and soda together, and then fold quickly through the batter. Spoon into 24 cupcake cases and bake for 15 – 18 minutes.
Cool, and decorate with cream cheese icing and sprinkles.
Whip the cream cheese and butter together on high for 4 – 5 minutes, or until fluffy and no lumps remain.
Slowly add the icing sugar, and finally the vanilla extract.
Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles of your choice.
Having the butter and cream cheese at room temperature (20 – 25C is perfect) will give the fluffiest icing. Don’t be afraid to whip it for longer than 5 minutes, just keep going until all the lumps of cream cheese are gone.
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