With Sugar on Top

The Christmas Holidays always bring out the sweet tooth in me, so today I thought I’d try something a little different. Here is the recipe I use for Red Velvet Cake/Cupcakes, my favorite thing to cook during the holidays, but also during the rest of the year. If you use it, send a pic so I can see your masterpieces!

Happy cooking,


Red Velvet Cake / Cupcakes


For the cake / cupcakes

  • 120 ml (1/2 cup)  olive oil
  • 320 gr (1 2/3 cups)  white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp  unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp red coloring (quantity can be changed if you want a redder cake, I have used up to three)
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250 ml (1 cup ) milk
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 300 gr (3 1/3 cups) flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp white vinegar

Note: these last two ingredients can be substituted by fresh yeast or baking powder.

For the frosting

  • 125 gr (1/2 cup) room-temperature butter
  • 300 gr (2 1/3 cup) confectioner’s sugar
  • 125 gr (1/2 cup) cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 180º Celsius (just over 350º Fahrenheit)
  2. Put the milk for the cake in a cup  and add the lemon juice. Let it sit. The lemon juice will curdle the milk, but this is normal, don’t worry!
  3. Generously butter two round cake pans that are 18 cm (7 inches) in diameter. Sprinkle them with flour and tap out the excess, then set them aside. If you’re making cupcakes, skip this step.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and the cocoa, and set it aside as well.
  5. Grab another bowl (or a mixer if you have one) and mix the eggs, the olive oil and the sugar. Keep mixing at low speed while you add the dry ingredients to this second mixture.
  6. Take a small bowl and mix the white vinegar and the sodium bicarbonate at slow speed. Add it to the previous mixture when it begins to bubble. Alternatively, just add your yeast or baking powder.
  7. Add the red food coloring and the vanilla extract and continue to mix thoroughly.
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans (or the cupcake mold, if that’s what you’re using).
  9. Bake the batter in the oven for about 30 minutes, 35 if needed. When you’re sure they’re well done, take them out of the oven and let them cool. If you’re making a cake, take the two layers out of the pans.

While they cool completely (it is important that they do so or the frosting will melt when put on top), begin making the frosting.

  1.  Mix the confectioner’s sugar with the butter (I find it helps to melt it a bit before mixing, but that’s up to you) in a large bowl at high speed. Add the milk while mixing.
  2. When the mixture is white and fluffy, add the cream cheese. Mix at low speed for a minute or so and then mix at high speed until the mixture acquires the desired consistency.

Finally, it’s time to decorate your cupcakes/put the cake together. The decoration is up to you, for cupcakes as well as a cake, but if you are making a cake, I recommend you level out both layers with a spatula so that they’re roughly the same height. Cover the bottom layer in frosting, put it in the fridge for thirty seconds and then put on and cover the second layer. If the layers are high enough, you can cut them in half and make a four-layer cake, which is what I like to do. As for decorations, I like to use Christmas-themed ones for the Christmas season and silver sugar pearls the rest of the year . 51ofbbbl4cl-_sx300_You can also sprinkle crushed almonds on the top of the cake or, as I sometimes do, use the bits of cake left over from leveling the layers and sprinkle them in the shape of crumbs over the top for a pretty effect.


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