Red Velvet Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please read my disclosure policy.

These Red Velvet Cupcakes are super moist and topped with a delicious chocolate cream cheese frosting! They’d be great for any time, but with some super cute heart decorations, these babies are all decked out for Valentine’s Day!

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting displayed on white stands

The Best Red Velvet Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

I wouldn’t necessarily say that Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that I get all pumped up about. It’s kind of a lot of effort to get all jazzed up over candy I don’t need to eat, stuffed animals I don’t need in my house and loooonnnggg wait times at restaurants. I can kind of get on board with flowers, but honestly they’re great any time of year, right?

Occasionally we’ll do cards just to take a moment to be all lovely and gushy and puke our love all over each other. 😉 But since we’re expecting two little bundles of love just before Valentine’s Day, we are basically ignoring it this year. If anything, I will get a couple cute onesies for their first Valentine’s Day and be done with it. Milestones, my friends. I’m on it.

Plus, I’m thinking holidays will be cuter with kids. What do you think? Am I wrong? It’s totally possible. But take these cupcakes for example. Totally adult appropriate, but also super fun for kids. I mean, sprinkles and edible toppers? Too fun. I’m hoping the kid thing is all sprinkles and chocolate. 😉

Well, at least if I’m wrong I can still make these cupcakes and pretend.

close up of cupcake with bite taken
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting decorated close up

And as far as making these cupcakes goes, they may look fancy but they are easy to make! The cupcakes themselves are made by combining the dry ingredients, then the wet ingredients (minus the water) and then combining them together. Then you add the water and you’re done! You really wouldn’t even need a mixer, if you didn’t want to bother. A big whisk would do the job just fine. A thin batter makes mixing easy.

The frosting is a chocolate cream cheese. You could totally leave out the cocoa and add in a bit more powdered sugar for a regular cream cheese frosting if you like. I just decided to change things up and add some chocolate. It pairs well with the red velvet and chocolate is yummy, so I went for it. But either would be delicious.

Once the frosting is added, the sides of the frosting are dipped into sprinkles and the cupcakes are topped with cute little hearts. I made the hearts with red candy melts, which are super easy to work with and dry nice and firm. You could even make other shapes, or little words like I did with the “love” on these strawberry cupcakes. So many options! No matter what though, these cupcakes are super moist, fluffy and totally delicious! A great treat to share – or keep to yourself!

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting recipe

Watch How To Make Them

Read Transcript

clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon
close up Red Velvet Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting on cake stand

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Life, Love and Sugar
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 17 minutes
  • Total Time: 47 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Cupcakes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


These Red Velvet Cupcakes are super moist and topped with a delicious chocolate cream cheese frosting!



  • 1 1/4 cup (163g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (207g) sugar
  • 1 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp (14g) natural unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp red food coloring
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) hot water


  • 8 oz (226g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 tbsp (86g) salted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups (460g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup (57g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles
  • 3 oz red candy melts


1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare a cupcake pan with liners.
2. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking powder, cocoa and salt to a large mixer bowl and combine. Set aside.
3. Add the buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, eggs, vinegar and red food coloring to a medium sized bowl and combine.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
5. Slowly add the hot water to the batter and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
6. Fill the cupcake liners about half way and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
7. Remove the cupcakes from oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
8. To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter with a mixer until smooth.
9. Add about half of the powdered sugar, cocoa and vanilla extract and mix until smooth and well combined.
10. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
11. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. I used Ateco tip 808 to create the swirl.
12. Press some sprinkles onto the sides of the frosting. I used a small bowl for the sprinkles and lightly pressed the cupcake into the sprinkles.
13. To create the cupcake toppers, add the red candy melts to a small sized bowl and melt according to package instructions.
14. Using a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 4 tip, pipe the melted candy into hearts of varying sizes. I mostly went with two sizes – one a little bigger than the other. Allow them to dry and harden, then add a couple hearts to the top of each cupcake.
15. Refrigerate cupcakes until ready to serve. Cupcakes are best when kept in an air tight container for 3-4 days.


  • Serving Size: 1 Cupcake
  • Calories: 370
  • Sugar: 47.5 g
  • Sodium: 299 mg
  • Fat: 14.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 59 g
  • Protein: 4.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 37.4 mg



This post contains affiliate links.


Share a Comment

Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you and seeing what you made!

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

  1. Dean

    I see that you have two red velvet cupcake recipes posted, one with chocolate cream cheese and one with the regular cream cheese topping.

    However, there are also slight differences in cake recipe. Which one would you recommend? These ones look much more bright and red than the ones from previous recipe.

    1. Lindsay

      Both are good. The reason for the others being darker is they have a little bit more cocoa in them. You can adjust that to your preference. If you like a little more chocolate flavor, you can use the extra cocoa but they will be darker. Neither is wrong, it’s really preference. As for other differences, the other cupcakes (with regular cream cheese frosting) have a good bit more liquid/oil in them, which not everyone seems to care for. However, this recipe seems to sometimes give people issues, where the other one seems more reliable. The flavor and moisture between them is similar, aside from the difference in cocoa.

  2. Charlotte Isaac

    The best cupcakes I have ever had in my life. They are easy to make and convenient. Everyone loves these and I use different colors to make them festive.

  3. Grace

    Hi from London, do I have to add all that water as the last few times I’ve tried it’s left my cakes doughy & a strong taste of soda & baking powder

    1. Lindsay

      I add the water and don’t have any problems. Reducing the water will of course change the result you get. But if you’ve made these cupcakes and had trouble before, then you could try reducing it and see what happens.

  4. Ana-Lisa Hill

    Love all your Recipes! I would really love to try these out is it possible for you to convert the cups into grams for those of us who like to use food scales please!

  5. Fa’ee

    Hi. Can I make this into an 8’ cake? Tried the cupcakes and they were amazinggg. I want to stick to the recipe.  

  6. Ren

    I rarely write on posts and gosh are these the best ever and 👏🏼 I 👏🏼 Just 👏🏼 Have 👏🏼 To 👏🏼 Comment 👏🏼 😭🥰💕 15mins after they’ve cooled and i’ve already eaten 5 😭 thank you so much for the recipe!

  7. Rohan

    Mam i don’t use butter milk i just put vinegar into milk thats my buttermilk. So according_to your recipes do i need to use vinegar separate also. Ex. in your recipe you mention buttermilk and vinegar.

    1. Lindsay

      I’ve never used the substitute in a red velvet cake before, but I’d think you’d want to add the vinegar to the milk before adding it to the cake, in addition to using the vinegar called for.

  8. Beenish Ismail

    I made them today, just added Hershey’s kisses in each cupcake. Loved loved loved the cream cheese frosting 

  9. Marion

    This recipe just replaced the one i’ve been using for almost 4 years. It’s that good! I didn’t have buttermilk so i just made my own (1cup milk + 1tbsp vinegar) and then followed everything. It didn’t dome, it wasn’t flat and didn’t crack! The sweetness is just right, i can eat this without frosting too. I really love it! Even my mom who doesn’t like rv gave me a thumbs up! Thank you!♡
    Can’t wait to try your moist vanilla cupcakes next!

  10. Myra

    Hi guys! Emailing from the UK here! I tried this recipe and it worked amazingly well. I put the cupcakes in the fridge and took them out, had a bite and they were still soft and springy with a good crumb. I really want to make this into a 8 inch triple layer, quite high. Can I ask, can I triple this recipe?

    I love this blog! Cannot wait to try other things!

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad enjoyed the cupcakes! I have never tripled the recipe, so I don’t know exactly. As long as the cake layers aren’t super thick, I’d think they’d bake fine though.

  11. frances

    i made 2 batches but i added 1 block of butter on the final mixture but it made it so airy. im going to try it again with just your recipe.

  12. Emma Reyland

    How did you get the sponge red?? I put in the food colouring as you said but because you also said to put cocoa powder in, the sponge just went a sludge colour! x

    1. Lindsay

      There’s just a small amount of cocoa. It does darken the red, but it should still be red. I used McCormick red food coloring.

  13. Daimy Camille Batutay

    What red food coloring did you used? The gel one or the liquid red food coloring? I have the gel one, can I use it instead?

  14. Jeannette Eades

    I made the triple lemon cakes. My granddaughter and her half sister were bonding and wanted to bake together. They were amazing! This is the first cookbook where the recipes are true! Usually have to make one time and fix it the second time. Bought your book and I am so glad I did! Best wishes for you and yours!????????

    1. Lindsay

      The ingredients and instructions are included in the recipe above. You can also see a quick bit of it in the video above the recipe.

  15. Milka Pongrac

    Thank You Lindsay for inspire me, to find the Bible passage of 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. It’s also scripture I love. How nice it is to know that someone else also enjoy in Bible. I assume You are Christian too. God bless You. Milka.

  16. Dena Koehn

    These look awesome! How fast did that time go….can’t believe your sweet babes are almost here! Can’t wait to see them! Praying all goes well for you when the time comes! God Bless!

    1. Lindsay

      It should work just fine as a cake. You may or may not want to double it, depending on how big of a cake you want.

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29