Monday, February 13, 2012

Free and Easy Bake Along #18 - Red Velvet Cupcakes and an announcement

Not as healthy as the previous banana cake but just as delicious , more delicious to be honest but dont we all need to indulge ourselves in these sweet desserts sometimes..or perhaps most of the times :) JoyceZoe and myself have agreed to make these red velvet cupcakes, a choice made by Zoe for our bake along. I know these cupcakes don't look red to you. Reason is because I used a red yeast powder for its colouring. I just happened to come across this red yeast powder at a bakery supplier shop here when i was about to start making my red velvet cupcakes then. I asked the lady, " what's this for?" and she told me that it can be used for making red velvet cupcakes and fatt koh as a substitution for red colouring. Actually i have no problem using red colouring for my red velvet cupcakes but since she said that, i thought i might just try that. This powder is obtained through red yeast rice , which served as a dietary staple for some people. It can also be an ingredient in making certain food sauces, food colouring and rice wine. In Chinese traditional medicine, it is also believed that it aids in improving poor blood circulation and indigestion.

red yeast powder
I did these cupcakes using 2 tbsp of red yeast powder. I added another extra 1 tbsp for some remaining batter, about 2 cupcakes to see the difference. Left :  with 3 tbsp red yeast powder , Right: with 2 tbsp red yeast powder  

The addition of red yeast powder does not affect the taste of the cake but it's difficult to bring out the red colour as the batter is dark after adding in the cocoa powder. After several days, i went back to the shop and the lady told me that she tried without putting in the cocoa powder and it came out pink, so it's more like a vanilla taste pink cupcake.

The cake is fluffy.The toppings are some cake crumbs from one cupcake mixed with some cookies crumbs
For those residing in Ipoh, you can get this red yeast powder from Yummy Kitchen, Ipoh Garden South.

Recipe ( from ILove.ICook.IBake, adapted from Sweet Peas Kitchen , with little changes )
makes around 10 cupcakes
156gm cake flour, sifted
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
110gm sugar
1/2 + 1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1-2 tbsp regular red food colouring ( i used 2 tbsp of red yeast powder)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 + 1/4 tsp baking soda
1tsp distilled wine vinegar ( i used apple cider vinegar)

Cream Cheese Frosting
56gm butter, room temperature
3 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Method for cream cheese frosting :  beat butter and cream cheese with electric mixture until fluffy, add in vanilla , gradually add in icing sugar and beat till creamy.

Method for cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350F/177C. Line muffin pan with paper liners. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa powder and salt.
2.Using electric mixer, whisk sugar and oil until combined. Add in the egg , beat till well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Mix in red colouring and vanilla.
3.Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, whisking well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl ( it will foam), add mixture to the batter and mix on medium speed for 10 seconds.
4.Divide batter evenly among lined cups and bake for 20 minutes or until cake tester inserted in comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool down before frosting.

Now here is something exciting that i would like to share with you regarding our bake along. We are starting a blog hop event for our  bake along, starting with the coming next bake along which is lemon poppy seed cake.  I believe that many of you have seen blog hops events in some of the blogs you visit. We will be sharing the same linky list when you join in the event for participation.  You do your normal post, linking it back to one of the hostess blog, grab the linky code and place it on your blog. You will see the same list or entries appearing on your blog, at the same time getting to know each other and see each other bakes. For rules and regulations, kindly please refer here


  1. interesting on this red yeast. I like red velvet cake but the colouring really turns me off a little.

    As for the blog hop. Great idea. Would love to join if given the time for me to commit.

    1. Good sharing, I would like give my personal input, Yanagida Yeast restores balance with the deepest probable level inside you – as well as the weight decline that follows is actually astounding. For consistent and effective weight-loss, your body relies on a fat-splitting as well as fat-burning enzyme often known as lipase. Along with Yanagida Yeast, your lipase pastime is supercharged, making the item easier to lose fat tissues. Read more at:

  2. Looks pretty ! I tend to overindulge in everything sweet tsk tsk hahaha I like the color on the left as it's more a bit red ;D And just LOVE the frosting !

  3. Lovely cupcakes, Lena! Looks so moist and soft! And what a co-incidence, I actually went to a shop looking for red yeast powder on Saturday! Wow, great minds think alike!! LOL!!
    Happy Valentine's Day to you and your family!

  4. Oooo...what a wonderful bake for the coming celebration. My head still blank till today. Not sure what to make for the coming celebration. haha.... Haeee....getting old! lol.
    Hope you're going to have a great week ahead, dear.

  5. the yeast powder is tasteless? i never come across this...hehe
    i like fluffy cake, so this one definitely is my cup of tea...:)
    lena, do you know how much per kg for the almond flakes selling at Ipoh there?

  6. I've never seen this red yeast powder. Will hop over to Yummy Kitchen when I want to get it. Nice clicks, Lena!

  7. Hi gurls,

    I wanted to bake this last night but....

    anyways can't wait to try beetroot red velvet cupcakes tonight!

  8. Lena...this is healthy cake except for the cheese frosting :) LOve it that you use the red yeast powder. Nice color ! Happy Valentine's Day to you and have a wonderful one with your loved ones :)

  9. Red cupcakes, very suitable for CNY, Lena.

  10. Red yeast? As substitute for red coloring sounds healthier :)

    The toppings are some cake crumbs, eh? Initially I thought it was sambal dried shrimp... conflicting, right? Teehee....

  11. This is interesting! The red yeast powder does increase the intensity of the redness in the cake mix.

    This is the first time that I have hear and see red yeast powder and nice to know it is a great natural colouring.

  12. The idea of red yeast powder is interesting! I would love to use it the next time if I were to bake the cakes red again because I'm not a fan of artificial food colouring. Thanks for sharing a great tip! Happy Valentine's day!

  13. clever use of the red yeast rice powder. :) I guess its really a balance of the red yeast powder and cocoa powder to achieve the right shade of red for the cake.


  14. I always afraid of making red velvet cake because of too much red colouring added. Now I must get this red yeast powder. Must check whether it is available here.

  15. I came to know about red velvet cake through blogging. I am very curious about the taste but the redness kinda put me off. Haha ... so is it good cake? If so, I must check with Ann where to buy the red yeast powder.

  16. Beautiful cupcakes! I love the color!

  17. first time seeing red yeast powder!

    The red cupcakes are lovely and indeed great for Valentine's Day!

  18. love the idea of putting red yeast powder as coloring. But I think it is not easy to find red yeast powder. The only one I saw sells red yeast powder in 500 g. Gosh, which of cos I did not get, cos I don't think I will use so much.

  19. thanks for telling us where to get this au-naturel red colouring.
    I've been seeing this red yeast powder for a while but have no idea mana mau beli.
    Frankly, I feel safe eating these Red velvets that you made. I really feel scared about the amount of red colouring in regular red velvets.

  20. edith: hope you can find some time to join in for our future bake along, dont hv to commit anything, just do it when you are free.

    anne: the one on the left was more red intense cos there's more red yeast powder, i shld have added alittle bit more to the overall batter.

    Joyce: so did you manage to get the red yeast powder?

    kristy: ai need to make anything. Just give everyone a kiss and take them out for a nice dinner at hubby's expense of course!!

    sherleen: i'm not sure abt the price of almond flakes/kilo, i will chk and let you know. Wah, you sounded as if you need lots of almond flakes, haha!

    cheah: thanks cheah. yes, yummy shld know where is it :)

    emily: looking forward to your red velvet beetroot cake!

    elin: yeah i know, the cream cheese is the one that adds on most calories!! Happy v day to you too, dear!

    sheohyan: a red fatt koh is much better for CNY

    yvonne: dried shrimps?? funny la!

    zoe: it's not easy to bring the red out but lucky, can still see a little difference!

    Jasline: no problem! i just read your post and understand how uncomfortable you can be when using artificial food colouring.

    alan: hi, how are you? i think this red yeast powder is a good alternative than using artificial colouring but it's not easy to get the red shades unless we omit the cocoa powder :)

    ann: let me know if you can get this from singapore.

    chris: the taste is really like a chocolate cake, only red in colour. Let me know if you and ann can get this powder in sg.

    elpinki : thanks for your nice words!

    tze: thank you and hope you have a sweet valentines day!

    hanushi: 500gms?? that's a lot!! hanushi, i will send you some since i hv some things to send to you!

    wendy: you know where is yummy kitchen or not? behind that bms organic shop.


  21. Very good tip indeed- i need to keep an eye out for the red yeast! What a perfect cupcake for V-day ;) you planned well!
    Hopefully one day i hv the chance to participate in the bake along!

  22. Red Yeast is a new one on me. Bet these taste delicious. Diane

  23. What a great idea to use red yeast powder, so much better than chemical food coloring ^_^

  24. Good! Red yeast powder is much better than those artificial coloring sometimes used in red velvet cake.

  25. Lena, what a nice idea of using red yeast powder...I am always reluctant to use the food coloring. Love the cupcakes.
    Hope you have a great week :-)

  26. Hi Lena,
    Happy Valentines Day, very nice cupcakes, thanks for sharing.

  27. Fantastic cupcakes. Perfect for the holiday. Great job. Love the cookie crumble topping.

  28. First time heard about red yeast. Wow so appropriate for valentine'day this delicious cupcakes. I am looking forward for the lemon poppy seed cake because this is my absolute favourite. Hope to make time this weekend, to bake this cake.

  29. lena, please don't purposely go to ask ya...:)
    haha, i'm not really need 1kg now, just because 1kg is the standard measurement, easier to talk like tat...last time my friend bought me the almond flakes from penang, it is much much cheaper than buying in JB. so, thinking you might know the price. :) anyway, thanks in advance...

  30. Wow! I love all the cupcakes linked here! I hope I have the time to join in too! Can I just grab the widget and join later?:D

  31. Eileen@Hundred Eighty DegreesFebruary 14, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    Red yeast powder? Really new to me! Thanks for sharing. Your cupcakes look great, so are the rest! Happy Valentine's Day!

  32. This is so suitable to serve today for Valentine..Ya, i seen so many peoples to replace red coloring with red yeast powder, the red is not outstanding.

  33. They are wonderful!Many kisses,dear!

  34. Oh wow, this is the first time I heard and seen red yeast powder, thanks for showing us. I wonder if they have it in Sg....Ipoh is so far la. :P Anyways, your red velvet cupcakes are really lovely, sure bring some Valentine's Day mood in the air just by looking at it!

  35. Interesting, I haven't come across this red yeast powder before....

  36. Hi Lena, your red velvet cake look delicious. Nice presentation and beautiful photos.
    First time I see red yeast powder too, mmhh... must look around JB see if it's available.
    Have a nice day

  37. Hi Lena, your cupacakes are lovely.
    Unaware of this red powder, and has medicinal properties, the better;)
    I wish you a good valentines day.

  38. Red yeast powder..that's really interesting. They look very beautiful.

  39. nice attempt with the red yeast :) the cupcakes look awesome!

    Latest: Look out for the Haven!

  40. I have been wanting to make red velvet cake for a long time but keep on procrastinating. I think I wait for the next bloggers' meet and beg you for to make this for me. WINK!! How nice if I can have this with my tea now. HINT!!

  41. using red yeast powder is a superb idea! i've always steered clear of red velvet cos i thought it was too artificial but now you've convinced me to try your version!

  42. hi Lena, this recipe is indeed yummy
    in fact, many of the recipes are :)
    glad u like it too :)

  43. Lena, do i have to post my bakery post on that day? can post it earlier? can i?

  44. daphne: yes, hope you can join in the bake along one day.

    diane: the red yeast is tasteless to me but the cupcakes were delicious!

    esther: yeah, it's a good alternative for those who are scared of using artificial food colouring.

    tigerfish: yes, i think a lot will choose the other alternative to obtain the red if given a choice.

    juliana: thanks, have a good week too!

    delphine: thanks for your wishes!

    lazaroo: those cookies were from some of the chinese new year cookies that i have at home.

    malaykadazan: oh, hope you will be able to participate in the coming bake along!

    sherleen: hope you saw my reply it's RM14.00/500gm

    jeannie: hope to see you joining us one day. You will have to grab the blog hop code on that day.

    eileen: thanks for your wishes !

    sonia: yeah, the red is not that obvious, partly also because of the cocoa powder mixed in together.

    lenia: thanks very much!

  45. bee, if you're interested to get, let me know.

    pete: now you know la..

    amelia: see if you can get these in jhb, if you're really interested, let me know.

    duxa: thanks, the red yeast powder is made of red yeast rice which can help to improve one's health.

    angie: thank you, dear!

    ohfishee: hi, thanks for dropping by!

    quay po: got your hint! **wink wink*

    janine: hope you're able to try these cupcakes, they are good!

    alice: thanks so much for sharing the recipe with us! i like them!

    angeline: yes, you can, preferably within the same week. However, the blog hop codes will only be given out on the actual day itself. Let me know if there's further doubt.

  46. Hi Lena, I like your recipe and plan to try baking this as whole cake. I notice cream cheese frosting is different from carrot cupcake. Can I use carrot cupcake cream cheese frosting on red velvet cake? Thanks

  47. hi JJmum, no problem as along as you find it delicious.

  48. will putting to much red yeast will make the cake taste bitter?

    1. no, the cake doesnt taste bitter here.

  49. hi ,lena! thanks for sharing such wonderful recipe, i did obtain very nice red tone for my cake but it taste little bitter too. does yeast taste bitter or could be my coco powder? thanks

    1. hi, the red yeast taste a little bitter but i couldnt really detect any bitterness in the cake. Thanks for the feedback.