christmas sweets

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Written by ziir

Moist and fluffy red velvet cupcakes topped with a big dollop of cream cheese frosting are beyond delicious and so easy to make! You’ll want to make a double batch because people will want seconds!!

There’s something so addictive about cream cheese frosting; sweetness is tempered with a bit of tang, the texture is creamy and luscious and it’s something you can whip up in a few minutes. I love this frosting on nearly everything but a slightly chocolatey cake creates a special combination known as red velvet!

A red velvet cupcake with a bite taken out.



Red velvet cupcakes will taste like cream cheese frosting with a slightly chocolatey cupcake base. Many recipes omit the cocoa powder so the red appears brighter but a traditional red velvet cake and cupcake will have some chocolate in the batter.


Red velvet recipes will usually have buttermilk in the batter which reacts with the sodium bicarbonate to create a fluffier and lighter cake. The acid in the butter milk will react with the cocoa powder to create a slightly pink hue. Most modern recipes add red food coloring for a more vibrant base.


The easiest way to make red velvet cupcakes would be to add some red food coloring to your favorite box cake mix and then whip up some cream cheese frosting for the top. Making a cupcake from scratch is hardly more effort than whipping up some prepackaged batter so I highly recommend going the from scratch route!

A top down photo of a red velvet cupcake with red crumbs on top the frosting.


Unfrosted cupcakes will keep for 1-2 days in an airtight container at room temperature. You can freeze cupcakes for a few weeks as ling as they’re well wrapped. Because the cream cheese frosting has quite a bit of dairy product in it you should not leave a frosted cupcake out at room temperature for more than a few hours.


A photo showing steps on how to make red velvet cupcakes.
  1. To make the cupcakes; preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place cupcake papers in a cupcake pan. In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients (including the sugar) into the bowl of a stand mixer and give it a whisk.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients until they are well combined, then add some red food coloring. (The batter may be clumpy but do not worry).
  3. Cut the butter into tablespoon sized dollops and add it to the dry ingredients in the stand mixer and beat together. This should get you a sort of crumbly mixture.
  4. With your mixer running on low, add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture and mix until everything is incorporated.
  5. You may want to add a dash or two more of red food coloring until you reach the desired color.
  6. Distribute the batter evenly into the cupcake papers and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cupcakes are golden and springy to the touch.
  7. For the cream cheese frosting; start off by sifting the confectioners sugar into a large bowl so there are not any lumps.
  8. Cream the room temperature butter in a standing mixer with a paddle attachment on medium speed until it is nice and smooth.
  9. Add the cream cheese and beat together until they’re combined then add the vanilla and salt. Slowly add the sifted confectioners sugar in cups and mix until combined.

If you’ve tried this red velvet cupcake recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Moist and fluffy light chocolate cupcakes topped with decadent and delicious cream cheese frosting. These are a MUST MAKE recipe!! 

Course Dessert

 Cuisine American

 Prep Time 15 minutes

 Cook Time 20 minutes 

Total Time 35 minutes 

Servings 16

Calories 253kcal

 Author John Kanell


For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 2/3  cup  all-purpose flour  215g
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder 4g
  • 1  cups  granulated sugar  200g
  • 1/4  tsp  baking soda 1g, heaping
  • 1  tsp  baking powder 4g, heaping
  • 1/4  tsp  kosher salt 1g, heaping
  • 3/4  cup  unsalted butter 190g, room temperature
  • 3  eggs room temperature
  • 2  tsp  vanilla extract 5mL
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk 177mL
  • red food coloring

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 3  sticks unsalted butter 340g, room temperature
  • 1 ½  lb  confectioners sugar 550g, sifted
  • 16  oz  cream cheese 455g, room temperature
  • 1  tsp  vanilla extract 5mL
  • 1  pinch  kosher salt


For the Cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place cupcake papers in a cupcake pan.
  • In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients together (including the sugar). Give it a whisk.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients until combined. (The batter may be clumpy! Do not worry!)
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix until combined.
  • Add the red food coloring until you reach the desired color.
  • Distribute the batter evenly into cupcake papers.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and springy to the touch.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Cream the butter. Sift confectioners sugar into a large bowl.
  • Add room temperature cream cheese to the creamed butter. Add vanilla and a pinch of salt. Beat together.
  • Add the confectioners sugar in cups. Mix until combined. If you’re wanting a stronger buttercream, keep adding more sifted confectioners sugar until it’s stiff.
  • Transfer buttercream to a piping bag, snip off the tip and add a large dollop on top of each cupcake.



Add more cocoa powder for a stronger chocolate taste if you don’t mind a darker less RED color. You can store these cupcakes unfrosted at room temperature in a sealed container for 1-2 days.Frosting can be refrigerated and piped before serving.You can make one cupcake very red with extra food coloring and use that for the crumb decorations . This way the cupcakes can have less dye with all the visual pizazz! 


Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 218mg | Potassium: 63mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 600IU | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 0.9mg

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