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I am not exaggerating when I tell you that Red Velvet cake has become something of an obsession of mine.  When I first tasted it, at a vintage and craft fair back in 2010, I fell deeply in love.  After that first tasting, Red Velvet cake seemed to be everywhere, at every fair, in the supermarket  and in recipe books.  So my search for the perfect recipe began.

I have tried them all, making small batches as they often fell short of brilliant.  The ingredients are unusual but are all easily available with every recipe recommending different proportions…..and those differences matter!  They matter because those small differences mean some recipes taste wonderful but have the consistency of uncooked dough, some are light and fluffy but taste sour and unpleasant.

The proportions are particularly important when it comes to vinegar;  you should never add 1/2 a cup of vinegar instead of 1/2 a teaspoon. Like I did. :-/

After many experiments, tweaks and rejections, I am proud to give you…..The Perfect Red Velvet Recipe!

You will need:

125 / 4.5 ounce self raising flour

1 slightly heaped tablespoon cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon table salt

55 grams / 2 ounce baking margarine

150 grams/ 5 ounce caster sugar

120 ml / 4 fluid ounce butter milk

red food colouring paste

1/2 teaspoon distilled vinegar

1 medium egg

1/2 teaspoon baking soda


  • Preheat your oven to 170 / 350 / Gas Mark 4
  • In a large bowl whisk together your margarine and sugar.
  • Once combined, beat for a further 2 minutes so that the mixture becomes pale.
  • Add your egg and mix well.  You’ll come back to this bowl in a minute
  • In a separate bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder.  Set aside.
  • Measure out your butter milk and stir around a teaspoon of food colouring into it until the milk is evenly coloured.
  • Now add the wet and dry ingredients to the large bowl a spoonful at a time, mixing with every addition.
  • Mix until fully combined.
  • Prepare your cupcake cases now as you will need to get your mixture into the cases and into the oven quite quickly
  • In a cup combine the 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and quickly fold into the mixture.
  • Divide the mix between the 12 cases and bake for 20 minutes
  • Allow to cool fully before decorating
Decorating these cakes is a bit tricky.  The beauty of Red Velvet is in the delicate flavour of the cake itself.  It isn’t a terribly sweet cake and so piles of buttercream would overpower it.  Red Velvet is best served with a cream cheese topping, or if you aren’t a fan of cream cheese, how about a little white chocolate ganache?  That’s what I used, just a thin layer with a light sprinkling of edible glitter.  Lovely.

For the Ganache

You will Need

100 grams / 3.5 ounce white eating chocolate

50 ml / 3.5 tablespoons double cream

1/2 teaspoon unsalted butterll Need

100 grams / 3.5 ounce white eating chocolate

50 ml / 3.5 tablespoons double cream

1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter


  • Stirring continuously, heat the cream in a small pan until bubbles start to appear.
  • Add the chocolate (broken into small pieces) and stir into the cream.
  • After a few seconds, remove from the heat and continue to stir until all of the chocolate is incorporated
  • Add the butter and stir until combined.
  • Allow to cool.
  • Once cooled the ganache should have a consistency that’s easy to spread.  If yours is a little thin, simply refrigerate for a few minutes and then try again.

The only thing that makes red velvet red is food colouring.  Sp there’s no reason white you can’t have black velvet, pink velvet and even blue velvet….which I have been singing all day for some  reason!!

Love Rachel



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