With their delicious deep red sponge and swirls of cream frosting, the seasonally coloured red velvet cupcakes are the perfect way to share the festive cheer this Christmas.
Named after their rich flavour and red tint, the colour of Red Velvets becomes even more eye-catching set against clouds of snowy white icing giving off a creamy, indulgent texture.
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A firm favourite, Red Velvet cupcakes are still The Hummingbird Bakery's bestselling flavour – keeping the top spot for seven years! That's why it's difficult to pass the windows of the luxurious London bakery without being tempted to buy this alluring red treat guaranteed to satisfy any cake-lover's desire with it's tender crumb.
Having tried, tested and perfected their recipes, HELLO! Online have been lucky enough to get a hold of their formula.
But with a controversial history that pre-dates the 20th century, it's been disputed as to who came up with the first recipe for this Queen of cakes. The first bakers would have understood the Red Velvet as a hybrid – a Red Devil's Food crossed with a chocolate Velvet. It was significant not for its redness, as it was, but for its velvety texture.
It was when bakers in America first discovered John A. Adams' food colourings during the Great Depression of the late 1880's that the popularity of the Red Velvet rocketed, becoming a sensational way to boost morale during the austere era.
As luxurious as they sound, these moist and tender cakes have more to them than just good looks.
With texture as light as snowflakes the sponge is, in fact, neither chocolate nor vanilla. But the cocoa in the mixture adds a depth of warm colour to the vibrant red mixture whilst providing hints of a mellow chocolately flavour.
Because Christmas is no time for dieting, using low-fat ingredients won't do this fabulous cake the justice it deserves. Remember that full-fat equals a fuller flavour, and you won't be disappointed when you bite into the lovely rich swirls of The Hummingbird Bakery's cream cheese frosting.
Feel free to decorate them with candy cane icing or a sprinkle of festive, edible glitter. But these Red Velvet cupcakes really do speak for themselves...
The Hummingbird Bakery's Red Velvet Cupcake
The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook, Cake Days, is available in most book retailers (HarperCollins, £20)
Images ©. Kate Whitaker and Benjamin C. M. Backhouse