Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Let me just come out and say it – these are absolutely amazing.  I never thought I liked red velvet cake until I tried these cupcakes. Granted, my only experience with it came from watching Steel Mangolias, and who would ever want to try red velvet cake after seeing that armadillo cake?? I would probably still be avoiding this particular cake flavor if someone hadn’t specifically requested it. I made cupcakes for a bridal shower this past week and of the three flavors requested, red velvet with cream cheese frosting was at the top of the list.

Oh well, I thought. I just have to make them, I don’t have to eat them. And then there were extra…and I ate one…and it changed my outlook on life. Or at least my outlook on red velvet cake. Now I can’t get enough! It’s light and fluffy, just as cake should be. And the flavor is something amazing, something altogether different than plain old white cake. Can red food coloring really do that? Regardless, you need to try these. They’re pretty and delicious and smothered in cream cheese frosting. What else do you need to know?

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: makes 24 cupcakes


2½ cups cake flour
1½ cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1½ cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp. (~1 oz.) liquid red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. distilled white vinegar

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp. clear vanilla extract
2½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted


Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside. Whisk together the cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt in a medium bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar. Beat on medium speed until well blended. Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed then increase the speed and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in a center cupcake comes out with moist crumbs, 18-20 minutes. Let cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract then gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated. Increase the speed and beat until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

*If you're going to pipe the frosting on like I did, you will most likely need to increase the quantity by 50%. You will probably have a little left over, but that's better than running out. If you're just spreading the frosting on with a knife, you should be fine with the amount as written.

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  1. I am a huge red velvet cake fan:-) These look amazing!

  2. Love love love red velvet!! Especially cupcakes. So patriotic and delish!

  3. Megan, these red velvet cupcakes came out so pretty 🙂

  4. These are so pretty, Megan. They would be perfect for a July 4th bbq.

  5. Can't wait to try this recipe!!

  6. Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting have to be one of my favorite treats ever. Yours look perfect!

  7. These are fantastic! I made these yesterday using your recipe and they were FANTASTIC! The cream cheese frosting was an absolute hit! I’ll be making more today since I promised some to a few of my friends because the batch I made yesterday are almost gone!

  8. I just made these this evening and am so pleased with how they turned out! I made them as mini cupcakes, and ended up with enough batter to make over 50 cupcakes. I also lowered the temp to 325 and baked them for 12 minutes. They look so impressive and taste lovely with the cream cheese frosting. Yummy!

  9. OMG Megan these are such amazing cupcakes! i didn’t have bmilk at home so i did the sub of almost 1c milk and 1tbl lemon juice
    they are so light and fluffy perfect for Valentines day!! My Hubby’s crew is going to love these!!!!

  10. Megan, I thought I’d serve desserts for a open house for my son before he deploys to Afghanistan. Along with my cheesecake, I’m thinking of making the red velvet and vanilla mini cupcakes. Have you tried freezing mini cupcakes (prior to frosting) and if so, how well did they turn out?

    • Hi Barb, good to hear from you! Yes I freeze cupcakes and mini cupcakes all the time. Just let them thaw before frosting them and bring them to room temp before serving and you should be fine. I hope you like them!

  11. These sound and look amazing. Approx how many regular sized cupcakes does the recipe make..? Thinking I might have to double it judging by how delicious they look/sound! Thanks 🙂

  12. Hey Megan! 🙂 Back again.. I made the red velvet brownies and they were a smash with EVERYONE! So I decided to make this red velvet recipe as a birthday cake for my best friend. This was my first from scratch homemade cake, it turned out phenomenal! I used a circular 8″ glass pan, i added 1oz melted semisweet chocolate and made the frosting as is, it was just enough. I cant wait to see if she likes it 🙂 Thanks for making this so easy! (Aside from my clumsy self spilling a little bit of the liquid mixture including the red food coloring! What a mess! But well worth it lol)

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