• 130 g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
  • 0.25 tsp baking powder
  • 90 g Fairtrade light brown soft sugar
  • 80 ml vegetable oil
  • 80 ml buttermilk
  • 1 tsp Madagascan vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp red food colouring
  • 1 free-range egg, lightly beaten

For the frosting:

  • 60 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 150 g full-fat soft cheese
  • 250 g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp Madagascan vanilla extract
  • 0.5 tbsp red food colouring

You will also need:

  • 12 cupcake cases
  • 3 plastic piping bags
  • 1 star-shaped piping nozzle


  1. 1

    Preheat the oven to 180ºC, fan 160ºC, gas 4. Line a 12-hole cupcake tray with the cases. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and sugar. In a large jug, beat together the oil, buttermilk, vanilla extract, red food colouring and egg.

  2. 2

    Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until the mixture is smooth. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases. Bake for 20 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

  3. 3

    Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Make the frosting. Beat the butter until smooth then beat in the soft cheese, icing sugar and vanilla extract until combined. Put half of the mixture into a small bowl, add the red food colouring and beat until evenly coloured.

  4. 4

    Spoon the red icing into one piping bag, and the white into another. Snip a 1 cm hole in each then place both bags into the third bag fitted with the star-shaped nozzle. Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes, creating a two-tone cream cheese frosting.


    Cook's tips: for a super-smooth edge, line the tin with the pastry and make sure it comes above the rim by about 0.5cm. Once cooked, let it cool slightly then trim the edges with a sharp knife. At a bake sale, presentation is key, so stock up on cake cases, decorations and cellophane to wrap up batches of cakes or biscuits, or display individual cakes on a cake stand.

Nutritional Details

Each serving provides
  • Energy 1235kj 295kcal 15%
  • Fat 15.5g 22%
  • Saturates 6.0g 30%
  • Sugars 28.0g 31%
  • Salt 0.3g 5%

% of the Reference Intakes

Typical values per 100g: Energy 1650kj/394kcal

Each serving provides

35.6g carbohydrate 0.6g fibre 3.0g protein

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