These red velvet cupcakes are perfectly moist, light, and fluffy, and they’re topped with luscious cream cheese frosting. Once you’ve tried one, you’ll agree they’re the best.

With so many cupcake recipes out there, I still have not found one I don’t like; they are so versatile and delicious. They can be mixed and matched with so many different flavors, toppings, and frostings. Between the sultry chocolate flavor and the tangy and sweet cream cheese frosting, red velvet is one of my favorites.

Reason to make this recipe

  • This cupcake is made from scratch with easy-to-follow directions, just like a box mix, but so much better.
  • They are perfect for celebrating Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or just a nice treat during the week. (I personally don’t need a holiday for this cupcake.)
  • Chocolate lovers will love the chocolate flavor you get with this cupcake with a slight twist.
  • The cream cheese frosting is the perfect complement to this cupcake.

Ingredients in red velvet cupcakes

You will need a few special ingredients for these cupcakes, but they are most likely already in your pantry. go over a few ingredients you’ll need for these red velvet cupcakes.

  • Flour In this recipe, I use cake flour, but you can use all-purpose flour. I find that by using cake flour, you end up with a lighter and fluffier cupcake.
  • Baking Soda and Baking Powder These ingredients aid in the rising of the cake and create a moist sponge and crumb texture.
  • Granulated Sugar This helps sweeten the cupcake batter.
  • Cocoa Powder Red Velvet has a hint of cocoa powder added to the mixture; you want to use unsweetened and not Dutch-processed.
  • Eggs Allow your eggs to come to room temperature before mixing them into the batter. It will combine better.
  • Buttermilk  True red velvet cake is made with buttermilk to give it a tangy flavor, and the baking soda reacts with it to help it become light and fluffy.
  • Unsalted butter and vegetable oil I like to use a combination of butter and vegetable oil to ensure that your cupcakes are moist and not dry.
  • Vinegar This interacts with the baking soda to help leaven the cake
  • Vanilla I like to use pure vanilla to enhance the sweetness of the cupcake batter.

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

  • Butter Use unsalted butter that has been softened to room temperature.
  • Cream Cheese Allowing the cream cheese to soften to room temperature will help it mix better, resulting in a smoother frosting.
  • Vanilla This will add a sweet flavor to mix in with the tanginess of the cream cheese. I like to use pure vanilla, but any vanilla extract will be fine.
  • Milk Any milk works here; I used 2%, but any alternative would work too. It’s used to thin out your frosting.

How to make Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
  • Dry Ingredients in a medium bowl sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the sugar to the flour mixture and whisk thoroughly. Set aside.
  • Flour mixture with Wet ingredients In a large bowl whisks together the buttermilk, oil, egg, vinegar, and red food coloring until well combined. Add the flour to the wet ingredients and combine until smooth.
  • Fill liners scoop the batter into the cupcake liners and fill 2/3 of the way full.
  • Bake them for 18–20 minutes, then test the cupcakes by pressing lightly on the center of the set cupcake, and if it springs back, they are done. You can also use a toothpick to test, and if it comes out clean, that’s what they did as well. cupcakes completely cool before frosting.

How to make Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Mix and Pipe In a large bowl, mix together butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until smooth. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. If you find the frosting is too thick, add a little milk. If you are planning to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, you want it thick enough to hold its shape.

Recipe Tips

  • Do not overfill Make sure to not overfill your cupcake liners. (I know how easy it is to want to fill it full.) Overfilling will create a mess when they rise in the oven and stick to the sides and start to deflate as they cool, and you want to avoid all of this.
  • For food coloring, I like to use gel colors because they have such a vibrant color and you don’t need to use a lot to get the color you’re looking for. You could leave out the food coloring, but you will not achieve the red color you’re wanting; you will be left with a reddish-brown color that still tastes great, just not as red.
  • Measure correctly Be sure to measure your flour correctly; if you use too much flour, it could result in a tough, dense cupcake. Use a spoon or knife and level the flour.
  • Mixing While you should be careful not to overmix most cupcakes. This method of making cupcakes requires you to be careful not to undermix. Make sure you are combining ingredients very well and have a smooth batter before diving into cupcake liners.
  • Cool properly Once baked, it’s important to take them out of the pan and let them cool on a cooling rack. If you leave them in the baking pan, they will continue to bake from the “residual heat,” and this just means they could come out perfect but end up being dry cupcakes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a red velvet cupcake taste like?

When made correctly, a red velvet cupcake should have a moist and fluffy crumb. When you think of a flavor, the cupcakes are super rich, buttery, slightly sweet, and have a slight tanginess from the buttermilk. You get a slight chocolate flavor that complements the sweetness and buttermilk used in this recipe. After one bite, you’ll know the taste and know what I mean.

Can I make these cupcakes ahead of time?

If you want to make these cupcakes ahead, you definitely can. Life is busy sometimes, and planning ahead can be helpful.

Just cook them according to the directions; once they are cooled, you can store them in the fridge for a day or two, and when you are ready to use them, allow them to come up to room temperature. Make the frosting while the cupcakes are coming up to room temperature, and then frost just before serving!

red velvet 1

Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting

These red velvet cupcakes are perfectly moist, light, and fluffy, and they're topped with luscious cream cheese frosting. Once you've tried one, you'll agree they're the best.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 Cupcakes

Equipment

  • 1 Stand Up Mixer or large mixing bowl

Ingredients
  

Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • 1-1/3 cup cake flour
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp food coloring
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • ½ tsp vinegar
  • cup buttermilk

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • ½ cup butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese brick style
  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla

Instructions
 

To Make Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two standard 12-count muffin pans with 12-16 cupcake liners and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, sift the cake flour and cocoa powder together, then whisk in the baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  • Add the egg and mix until fully combined, then mix in the oil, red food coloring, vanilla extract, and vinegar, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Mix in the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Make sure to mix in each addition until just combined and be careful not to overmix the batter.
  • Evenly distribute the batter between all 16 cupcake liners in the prepared muffin pans, only filling each one about halfway full.
  • Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Carefully remove the cupcakes from the pan and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

To Make Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the butter and mix for about 30 seconds to 1 minute until well combined and smooth.
  • Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue mixing until fully combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue mixing until fully combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Keyword cupcake, red velvet
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