Good morning, 

So many people think that the red velvet cake is just a red cake. Yet there is so much more to the cake than the colour itself.

I’ve been to so many coffee houses that get it wrong. I remember how Dormans at Westgate used to be the only place where you’d get an authentic slice of red velvet cake, until they rebranded and removed it from their menu. FAIL!

A Red velvet cake is suppose to be a tad bit sour and very “velvety” and smooth for luck of better words. Not heavy and sweet.

Texture matters a lot in this cake.

This here recipe is one that I’ve used for years, even back when I used to bake cupcakes and sell them. These were an absolute favourite and they’d sell more than any other of my cupcake flavours.

So enjoy 🙂


Pictures by Nesh Maina


Red Velvet Cupcakes
Yields 24
Velvety goodness!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
22 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
22 min
  1. For the cake
  2. 2 1/2 cups self raising flour
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 3/4 cup sugar
  5. 1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  6. 3 tablespoons vanilla essence
  7. 2 teaspoons soda bicarbonate
  8. 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  9. 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  10. 1/2 cup maziwa mala (buttermilk)
  11. 1/2 cup milk
  12. 1 1/2 tablespoon red food color [either bright red or tomato red]
  13. For the icing
  14. 200 gr Cream cheese
  15. 1 1/2 cup butter
  16. 2 1/2 cups icing sugar
  17. 4 tablespoons Milk
  18. 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. For the cupcakes: Start of by beating the eggs in a large bowl. Beat for about 1 minute. This enables the eggs to trap in the air which will help the cupcakes in rising. Follow by adding the sugar and oil and beat well.
  3. In a separate bowl, sieve the flour and mix with the cocoa powder and put aside. Once that is done, add the vanilla essence, soda bicarbonate and the apple cider vinegar to the eggs mixture and beat well. In a cup, mix the red food color with a tablespoon milk, and then add the rest of the milk and maziwa mala and add to the mixture. I have found this to work well as opposed to adding the color directly to the mixture which makes the cake bitter.
  4. Finish of by mixing in the flour at a low speed until the entire mixture is blended well. Do not overbeat.
  5. Place cupcake liners in cupcake baking tin. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for 12 minutes.
  6. Note: Do not open the oven unless to remove the cupcakes once they are done, since the air will escape and your cupcakes might not cook well in the center.
  7. For the Icing :Beat the butter and cream cheese together in a bowl. Add milk, vanilla essence and the icing sugar and beat well until smooth.
  8. Remove cupcakes from oven. Insert a toothpick or knife in the center and if it comes out clean then you'll know that your cupcakes are ready. Place the cupcakes on a rack to cool down. [Do not refrigerate]
  9. Once the cupcakes have cooled down, ice them with the cream cheese frosting.
  1. I added a bit of red food colouring in my icing, hence the pink icing.
Cooking with Jaz