Thank you Ford Motor Company

It’s an end of an era. Today my Dad is retiring.  He has been a calibration engineer with Ford Motor Company for over 35 years, so I have never known him to do anything but “play*” with cars. Ford Motor Company … Continue reading

I longed to be a traditional stay-at-home-mum … now my dream has come true

This week I was fortunate enough to be featured in the Southend Echo.  Fancy a read of the article?  Click here!. Article by By Louise Howeson.  @EchoLouHoweson  Professional photographs by Magdalena Mahdy at Love That Smile Photography.  @magdalenamahdy

Red Velvet Cupcakes – UK Style

red velvet

Fancy a red velvet cake, but don’t have any buttercream, nor can you be bothered with the hassle, and the sound of an English alternative – Vinegar – really isn’t up your alley?  It’s a cake after all, then this is the recipe you’ve been looking for.

Adapted from Lorraine Pascale’s recipe, the one key thing is to make sure you buy the correct Red Food colouring.  Now, here’s something that you can blame the EU for.  All of the red food colourings that used to work … well they don’t any more.  The EU changed regulations . . . again, and now most colourings are all “natural.”  Whilst this is actually a good thing in the grand scheme of events, in the case of the red velvet cake, it’s a disaster.  Instead of giving you a lovely red sponge, you’ll end up with a deep maroony brown colour.   So, what you need is Sugarflair Extra Red paste.  It’s concentrated so you need less.

The Recipe


  • 150g butter or Stork, softened, plus extra for greasing

  • 150g caster sugar

  • 2 free-range eggs (lightly whisked)

  • few drops vanilla essence

  • pinch salt

  • 125g plain flour

  • 25g  cocoa powder

  • 1½ tsp baking powder

  • 1 tbsp red food colouring (you may need more or less depending on the colouring used and the cocoa powder quality)

Cream Cheese Frosting

    • 50g butter, softened

    • 300g icing sugar

    • 100g cream cheese

    • few drops vanilla essence

The Method

Firstly, prepare your cupcake cases.  This recipe makes 12 good sized cupcakes, so you need to prepare a standard muffin tin with suitable cases.  Preheat your oven to 150c (Fan) and 170c (conventional.

I have recently decided to employ the “chuck it all in” method with most of my cakes.  With a small baby around, it seems to be the easiest, quickest and most successful way to go.

I literally chuck all of the ingredients into a mixer.  Mix everything together until just combined, on a very low-speed.  Then when you’re ready, whizz it all together until it forms a smooth cake batter.  But don’t mix for more than 2minutes.  An over mixed cake is a dense cake!

Then divide the mixture between your cupcake cases.  Place in the oven and bake for approx 20min or until a skewer, inserted, comes out clean.

The cream cheese frosting couldn’t be easier.  Again, chuck all the ingredients into a mixer, whizz until light, white and fluffy and you’re ready to decorate.  And  that’s it.  No funny ingredients, just a simple chocolate cupcake with a mean topping.  Enjoy.


Fancy Red Velvet Cupcakes, but can’t be bothered to bake?  If you live in the Northeast, why not order a batch from The Humble Cake Company?