Friday, December 5, 2008

Red Bull Cupcakes give you wings ...

My two "neighbours" at my secondment job, Aaron and Andrew, decided to test my baking skills by asking me to make Red Bull cupcakes. Given that they both generally drink "V", containing guarana, I was surprised at this shift in brand allegiance. I was also a little worried by this request, as I didn't want to be responsible for people getting a little too excited on all that caffeine. However, never being one to shy away from a challenge, I agreed to take on their request. This is how Red Bull cupcakes were born.

Now I know that Coca Cola and Red Bull are not the same, but I believed that I could use Nigella's recipe for Coca Cola Cupcakes from How to Be a Domestic Goddess as my base cake recipe, and simply substitute Red Bull for Coca Cola. And lo, an idea was born.

Weirdly enough, these actually worked. The cakes smelt horribly like Red Bull (not one of my favourite smells!), and tasted like caramel cakes. My friend Aphrodite, who has never tasted Red Bull in her life before, thought that these were caramel cupcakes. Although I chose not to decorate them in a fancy way (I actually felt very average when I made these, as I was still recovering from my head cold, so I did as little as possible), this was actually a good thing, as these cakes were made for the boys. And the boys loved them!!! It certainly is not something that I would have chosen off my own bat to make, but I am glad that the recipients of the cupcakes were pleased with the results. The boys had wanted me to add a syrup made from guarana powder to the cakes as well, but you can't buy this from an Australian health food shop - you have to buy guarana powder online, and there was no time for that.

To make these cakes, you will need:

200g plain flour
250g white sugar
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
125ml buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125g butter
175 ml Red Bull
2 tablespoons cocoa powder


225g icing sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons Red Bull
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a 12 hole muffin tray with cupcake liners.

Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt together into a bowl and set aside.

Beat the egg, buttermilk and vanilla together in a separate bowl.

Place the butter, cocoa and Red Bull into a saucepan, and place the saucepan over a low heat, stirring, to melt the butter. Pour the butter into the dry ingredients and combine, then mix in the egg mixture.

Divide the cupcake batter evenly between the muffin pans, and bake in the preheated oven for around 20 minutes or until the cakes are cooked through. Tip the cooked cakes out of the muffin pan immediately on removing them from the oven, and leave them to cool on a wire rack.


Place the butter, Red Bull and cocoa in a small saucepan, and stir the contents over a low heat until the butter has melted. Take the butter mixture off the stove and stir through the vanilla. Beat in the icing sugar, one spoon at a time, until you have a spreadable but runny icing. Spoon the icing on top of the cupcakes while they are still warm, then leave them to set.

Enjoy with a Red Bull!

I can't go without mentioning that I went to a Crowded House concert on Tuesday night at The Forum in Melbourne, and it was magnificent! The warm-up act, Anika Moa, was very endearing and a great singer. I was already familiar with Anika's music because I accidently bought her album in New Zealand when I was looking for Brooke Fraser's - and what a happy accident it was. The Crowdies themselves played for nearly 3 hours, and had a lot of fun with the audience in a more intimate venue than they would normally perform in. I was very close to the front (I would have been closer, but I had to stop and buy a tour T-shirt on the way in!!), and absolutely loved being so close to my favourite band. If you ever see Pekingese dogs running around with camp lights on their heads, look out for the Crowdies! (You had to be there ...)


Happy cook said...

It is really clever of yoto use the recipe from cola and replacing them with redbull.
I do have to agree i don't like redbull at all.
Looks like u had fun beeing so close to the band

Mary said...

How creative that you can make cupcakes on request like that! I've never tasted Red Bull so I wouldn't know where to start if someone had asked me to make them!

The Blonde Duck said...

That's really cool! I couldn't have invented something like that.

Lorraine E said...

Ooh what a cool idea using Red Bull instead of coke. They'd definitely give you wiiiiings!!

Nazarina A said...

My niece would be very impressed if I made your red bull cupcakes LOL! She works for Red bull! I think I shall show her your site! How innovative of you!!!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Hah! No wonder boys loved them. Icing with Red Bull is just too cool.

Cakelaw said...

Thanks Happy Cook - it was great fun!

Hi Mary, Coke and Red Bull only taste very vaguely similar - so I was taking a punt! Luckily it worked.

Hi Blonde Duck, I am sure you could - I am the least creative person in the universe, and this was the first thing I thought of.

Hi Lorraine, I know - I was worried in case someone might have heart palpitations or something! (I know the amount per cake would have been small, but still ...)

Hi Nazarina - I hope your daughter likes the idea.

Hi Susan - they were beside themselves. It must be a boy thing - I didn't understand why they were so excited, but I am glad it made them happy.

Ivy said...

I never had Red Bull before. I could have never thought of Red Bull in cupcakes but I have no doubt about your skills so I believe they must be great,

Cakelaw said...

Hi Ivy, I would never have thought of it either - it's those boys leading me astray.

Tammy said...

Gaye, I think you are secretly a kiwi! :0)

Psychgrad said...

Does the caffeine content survive being baked? Why are your co-workers drinking so much caffeine?

I like Crowded House! We always play them on weekends when we're cleaning.

The Caked Crusader said...

What a great idea - hangover cure cupcakes! I knew cupcakes were practically medicine, they're so good for you!

Cakelaw said...

Hi Tammy, I am in love with everything about NZ but the weather - it's a fabulous country. (I bought Bic Runga's CD too. I found Brooke's and Bic's after seeing film clips on an Air NZ flight and asking a brilliant girl in a music shop what the songs were and who they were by simply by describing the film clips! The songs were Deciphering Me and Winning Arrow - Neil Finn is in the Winning Arrow film clip. This stuff is not mainstream in Oz.)

Hi Psychgrad, probably to keep them going when they really feel like a kip. I have to say that I drink way too much Coca Cola and can't kick the habit. Crowded House are the best, yeah!

Hi Crusader, I have often suspected the same thing!

adele said...

Genius. (Or madness?) Sounds like just the kind of dessert for law school finals...

Anonymous said...

As the thought leader for these cupcakes....I am delighted that Gaye made them into reality!

They were the best cupcakes i have ever had!

Nothing comes close!

Next time you need a lift...dont reach for the red bull....reach for the red bull cupcakes...

Andrew V

Y said...

Red Bull Cupcakes! Now that's an original idea! I've tried that coca cola cake recipe before, but didn't think too much of it. Mainly because there wasn't enough chocolate flavour in it for me. You could certainly taste the additions though :)

Cakelaw said...

Hmmmm - Adele, I think a bit of both! And much more fun than No Doze ...

LOL Andrew - you are obviously on to a winner, 'cause these have sparked a lot of interest.

Hi Y - you bet - these taste like Red Bull and smell like Red Bull, although I think the end result is closer to caramel than chocolate.