clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting piped on top.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • Author: Natalie
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 57 minutes
  • Yield: About 18 cupcakes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Soft and moist Red Velvet Cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting are the perfect easy dessert for a holiday or special occasion! 




  • 1 1/3 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup oil, vegetable or canola
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon liquid red food coloring or 1 1/2 teaspoons gel red food coloring


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces full fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 33 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract



  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin pans with 18 paper liners. 
  2. Sift together the flour and cocoa powder. In a medium sized bowl, whisk to combine the sifted flour and cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. 
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter for one minute on medium low speed. Add the sugar and beat on medium low for two minutes, until butter lightens to pale yellow in color.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time and beat on low for 30 seconds. Add the oil, buttermilk, red food coloring, vinegar (if using) and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients. Beat on medium low speed until just combined. If the batter has some small lumps, it’s fine. Be careful not to overmix. 
  5. Fill 18 muffin cups evenly with batter. Fill 2/3 of the way full (use about 1/4 cup batter per cupcake). Bake 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of a cupcake. Transfer cupcakes onto to a cooling rack to cool. Cool completely before frosting. 


  1. Beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth.
  2. Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the powdered sugar until combined. Once the sugar has been incorporated, turn the mixer to high and beat for 1-2 more minutes until light and fluffy. Frost cupcakes and enjoy. 


Food Coloring: Use 1 tablespoon liquid food coloring or about 1 and 1/2 teaspoons red gel food coloring. Add more or less depending on how red you want the cupcakes to be. Use gel food coloring sparingly since it’s very concentrated. 

Cocoa powder: I like to use standard cocoa powder for red velvet cupcakes. It adds a mild chocolate flavor. You can substitute it with Dutch processed. You can also add a little more cocoa powder for a stronger chocolate flavor. Keep in mind more cocoa powder could change the color of the cupcakes.

Flour: I recommend using cake flour. It will give you light, soft cupcakes. Equal parts all-purpose flour can be used as a substitute.

Buttermilk: For best results, use buttermilk. That said, if you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own. Stir 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar or fresh lemon juice into 1/2 cup whole or 2% milk. 

Do not overmix: Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Do not mix more than necessary or our cupcakes will not be soft and fluffy.

Storage: Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Freeze unfrosted cupcakes in a freezer safe container for up to 1 month. Thaw at room temperature then top with frosting.

Oreos: I originally made this recipe with Oreos. I recently modified the recipe slightly and omitted the Oreos. That said, you can still include them! Just place an Oreo in each cupcake liner before adding the batter. The batter will bake on top of the Oreos! 

Decoration: Decorate with sprinkles or crumbs from an extra cupcake. Add extra red food coloring to one cupcake before baking. Use that cupcake for bright red crumb decorations. 

Keywords: cupcakes, red velvet cream cheese, frosting, icing, white chocolate, white chocolate cream cheese, Christmas, Valentine's