Winchester City Mill's Red Velvet Hallowe'en cupcakes

Enjoy our limited edition red velvet cupcakes. Moist, fluffy and topped with buttercream icing - they're another delicious way to use our stoneground wholemeal flour. Transform your cupcakes into Hallowe’en showstoppers with our decoration ideas - a great way to get kids excited about baking. On Sun 29 October you can watch our volunteer bakers make red velvet cupcakes at our family Hallowe'en baking demonstration. Help with the icing, collect a recipe card and bag of our flour, and get baking at home.

Cakes and bakes
Red velvet cupcakes recipe, Winchester City Mill, Hampshire, National Trust
  • Preparation time 20 minutes (prep. time)
  • Cooking time 25 minutes (cooking time)
  • Serves 12



75g Winchester City Mill flour, sifted to remove bran

75g Plain flour

½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

20g Cocoa, sifted

60g Unsalted butter

150g Caster sugar

1 Egg, medium

120ml Buttermilk (if you can’t find buttermilk, use 40ml milk & 80ml natural yoghurt)

1½ tsp Lemon juice or Cider vinegar

3 tbsp Water or milk

2 tbsp ‘Christmas Red’ food colouring

½ tsp Vanilla extract


To decorate

Red butter icing

White fondant icing

Ghost template



  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C (fan 160C/gas 4)
  2. Using a food mixer, or a hand-held mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Slowly add the egg beating constantly.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract together to make a thick, dark paste. If the paste isn’t loose enough, add 3 tbsps of water or milk to slacken.
  5. Add this paste to the creamed butter and sugar mixture. Combine thoroughly so the red colouring is evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
  6. Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda and buttermilk and beat until mixture is smooth.
  7. Finally add the lemon juice (or cider vinegar) and beat in slowly.
  8. Spoon the mixture into paper cases, about two-thirds full, and bake for approximately 25 mins. They should feel springy to the touch when cooked.
  9. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

To decorate:

  1. Beat together 250g icing sugar with 80g softened butter.
  2. Add red food colouring a drop at a time, until you're happy with the colour.
  3. Roll out the fondant icing quite thinly and, using you ghost template, cut out 12 shapes.
  4. Eyes and a mouth can be added using a black icing pen, or currants. If using currants, moisten icing with a dab of water, to ensure they stick.
  5. Spread each cupcake with some red butter icing and place a ghost shape on top.

Variation: Why not try decorating with a spider instead? You can use either black fondant icing or black writing icing. For added effect, use silver balls for the eyes.