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This wonderfully velvety cupcake is perfect for any lucky lady! The tartness of the fresh raspberries against the cream cheese topping sweetness is simply to die for.

The red sponge looks wonderful on any romantic occasion and equally delightful as a birthday surprise for women who love red cup-cakey goodness! Makes 12 cupcakes.

150g/5 oz self raising flour
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
½ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
100ml (3 ½ fl oz) buttermilk
1 teaspoon of vinegar
50g (2 oz) lightly salted butter, softened
100g (3 1/2oz) caster sugar
1 large egg
50g (2oz) raw beetroot, peeled and finely grated

200g (7oz) full fat cream cheese
300g (10 oz) icing sugar
Fresh raspberries to decorate


Whisk or spoon
1M piping nozzle
12 hole muffin / cupcake tray
3 x Mixing bowl
Nylon piping bag
Cupcake cases


•  Preheat the oven to 180c/350f/gas mark 4.

•  In your mixing bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda of soda. Mix together the buttermilk and the vinegar in a jug.

•  In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and the caster sugar until it becomes creamy and pale. Beat in the egg and beetroot.

•  Sift half the flour mixture into the bowl with the butter and beetroot and stir in slowly with your mixing spoon. Stir in half of your buttermilk mixture, and then sift in the remaining flour mixture and then the remaining liquid.

•  Line a 12 section muffin/cupcake tray with your cupcake cases

•  Now spread out the mixture evenly into the cupcake cases.

•  Place into the preheated oven and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the cupcakes have risen and are firm to the touch.

•  Leave the cupcakes to cool on a wire rack.

•  To make the cream cheese frosting, first beat the cream cheese with a wooden spoon in a mixing bowl until it's fully softened. Add next the vanilla extract and icing sugar until the mixture is completely smooth.

•  To add to the cake, add your frosting to your piping bag with a star nozzle, do this with a spoon or spatula.

•  Fill the bag half to two-thirds full and then unfold the top of the bag. Do not fill the bag too full.

•  To prevent the frosting from squeezing out the top of the bag, twist or roll down the top of the bag tightly against the frosting

•  When piping, hold the bag so the tip is at the angle indicated for the technique. Then, gently squeeze to force the frosting out, using even pressure while guiding the tip. Do not loosen your grip on the twisted end or the cream will begin to push up and out of the top of the bag.

•  Pipe the frosting on top of each cupcake starting from the outer edge and piping in a circular motion moving upwards in a continuous movement, creating a swirl on top of the cupcake.


Top Tips:

When using the piping bag Push mainly with the palm of your hand, rather than squeezing with your fingers. To get the feel of how hard to squeeze for each technique, practice piping on a sheet of waxed paper. The size and shape of the icing depends on how hard you squeeze, as well as on the size of the opening in the tip. The more you practice, the easier the techniques will be when decorating cakes.

You can alternate raspberries for other berries in season or whatever takes your fancy!