The person that wrote Alice in Wonderland was definitely cooked off his rocker. But, some of the best things in life are just that: cooked! (Or “Mad”, if we want to go full-on Alice in Wonderland reference)
Mom’s “hat braai” had me wanting to do a real mad-hatter theme party. Actually, my mini steampunk hat made me want to do a Mad Hatter’s party. I couldn’t go straight “Hat”, though – can’t be copying my mother – so I went with the whimsical land of Alice, with all of it’s crazy tea-parties and glam of the Queen of Hearts.
It turned out quite well: everyone was dressed up, and the theme actually lent itself to great decorations. See my Pinterest board for inspiration.
Following the carrot cupcakes of the other day, I needed to make that cream cheese frosting again. Emphasis there on the word needed. It really was that good. The red velvet cupcakes came out so cute as well! I may have left them out in the open for a bit long, however, so they weren’t as moist as they should have been. The flavour, though, was great, really does the iconic red velvet cupcake.
I have to admit that there is a disappointing amount of cocoa in the red velvet mixture. 1 Tbsp? What’s the point!? Either way, apart from some of the random ingredients (don’t be put off by the smell of the mixture or the consistency of some of the ingredients), these cupcakes are really easy to make (mix mix mix everything together!). Though you might not want to eat the cupcake batter, you will definitely want to dig into the finished product (some may argue that there isn’t even a point to making the cupcakes if you can’t enjoy the batter, but bear with me for that little red gem of joy). Again, I used this recipe from One Sweet Appetite, because her carrot cupcakes were so good, there was no doubt that the red velvet ones would speak to me on the same level.
Red Velvet Cupcakes – makes 24
- 2 ½ C cake flour
- 1 ½ C caster sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ C vegetable oil
- 1 C buttermilk
- 2 Tbsp red food colouring
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp vinegar (I used apple cider because that’s what we had, and it’s an acceptable vinegar substitute for most recipes, which is good to note)
- Preheat oven to 180ºC
- Prepare your cupcake tin (liners or greased)
- Sift all the dry ingredients into a large bowl
- Whisk all the wet ingredients together until well-combined
- Mix the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients until the mixture is of even consistency. Note to self: do not lick the batter spoon
- Divide evenly, about ²⁄³ full
- Place in the oven on the middle shelf, for 15 minutes, or until the sounds of wet-baking have disappeared, and a skewer comes out the centre of the cupcake dry
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting
Cream Cheese Frosting – enough to generously frost 24 cupcakes (and eat the leftovers)
- 250g cream cheese
- 5 tsp softened butter (not melted)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 ½ C icing (powdered/confectioner’s) sugar
- Cream the butter and cream cheese together until soft (this makes it easier to mix the sugar in, instead of having the chunks of dairy flying around)
- Add the icing sugar and mix slightly before beating until well-combined and of a desired consistency (like whipped cream or a solid buttercream frosting)
- Pipe onto your cupcakes