red velvet cupcakes

Bake off is back: Love this red velvet cake


There is always time for cake. Cake for birthdays. Coffee morning cakes. Cake for parties. Afternoon tea cakes. Cake for bake off! So, the Great British Bake Off is back for another series so today I’m sharing a current recipe with you!

Red Velvet cake is ‘velvet’ due to the texture of the crumb being softer than a traditional sponge. The red colour comes from a reaction between the cocoa powder, vinegar and buttermilk. You may think that beetroot makes this cake red, but it really is just from red food colouring.

red velvet cupcakes
Red velvet cupcakes by Owen Bruce on Unsplash

As this is a plant based blog, finding a red food colouring comes with its own challenges. If you are unaware where everyday red food colouring (previously called cochineal until late 2019 in the UK) gets its colour, look it up! Unfortunately, cochineal is still used but has been renamed Carmine, carmine extract, carminic acid or E120. Maybe we should opt for beetroot instead!

The Red Velvet Cake Recipe

As with most of my recipes, I have tried to base the ingredients around everyday items you will have already! That way, whenever you feel like baking, you can do so without leaving the house! This recipe calls for flour, butter, sugar, milk, cocoa and apple cider vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, vanilla and an egg equivalent. You can leave the cupcakes as they are, but they are much better with a creamy topping. You can use your favourite icing or buttercream or even fresh cream, or use my topping suggestion.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Soft and light crumbed cupcakes with a creamy topping.

Course: cake, Dessert, Snack
Keyword: bake off, cakes, cupcakes,, muffins, red velvet
Serves: 12 cupcakes
Created by:: Laurena @LifeDietHealth
  • 2 tablespoons ground linseed/flaxseed (or use 2 eggs beaten)
  • 6 tablespoons cold water (omit if using eggs)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 200 ml milk of choice (I used unsweetened oat)
  • 120 g butter/spread
  • 275 g white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 teaspoons red food colouring (check ingredients are vegan if required)
  • 275 g plain flour
  • 25 g cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (yes, in addition to previous amount)
  • For the Topping
  • 100 g butter/spread (I used vitalite)
  • 100 g soft/cream cheese spread (I used oatly)
  • 400 g icing sugar (sifted)
  1. First, mix the linseed with the water in a glass to make your flax egg. Mix well and set aside.

  2. Stir the tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into the milk for a few seconds and set aside (this will be your buttermilk substitute).

  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

  4. Add the vanilla and the red food colouring to your flax egg and add to the creamed mixture.

  5. Sieve flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda into the bowl, add the salt, then gently fold everything together.

  6. When your batter looks combined, add the 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and lightly mix in.

  7. Spoon the batter into 12 cupcake/muffin cases or a pre-prepared tray. Bake at Gas Mark 4 (350f / 180c) for 15-20 minutes. The cupcakes are ready when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

  8. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool, whilst you prepare the topping.

  9. Beat the butter and cream cheese together, then sieve the icing sugar in. Ensure it is fully combined.

  10. When your cupcakes are cool, pipe or dollop the frosting on top. If you want a few crumbs on top for decoration, slice a dome or 2 off the biggest risen cupcakes first, then crumble and sprinkle.

  11. Enjoy!

What do I need?

You can (as with most of my recipes), make this cake as simple or as complicated as you wish! This time, I have simply made my red velvet cake batter into cupcakes and decorated with frosting. You could however make a larger cake and sandwich away to make as many layers as you wish!

If you are new to cooking or your kitchen needs a refresh, here are a few useful things for this recipe. A small commission from these links helps with the running of this site (the prices are standard Amazon prices)!


You can serve these red velvet cakes with your favourite drink – these are my current choices!


These will store for a few days, either in the fridge (important if using fresh cream) or covered on the worktop. You can freeze these cupcakes for up to a month. If freezing, portion or separate with greaseproof paper, label and freeze. Defrost at room temperature or in the fridge (especially if fresh cream was used).

red velvet cupcakes
Red velvet cupcakes by Owen Bruce on Unsplash


I hope you make these delicious red velvet cakes and see how great your baking skills can be! You’ll be star baker yet! I love seeing your adaptions and interpretations of my recipes and I’d love to see your photos of these! Please share and tag me @LifeDietHealth or using #LifeDietHealth on InstagramPinterest,  Facebook or Twitter.

Do you have anything you’d like to see a recipe for? What would you like to see me make next?

Leave me a comment below… I love to chat!

I hope to speak with you soon

Laurena x

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