Heinz Tomato Ketchup Cupcakes Recipe

Food icon Heinz has teamed up with the award-winning Hummingbird Bakery to celebrate its 150 year anniversary with a range of five cupcakes with a difference.

This cupcake has many of the same ingredients as Hummingbird’s iconic and much loved Red Velvet with cocoa for a hint of chocolatey flavour and buttermilk for richness and fluffiness. It all sounds very familiar, except for the addition of everyone’s favourite Heinz Tomato Ketchup, adding an irresistible sweetness. The classic cream cheese frosting, with its irresistible creaminess and slight tanginess, works perfectly to balance out the sweet and sharp elements.

Makes 22 cupcakes



115g Unsalted butter, at room temperature

300g Caster sugar

2 Large free-range eggs

250g Heinz Tomato Ketchup

20g Cocoa powder

20ml Red food colouring (gel food colouring is recommended)

300g Plain flour

1 tsp Salt

250g Buttermilk

1 tsp White vinegar

1tsp Bicarbonate of soda


200g Unsalted butter, cubed

800g Icing sugar

480g Full-fat cream cheese, cold


50g Red coloured nonpareils


Two 12-hole cupcake trays, lined with 24 standard muffin-sized paper cases

Electric hand-mixer or electric stand mixer

Ice cream scoop or food portioner




  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan)/Gas 4.
  • Using a freestanding electric mixer and the paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk), beat the unsalted butter and caster sugar together until light and fluffy on a high speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Turn the mixer down to a slow speed.
  • Crack the eggs in a jug. Add the eggs to the butter mixture and mix, then scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again to ensure it incorporates well.
  • Mix the Heinz Tomato Ketchup, cocoa powder and the food colouring together to create a paste. Add to the butter mixture and stir until it is all mixed well.
  • Add the plain flour and salt to the Heinz Tomato Ketchup mixture and mix through.
  • With the mixer on slow speed add the buttermilk. Turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl. 
  • Combine the white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda in a small bowl. While they are still reacting, add them to the mixture immediately and mix through. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then mix again for another minute.
  • Line your cupcake trays with cupcake cases then use an ice cream scoop or food portioner to scoop your mixture into the cases until two-thirds full.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 22 – 24 mins, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool in their trays for about 15 minutes before turning onto a wire cooling rack.
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.


  • While your cupcakes are baking, it’s time to make your frosting. Put the unsalted butter into a mixing bowl and beat well. You can use a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment or a handheld electric whisk.
  • Add the cream cheese and icing sugar to the butter and mix through until it has come together and the texture is light and fluffy, beat for at least 1-2 minutes. Do not overbeat as it can quickly become runny.


  • Once your cupcakes are cool, it’s time to frost your cupcakes. Beat your frosting until fluffy.
  • Spoon out a generous scoop of frosting onto the top of your cupcakes. Using your palette knife decorate until the sponge is covered and add a swirl if you wish.
  • Scatter decorative nonpareils around the edge of the cupcake to finish.


Recipe by The Hummingbird Bakery, 2019