Old-time recipe makes a trendy comeback and the good news is that its trademark red colour still comes from a natural source, as do some other ingredients

Red velvet cake has been around for many years and in the old days it used to get its deep, red colour from beetroot juice. These days red velvet cupcakes are very "on trend" in bakeries across the nation as they enjoy a revival.

This packet will enable you to make 12 cupcakes with the addition of butter, milk and eggs.

But can something this red resist the urge to use artificial flavour and colour?

Red Velvet Cupcake Mix

Sugar - These are cakes, so you would expect them to be high in sugar. For every prepared 61g cupcake you will get 18.1g of sugar which is 4.3 teaspoons of sugar.


Wheat flour

Vegetable oil - Emulsifiers (471, 477, soy lecithin). You are adding butter to this mix so this oil is probably in here to keep things moist. The emulsifiers in it are mono and diglycerides of fatty acids (471), propylene glycol esters of fatty acids (477) and soy lecithin.

Buttermilk powder (2 per cent) - This will be dehydrated buttermilk. You are already adding milk to the mix so this is most likely in here for flavour or texture.

Natural flavour (milk) - Nice to see a natural flavouring used here.

Raising agents (500, 341, 450) - These are baking soda (500), calcium phosphates (341) and diphosphates (450).

Salt - This is reasonably high in salt. For each prepared cupcake you will get 225mg of sodium.

Natural colour (120) - Great to see a natural colour is being used to achieve the red colour of these cupcakes. It is cochineal or carmine (120).

Cocoa (3 per cent)


Cream Cheese Frosting

Sugar - This sugar will be contributing to the overall sugar content of 4.3 teaspoons.

Cheese powders (11 per cent) - Milk solids, cream, sugar, maltodextrin, cheese (milk, salt, starter culture, enzymes), emulsifier (471), mineral salt (331), salt, hydrolysed vegetable protein, citric acid, (soy). This is basically dried cream cheese with the edition of an emulsifier mono and diglycerides of fatty acids (471), a mineral salt sodium citrate (331), salt, citric acid and hydrolysed vegetable protein which is soy which has been treated with hydrogen to keep it solid at room temperatures.

Milk solids - These are what you get when you take the water out of milk.

Vegetable oil (contains soy) - I'm presuming this is soy oil, but you do add butter to this powder.


Citric acid - This is probably in here as a preservative.

My recommendation

Despite my family's initial lack of enthusiasm for any sort of cake which begins its life as a packet of powder, these went down very well.

Not all of us have time to bake a cake from scratch, yet we all like to be able to contribute to the school fair or a family celebration, and these do look very professional in their little red paper cases.

I commend Edmonds for using natural flavours and colours in this mix and I really couldn't find anything wrong with it.

It is high in sugar but it's a cake, which I would always say should be considered a treat food, not something you would eat everyday.


• High in sugar at 4.3 teaspoons per prepared cupcake.

• Uses natural flavour and colour.

• Ready in 30 minutes.

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