If you like cupcakes then you more than likely will have tried a fair few red velvet cupcakes. A bright red chocolate sponge, with tart cream cheese icing on top. This is a flavour that will always be popular.

At Primrose Bakery we pride ourselves on using seasonal quality ingredients and try and avoid food colouring where possible. Our pale pastel icings are both pretty and pleasing to the palate because you know there aren’t too many e-numbers in there.

When we decided to develop a red velvet cupcake, we knew we didn’t want to stray from the bakery’s ethos and so had to take it back to basics, and find an all natural alternative to the gallons of food dye we kept finding in other recipes.

This sponge uses a small amount of all natural red food colouring, but it is the beetroot and raspberry puree which gives it it’s rich colour and delicious taste.


Natural Red Velvet Cupcakes

Makes 12 regular cupcakes

Puree – Ingredients:

  • 1 raw beetroot (approximately 140g)
  • 35g frozen raspberries
  • ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tbsp cold water


  • Peel the beetroots and dice into cubes.
  • Place the beetroot, frozen raspberries, apple cider vinegar and water into a food processor. Turn on and process for 5 minutes, scraping down every couple of minutes.
  • Place in a bowl and set aside.

Cake – Ingredients:

  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
  • 30g dark chocolate (70%)
  • 185g self raising flour
  • pinch salt
  • 60ml buttermilk (or 55ml milk and juice of ½ lemon)
  • 1 ¼ tsp natural red food colouring
  • 115g beetroot puree (made as above)


  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Line a muffin tray with muffin cases.
  • Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and set aside.
  • Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl either in the microwave or on the hob over a pan of boiling water. Keep warm and set aside.
  • Place the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla into a bowl and beat on a medium to high speed of an electric hand beater for 4-5 minutes, until it is light and fluffy.
  • Pour in the melted chocolate and beat on a low speed until well combined.
  • Add in all the flour and salt and beat again on a low speed until combined.
  • Pour in the buttermilk and the natural red food colouring and beat on low speed until well combined. Add the puree to the mixture and fold in gently.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the cases in the tray and bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted.
  • Allow to cool in their tin for about 10 minutes until turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Icing – Ingredients:

  • 40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 80g cream cheese
  • 280g icing sugar
  • Juice of ¼ lemon


  • Place the butter, cream cheese, lemon juice and half the icing sugar into a bowl. Beat on a low speed of a electric hand beater until all the ingredients are combined.
  • Add the remaining icing sugar and beat again on a low speed until all is well combined. Turn the beater onto a high speed and beat the icing well for 3-4 minutes or until it is white and fluffy.
  • Ice each cupcake with some of the icing and either leave undecorated or sprinkle a little red sanding sugar over them.

By Primrose Bakery 

IMG_1178 IMG_1163