Eggless Red Velvet Cupcakes

My earlier recipe of red velvet cupcakes became quite popular, and the most common request I got was for an eggless version. Well, it soon will be Valentine’s Day so these can be the perfect treat for your loved ones 🙂

Red velvet cupcakes are different from regular cupcakes – they have baking soda and buttermilk to create a more velvety texture with little cocoa powder and of course the red colour. In traditional recipes, ‘red’ part came from the reaction between natural cocoa and buttermilk. It’s not red per se but brown with a red tinge. Also, during wartime rationing, bakers added boiled beetroots to baked goods to get good colour and texture. Later, some additional food colour was added to make the red more prominent. These gained popularity thanks to movies & TV shows (remember ‘Sex and the City’?).

The recipe is so simple, it needs only 2 bowls to make these (lesser to clean!). This recipe yields about 12 cupcakes. As usual, I am a big fan of measuring ingredients v/s cups as they are more accurate.

Though the most popular frosting for red velvet cupcakes is cream cheese frosting, I had a ready batch of Swiss Meringue Buttercream and hence used them here. Since it’s Valentine’s Day special, I painted lines of red food colouring inside the bag to give that watercolour effect. (details at end of recipe)

Edit August 2017 – A batch of these cupcakes along with cream cheese frosting made all the way to Mumbai 🙂

eggless red velvet cupcakes

Ingredients –

105 g all-purpose flour
120 g granulated white sugar
1 tbsp unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar (regular works fine too)
40 ml oil (2 tbsp + 2 tsp)
1 tsp Vanilla extract
few drops of Red food colour (preferably the gel paste kind, they don’t dilute the batter)

1 batch of your favourite frosting (you can find some recipes here)

Procedure –

1. Preheat the oven to 160 deg C. Prepare a 12-muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2. In a bowl, sift all the dry ingredients – flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, add the vinegar to milk and leave it aside for 5 minutes. Once the milk is curdled (buttermilk is ready), combine oil, vanilla & food colour to it and whisk well.
4. Add the wet ingredients into dry and mix until combined. Make sure you don’t over-mix it – as soon as the baking soda and acid in buttermilk meet, they start working their magic by creating bubbles which we don’t want to lose even before the cupcakes are in the oven!

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5. Scoop the mix into cupcake liners not more than two-thirds of the way (these rise a lot in the oven).
6. Bake the cupcakes for around 18-20 minutes at 160 deg C. A skewer inserted will come out clean, the cupcakes will be shiny and springy to touch. Cool them for about 5 minutes in the pan and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Frosting – Prepare your piping bag with your choice of a nozzle (I used Wilton 1M) and paint lines of red food colouring inside the bag with the help of a toothpick. Add your frosting (I used Swiss Meringue Buttercream) and pipe them onto cooled cupcakes.

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