Small Holiday Bites: Red Velvet “Cup” Cakes

Makes 8

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 45–50 seconds

These aren’t so much cupcakes as cakes cooked in a cup! We only use beetroot/beet powder to create our red velvet sponge, which can easily brown when baked, but there is no danger of that with this cooking method!

90 g/ ¾ stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 UK large/US extra-large egg, at room temperature

90 g/scant ½ cup caster/granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

18 g/scant ¾ oz. beetroot/beet powder

2 teaspoons cocoa powder

110 ml/scant ½ cup sour cream

2 teaspoons baking powder

85 g/scant 2/3 cup plain/all-purpose flour

Easy cream cheese frosting

100 g/1 stick minus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

40 g/3¼ tablespoons caster/granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

235 g/generous 1 cup full-fat cream cheese

Edible flowers, to decorate

Piping/pastry bag with a large star-shaped nozzle/tip (approx. 2.5-3-cm/1-1¼-inch)

8 microwaveable glass or ceramic mugs, approx. 6-cm/2½ inches in diameter and 10 cm/4 inches high

Put the melted butter, egg, sugar and vanilla into a large bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon. Mix in the beetroot/beet powder and cocoa powder. Add the sour cream and mix in. Finally, sift in the baking powder and flour and mix thoroughly. Rest the mixture at room temperature for 10 minutes. Divide the mixture evenly into the heatproof glasses or mugs, about 60 g/2¼ oz. per cup, it should take up about a third to half of your cup. Don’t be tempted to overfill as these sponges rise a lot! Level out the tops with the back of a spoon. Cook 2 cups at a time in the microwave on maximum power (900W) for 45–50 seconds, then leave to cool. (If your microwave doesn’t go that high, cook your sponges for 10–15 seconds longer). Set aside to cool. For the easy cream cheese frosting, put the butter, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Beat with a hand-held electric whisk (or use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment) until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl a few times. Mix the cream cheese in slowly just for a few seconds. Make sure you don’t overmix as the frosting can become sloppy. Put the frosting into the piping/pastry bag with the starshaped nozzle/tip. Pipe a large swirl on top of each sponge to cover. Decorate with edible flower petals and serve with spoons.


Recipes excerpted from Afternoon Tea at the Cutter & Squidge Bakery by
Annabel Lui & Emily Lui, published by Ryland Peters & Small (CAN $27.95). Photography by Clare Winfield © Ryland Peters & Small. Used with permission from the publisher.