red velvet cupcakes

with sugared cranberries

  • 75g unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup (75g) caster (superfine) sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 egg 
  • ⅔ cup (100g) self raising (self-rising) flour, sifted 
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa, sifted 
  • ¼ cup (60ml) buttermilk 
  • 1 tablespoon red food colouring 
  • 1 cup (250ml) cranberry juice 
  • ¾ cup (165g) white sugar 
  • ½ cup (70g) frozen cranberries+, thawed

cream cheese icing

  • 250g cream cheese, chopped 
  • 50g unsalted butter, softened 
  • ¾ cup (120g) icing (confectioner’s) sugar mixture 
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Place the butter, caster sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 8–10 minutes or until pale and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg, beating until well combined. Add the flour, cocoa, buttermilk and food colouring and beat on low until just combined. Divide the mixture into 12 x ½-cup-capacity (125ml) tins lined with cupcake cases. Bake for 18–22 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. 
  2. While the cupcakes are baking, place the cranberry juice and ½ cup (110g) of the white sugar in a small saucepan over high heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and cook for 10–12 minutes or until thickened slightly. Allow to cool completely. 
  3. To make the cream cheese icing, place the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 8–10 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the icing sugar and beat for a further 6–8 minutes or until smooth. Add the milk and beat until just combined. 
  4. Toss the cranberries through the remaining white sugar. Top the cupcakes with the icing and sugared cranberries and serve with the cranberry syrup. Makes 12.

+ Buy frozen cranberries at delicatessens and specialty food stores. You can substitute the frozen cranberries for fresh raspberries.

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