A group of red velvet cupcakes topped with frosting

Hi Bold Bakers!

There’s a luxurious feeling that comes from biting into a Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting. I don’t know if it’s because the word “velvet” feels fancy, but I’m all for it.

My beautiful, soft, dreamy red velvet cupcakes are as light and delicate as they are gorgeous and dramatic. They have just a touch of cocoa flavor and a subtle tang the goes perfectly with my Best-Ever Cream Cheese Frosting. Red velvet cupcakes are always a crowd pleaser!

What Is Red Velvet?

If you want a peek behind the curtain, red velvet is essentially red-colored chocolate. A lot of people think it’s just red food coloring — in a lot of cases they’re right. But real red velvet is red due to non-Dutched, anthocyanin-rich cocoa. There’s nothing wrong with using red coloring, though, which is what I do.

A red velvet cupcake topped with best-ever cream cheese frosting.

What You Need To Make Red Velvet Cupcakes

How To Make Red Velvet Cupcakes

These delicate, delicious, vibrant cupcakes are very easy to make. Here’s what you’re getting yourself into (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Make sure you don’t overfill them, though, because the cupcakes are so tender they won’t hold their shape while baking!

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer, stir together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and cocoa powder.
  3. Add the butter, food coloring, and egg to the dry ingredients and blend until fully combined. Like I said earlier, it’s common to use food coloring when making red velvet cakes.

  4. In a small bowl, combine the vanilla, buttermilk, and vinegar together and then gradually whisk into the flour mixture until well combined (but take care not to overmix).
  5. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared muffin cups. They should be no more than 2/3 of the way full. See step one for why.

  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  7. Let cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to fully cool.

  8. Once the cupcakes are completely cool, you can frost them with Cream Cheese Frosting

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips To Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • Take care not to overfill your cupcake liners. These red velvet cupcakes are very tender and don’t have enough structure to hold their shape while baking. If the cups are overfilled, they may spill over and lose their shape. If this does happen, no worries – it won’t affect the flavor just their good looks.
  • When making any cake or cupcake, make sure that all of the ingredients are at room temperature for the best rise and most even mixing.
  • When making the frosting, make sure that your butter and cream cheese are softened but still a bit cool to the touch. This will keep the frosting from getting runny.
  • Take care to wait until the cupcakes are completely cool before frosting or you will have a melty mess on your hands!
  • Most cupcakes can be stored at room temperature but these need to be refrigerated because of the cream cheese frosting.
  • Since the refrigerator can dry cakes out, make sure that your storage container is airtight to keep them moist!
  • Make them a day in advance. This cake is even better the next day.
  • Freeze the cupcakes. They freeze really well for up to 8 weeks.
  • Use my Buttermilk Substitute. It makes the cupcakes really tender.
  • Don’t have cake flour in the cupboard? Make Your Own Cake Flour with just 2 ingredients
  • Decorate with my Best-Ever Cream Cheese Frosting 

A cross-section of my red velvet cupcake recipe and cream cheese frosting to show texture and consistency.

How To Store Red Velvet Cupcakes

Store these cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. For longer storage, these cupcakes can be frozen in an airtight container for up to two months. Defrost for two hours at room temperature.

Make More Cupcakes!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Prep Time 25 mins

Cook Time 20 mins

Vibrant, soft, and topped with my Best-Ever Cream Cheese Frosting, my Red Velvet Cupcakes recipe is the decadent treat you’re looking for.

Author: Gemma Stafford

Servings: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cups (6 ¼oz/177g) cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (6oz/170g)sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (¼ oz/7g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup (2oz/57g) butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (4floz/115ml) buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon white vinegar
  • ½ recipe cream cheese frosting

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer, stir together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and cocoa powder.
  • Add the butter, food coloring, and egg to the dry ingredients and blend until fully combined.

  • In a small bowl, combine the vanilla, buttermilk, and vinegar together and then gradually whisk into the flour mixture until well combined (but take care not to overmix).
  • Divide the batter evenly into the prepared muffin cups. They should be no more than 2/3 of the way full.

  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  • Let cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to fully cool.

  • Once the cupcakes are completely cool, you can frost them with Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Store these cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. For longer storage, these cupcakes can be frozen in an airtight container for up to two months. Defrost for two hours at room temperature.

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