This is the best red velvet cupcake recipe topped with cream cheese frosting made from scratch that melts in your mouth.
Red velvet cupcakes are perfect for Valentine’s Day treats, Christmas parties, birthdays, or any time during the year to fill your red velvet cupcake craving! You won’t be able to stop with just one!
Red velvet is a popular cake flavor and these classic red velvet cupcakes are to die for! The cupcake is moist, has that hint of chocolate flavor, and is topped with luscious cream cheese frosting.
I seem to be known for my homemade red velvet cupcakes.
Not only did I bring them for each semester we completed of clinical in nursing school, but somehow, it also became a tradition that I have brought them arranged in a basket to every memorial and funeral service I attend.
My in-laws also love red velvet cupcakes so they get made several times a year, just because.
Needless to say, these cupcakes are classic and they’re perfect for gatherings, birthdays, baby or wedding showers, holidays, and all celebrations!
Needless to say, these cupcakes are a classic and they’re perfect for birthdays, baby or wedding showers, holidays, and pretty much all celebrations.
If you’re looking for more fall cupcake flavors check out my 36 fun fall cupcake flavors!
What is Red Velvet?
Red velvet is a cake that has been mixed with cocoa, white vinegar, and buttermilk, among other cake ingredients.
What Makes it Red?
Traditionally, the cake batter was mixed with beetroot. It gave a rich red color to enhance the darker maroon color from the cocoa being mixed.
These days, most have steered away from beets in their red velvet cake recipe, and instead opt for red food coloring to give the cake vibrancy.
Ingredients for Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Butter, room temperature
- Granulated Sugar
- Pure Vanilla Extract
- White Vinegar
- Cake Flour or Substitute with All-Purpose Flour + Corn Starch
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Red Food Coloring
Ingredients for My Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
- Cream Cheese, room temperature
- Butter, room temperature
- Confectioners’ Sugar (Powdered Sugar)
- Pure Vanilla Extract
How to Make Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a muffin pan by lining with 24 cupcake paper liners.
- Combine butter and sugar together until creamy in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or in a medium-sized bowl with a hand mixer. Add eggs one at a time to the mixing bowl and blend over low speed.
- Add oil, vanilla, and vinegar. Sift dry ingredients together into a bowl. Alternate adding buttermilk and dry ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix well after each addition.
- Add red food coloring to the cupcake batter and blend.
- Spoon approximately 3 tablespoons of batter in each cupcake liner in the muffin pans.
- Place muffin pans in the oven and bake for 14-16 minutes.
- To check for doneness, the tops will spring back when lightly touched, or insert a toothpick into the center of a cupcake and if it comes out clean they are done.
- Remove from the oven and place on cooling racks. Cool cupcakes before frosting.
How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting
In a large mixing bowl, mix together cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and shortening. Slowly add powdered sugar at a low speed. Mix until well blended.
White Vinegar Substitute Use lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. They are needed to help balance out the buttermilk in the recipe. They give a slightly tangy flavor to the recipe.
Buttermilk Substitute Add 1 cup of milk to a measuring cup. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to the milk. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes. It will slightly curdle and thicken. Once it has, mix it into the cupcake batter.
Cake Flour Substitute Replace with all-purpose flour and add 2 tablespoons of corn starch for every cup of all-purpose flour.
Pro Tip: Oil & Butter
I have tried making red velvet cupcakes with only butter and the cake turns out so much drier. Oil adds noticeable moisture to the cupcakes while butter adds in its own buttery-rich flavor. It’s best to use a mixture of both oil and butter for this cake batter.
What piping tip do you use for decorating red velvet cupcakes?
How do you pipe a cupcake?
Cakes by Lynz’s piping tutorials on YouTube are great for beginners.
She explains the basics of cupcake decorating and how to get started with piping frosting. She has other great videos on all different kinds of tips and tricks.
Try these other sweet treats!
- 24 Karat Gold Cupcakes
- Caramel Cupcakes
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- Cherry Chip Cupcakes
- Cherry Puff Pastry Turnovers
- Chocolate Drop Cookies
- Eggless Valentine’s Day Cookies
- Valentine’s Hot Chocolate Bombs
Red Velvet Cupcakes
- 1/4 cup Unsalted Butter
- 1/2 cup Vegetable or Canola Oil
- 1 1/2 cups Granulated White Sugar
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup Buttermilk}
- 1 tsp White Vinegar
- 2 1/2 cups Cake Flour (Can substitute with 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + 5 tbsp Corn Starch)
- 2 tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 3 tbsp Red Food Coloring
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare regular-sized muffin pans with cupcake liners.
- Cream butter and sugar together in a mixer or in a medium-sized bowl with a hand mixer. Add eggs one at a time to the mixer. Add oil, vanilla, and vinegar. Sift dry ingredients together into a bowl. Alternate adding buttermilk and dry ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix well after each addition.
- Add red food coloring to cupcake batter and blend. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of batter in each cupcake liner in the muffin pans.
- Place pans in the oven and bake for 14-16 minutes until the tops spring back when you lightly touch them, or a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place on cooling racks. Allow to fully cool before frosting with cream cheese frosting.
See the above notes on baking substitutes and tips for baking the best red velvet cupcakes.
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Nutrition InformationYield 24 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 136Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 22mgSodium 108mgCarbohydrates 24gFiber 0gSugar 13gProtein 2g