Blue Velvet Cupcakes

These are  technically The Hummingbird Bakery’s Red Velvet Cupcakes. However, as red food dye could not be found in my home or hometown for love or money, I decided on blue instead. Who doesn’t like a David Lynch inspired cake? Second, as these were so incredibly amazing when I ate them at the actual Hummingbird Bakery, I decided to follow the recipe religiously. I should have remembered that I am an atheist. If a recipe does something that goes against my instincts, I go with my instinct. I didn’t here, and trusted that plain flour, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar would do the rising trick. It didn’t. These were still lovely. But next time, it will be self-raising flour and baking powder all the way, as that has always given me cupcake results, so that is why I have modified the recipe here. This recipe makes approximately 12 cupcakes.

Ingredients for the icing

  • 300g sifted icing sugar
  • 50g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 125g cream cheese

Ingredients for the cupcakes

  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 10g cocoa powder
  • 10ml blue (or red) food colourin
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 120ml buttermilk
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Ingredients for the coloured sugar

  • 1-2 teaspoons blue food dye
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar


  • To make the icing beat all the ingredients in an electric mixer forabout 5 minutes at a medium-high speed until light and fluffy. The Hummingbird recipe has a slightly more convoluted way of doing this, but it works fine this way too. The icing can be made ahead of time and refrigerated, just let it soften before actually trying to ice the cakes.
  • For the cupcakes, first beat the butter and sugar together on a medium high speed until fluffy.
  • Add the egg and mix until well incorporated.
  • Mix the dye, cocoa powder and vanilla extract together in a seperate bowl and add to the butter mixture,
  • Mix until thoroughly combined and coloured.
  • On a slow speed, add in half the buttermilk, beating until combined.
  • Add half the flour and beat until combined.
  • Repeat until buttermilk and flour are all completely added in.
  • Add the baking powder and mix in.
  • Beat for another 3 minutes at a high speed.
  • Spoon the mixture into paper cases in a twelve hole cupcake tray, and cook at 180°C for approximately 20-25 minutes, until a skewer inserted in comes out clean, and the sponge springs back when pressed.
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack completely before icing.
  • To make the decorative sugar, place in a sandwich bag with some food dye.
  • Seal the bag and rub the sugar around in it until the colour is evenly distributed. If you want a darker colour, add more dye.

Photo courtesy of the lovely Caoileann Appleby


2 thoughts on “Blue Velvet Cupcakes

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