I first made these cupcakes at the request of my step-daughter Phoebe, a good few years ago, but such was their popularity chez moi that I have been at it ever since. There isn't space to go into their history here, but whatever the origins of this cake, making a batter that includes such an amount of food colouring takes an act of faith. I don't feel there's any way I could talk you into it were you not ready, but I suppose you could always use some grated beetroot as a natural substitute, if you insist.
If you want to make this as one big cake then know that the amounts below make enough batter for 2 x 25cm / 10 inch cake tins filled not too deep, and enough icing to squidge them together and decorate the top.
Photo by Lis Parsons.
Recipe posted by Nigella