I have been lucky enough to go down to the southern states in America and have a real red velvet cake and trust me when I say it was amazing!
What makes it red velvet?
Over the years I have done a lot of research on what makes red velvet a red velvet and not just a baked good with red food colouring in it. From what I have discovered there seems to be a trifecta at work here, buttermilk, a touch of cocoa powder and cream cheese frosting. I didn’t add in the red food colouring here as I guessed that went without saying 😉
Deifying the red velvet trifecta – a bit!
I’ve shared red velvet cupcakes with you before check them out here! They were beautifully moist and so very moreish. But I wanted a muffin, something that I could eat for breakfast and not feel like I was eating cake! The first batch of these I made I gave them a dollop of cream cheese frosting on top and while they tasted great they were a little too cupcake like for what I was wanting this time.
So I defied the rules a little and decided to ditch the cream cheese frosting. I still had the buttermilk and the cocoa so 2 out of 3 wasn’t bad.
White chocolate chips
Next time I baked them I added in some lovely white chocolate chips. They gave these muffins the right boost of sweetness while also making them just the right side of naughtiness 😀
It’s simple to make as well, which is what we all want. One bowl for the dry and a jug for the wet, add both together and hey presto muffin batter!
I have tried a lot of reds over the years and the only one I can find in the UK to work for me is rainbow dust’s ProGel colours, as it remains vivid even after baking and has no weird taste to it like some red food colourings. But it is a personal choice so use the red colour that works best for you, and amend quantities as needed. To achieve this shade I used 1/2 teaspoon of ProGel and I think even then I was a little heavy handed 😉
- 2 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder
- 375 grams Plain flour (All Purpose), (3 cups)
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 100 grams white chocolate chips, (1/2 cup)
- 2 large eggs
- 200 grams granulated sugar, (1 cup)
- 240 millilitres buttermilk, (1 cup)
- 120 millilitres vegetable oil, (1/2 cup)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ProGel red , (Or your preferred red food colouring - adjust quantities as needed)
- Preheat your oven to 220C / 425F / Gas mark 7.
- Lightly grease or line your muffin pan with cases.
- In a large bowl sieve the cocoa, flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together. If you don't own a sieve mix them well into each other. Then add in the chocolate chips and make sure they are well distributed.
- In another medium bowl add the eggs and sugar and either whisk or beat them together until lighter in colour.
- Add in the buttermilk, vanilla extract and vegetable oil into the egg mix and whisk again until everything is well combined.
- Add the red food colouring to the liquid ingredients and stir it in.
- Pour the red egg mix into the large bowl with the flour mix in it and very gently combine the two. Don't over mix this batter otherwise it will make your muffins tough.
- You want everything to be just combined, it's okay to have a lumpy looking mixture.
- Spoon the mixture into your prepared muffin pan. Fill those cups right to the top, otherwise you won't get that lovely high dome.
- Pop the filled pan into your oven.
- After 5 minutes you need to turn your oven down to 190C / 375F / Gas mark 5. The higher heat will have allowed your muffins to dome and now they need to bake all the way through. If left at the higher temperature they would burn.
- Bake for a further 13-15 minutes. You want them to be firm to the touch and a tooth pick to come out clean after being inserted.
- Leave them in their tins for 5 minutes to slightly cool. Then transfer them to a wire rack to fully cool down.
- Like most muffins they taste best on the day of baking, but will keep in an airtight tin for up to 4 days.