Violet Velvet Cupcakes (a recipe)

June 19, 2012

Red Velvet cake is my absolute favourite, ever ever ever. I love the subtle chocolate/vanilla flavouring and cream cheese frosting is so delicious that I have been known to pull the icing off a cupcake and save it until after the cake is eaten. I knew I wanted to make these for Violet's birthday party and I knew it wouldn't be hard to change the colour from red to purple! I still went for a purple velvet recipe though, to find out other experiences with getting the right amount of dye. I actually ended up using gel food colouring instead of normal in the end, and I also decided to colour the icing for maximum impact! Anyway, here is my (slightly) modified version of this recipe:

Violet (purple) Velvet Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes.


-2 1/2 cups plain white flour
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon cocoa powder
-1 cup vegetable oil
-1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
-2 large eggs, room temperature
-3 globs violet soft gel tint (I used Cake Art brand)
-1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
-1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
-500g cream cheese, softened (1 pound)
-2 sticks butter, softened
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-4 cups sifted icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar)


Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius (or 350 farenheit). My oven is bad so I heated mine to 200 C. Line 2 (12-cup) cupcake trays with cupcake papers.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food colouring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer, although I did this step with my food processor. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

In a large mixing bowl or food processor (knife blade), beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the icing gel (or food colouring) in very small amounts until the colour is as desired. Add the sugar and on low-speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes with a large star fitting.

I adapted this recipe from

The Stubbie Chef.

I originally followed her recipe exactly but I just couldn't get it to work, I had cupcake shrinkage as well as too much oil coming out everywhere so I adjusted slightly. I also wanted more than 24 cupcakes but opted to make two batches rather than double the recipe, in case it was too much for my mixer to handle. Also because I only own two 12 pan baking trays!

These cupcakes were DELICIOUS. I mean that. They were very moist, even though I made the cupcakes the day before the party and the icing on the morning of the party. The icing was incredible, the perfect cream cheese flavour and slightly wetter (though not so much that the piping didn't hold) than most bakery-bought red velvet cupcakes I've eaten. I was very impressed and so were our guests!


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  1. Are you sure it's only a teaspoon of cocoa powder? I added 2 teaspoons and it still wasn't very chocolatey

    1. I'm definitely sure! Velvet cake isn't supposed to be noticeably chocolate, it's a combination of vanilla and chocolate that somehow doesn't come out tasting distinctively like either. That said, there is such a thing as black velvet cake which calls for MUCH more cocoa powder (think like 1 cup to my 1 teaspoon) for chocolate lovers. You should find a black velvet recipe and try that! I'm sorry you didn't care for the cupcakes so much, no need to be anonymous though- food is one of those things that are totally taste driven!


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