Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are a classic feel-good dessert. These delicious cupcakes are super moist and stay that way for days!

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

The Best Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe

I didn’t really grow up eating red velvet cupcakes, despite growing up in the south. But the last few years, since diving into the sweets world, I’ve known a few people that are BIG fans. One them being a co-worker of mine.

Last summer I think it was, we were in D.C. for work. We had some downtime and found ourselves on the same road where Georgetown Cupcakes and Sprinkles Cupcakes are. Being the crazy cake fan I am, I ended up with like 15 cupcakes to sample. I LOVE trying different flavors and comparing. And believe it or not, we hit the stores at just the right time – no lines!

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Seeing that I didn’t grow up eating red velvet, I didn’t really consider myself worthy of judging it. So I wasn’t even planning on trying them. Fortunately, my coworker was all over it! He loves red velvet, so I got one from each store and we compared. He gave me a little lesson in what made a good red velvet cupcake – to him at least. And now I’m a total expert. 😉

Obviously a moist cake is required. When isn’t it?

And cream cheese frosting is always required when red velvet is involved.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I’ve heard people say that red velvet cake is just chocolate cake with red food coloring. I really disagree. The right balance of chocolate in a red velvet recipe is important. Too much cocoa and it’s too much like chocolate cake. Too little cocoa, and it’s just not right.

I did a little experimenting with red velvet to try and get it just right. My coworker has been my taste tester. In one of my tests, I added a fair amount of cocoa – close to what I add in chocolate cake – and it was way too much! Not only was the cake so dark it didn’t even look red but the taste just wasn’t right.

Red velvet really just has a hint of chocolate to it – 2 tablespoons in this case. For me, it should have buttermilk and a touch of vinegar. And the taste – it’s one of those things that’s hard to describe, but I will tell you that I wasn’t a big fan of red velvet until I had this recipe.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

So moist, so much flavor and easy to make. And with the cream cheese icing – perfect! At least I think so. Red velvet certainly does vary a lot.

But when I make these (and I’ve made them a number of times), they are always a hit with everyone. The hubs and I eat them up! And with their pretty red color, they are perfect for sharing for Valentine’s Day. 🙂

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 38 minutes
  • Yield: 24 Cupcakes 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are a classic feel-good dessert. These delicious cupcakes are super moist and stay that way for days!


Scale

Ingredients

CAKE

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 oz red food coloring

FROSTING

  • 12 oz cream cheese
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 6 tbsp shortening
  • 7 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

1. Whisk together all wet ingredients in a large bowl until combined. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients until combined.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix on medium high until completely combined.
4. Add cupcake liners to cupcake pans and fill liners about 3/4 full with batter.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
6. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

WHILE THE CUPCAKES ARE COOLING, MAKE THE FROSTING:

1. Beat the cream cheese, butter and shortening until smooth.
2. Slowly add 3 cups of powdered sugar. Mix until combined.
3. Mix in the vanilla extract.
4. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add a teaspoon or two of cream or water, if needed, to get the right consistency.
5. Ice the cupcakes when they are cool.

Keywords: red velvet cupcakes, red velvet cupcakes recipe, cream cheese frosting recipe, homemade cream cheese frosting, red velvet recipe, red velvet cake recipe

Enjoy!

Recipe slightly altered from Bakerella.

This post linked to Six Sisters’ Stuff, Lady Behind The Curtain, Lil Luna, Inside BruCrew Life, Buns In My Oven, Pint Sized Baker, Chef in Training, Wine and Glue, Love Bakes Good Cakes, Mandy’s Recipe Box, I Should Be Mopping the Floor, Clarks Condensed, Simply Gloria, This Gal Cooks, Gingersnap Crafts, Table for Seven, Say Not Sweet Anne, Simple Living and Eating, Walking on Sunshine.

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Recipe rating

75 Comments
  1. Rita Ellison

    I haven’t tried this yet but I want to. I’ve used your cake recipe for cupcakes and they turn out great! Just wondering why so much oil in this recipe? I would think it’d be greasy.

  2. Jamie Commodore

    Hey there… Love love love your recipes… Is it possible to put nuts I’m this batter and if so should I flour the before putting in the batter

  3. Lauren Morse

    I can’t get over the negative reviews – I made these tonight and on top of being the easiest and quickest recipe ever, they are absolutely delicious! You seriously have the most full-proof recipes, I’ve never been disappointed. Thank you!

  4. Gabrielle

    I tried this recipe twice I used gel food colouring and liquid I prefer the gel but it was a hit both times can I use other colors instead of red with this recipe?

    1. Lindsay

      Other colors would be ok. Just keep in mind that because of the cocoa in the recipe, they won’t be as colorful as normal. So like yellow would look a little funky because it’s got a little brown in it.

    2. Luz Rosado

      Hi!

      Thank you for all your recipes! I would like to know if I should use the same amount of gel food coloring that is used in liquid.

      Thank you!

      1. Lindsay

        You should be able to use less of the gel icing color than regular food coloring. I’m just not sure exactly how much.

  5. Maegan Hester

    Just made these, and although they are a delicious moist cupcake, I would not call them a real red velvet cake. I love all your cake recipes as I can always count on them to be supper moist, but this missed the “velvet” mark for me.

  6. Alice

    You officially need some kind of award… I am currently obsessed with your recipes… this was #6 and yet again everyone was hooked on it… thank you for amazing recipes❤️

  7. Martha Reynoso

    Im not a fan of RV so perhaps it’s just me…. but these were veryboily.  The oil seeped to the pan, the linder had oul residue…I can detect/taste the oil.  The cupcake is pretty though, very moist and fluffy.  I am hoping the frsting masks the oiliness.  ????. I am a huge fan of your recipes regardless.  

  8. Danica

    Hi I was just wondering what cupcake liners you used?  And are they red or white? I saw you mention to someone that they could use 2 liners per cupcake, do you ever do that?  Also where did you find the red sprinkles? Thanks!! 

    1. Lindsay

      I use white Betty Crocker cupcake liners that I find that the grocery store. I don’t ever use two liners, but you could. The sprinkles are Wilton brand and can usually be found at Michael’s craft store.

  9. Ash

    Hi Lindsey, 

    I love all your recipes. I wanna try this one though, how do you make buttermilk if you can’t find them in store? 

    Thank you 

  10. Kelly Mitchell

    Hi there, please can you share what food colouring? From south africa and we have a liquid food colouring from the supermarket – inexpensive but worried it would turn out pink or gel coloring from the bake shop which is expensive. Could I use liquidised beetroot? Really want to get the RED velvet colour you have. Thanks1

  11. Madison

    These look delicious but what type of cocoa did you use and if I wanted to make this a cake what size pan would i use.

  12. Becky L

    HI there.. beautiful cupcakes. Not a lot of reviews from folks who actually used the recipe.. I wanted to verify before I use my ingredients… that’s one and one half cup of oil???sure sounds like a lot.. so I thought I’d double check. thanks for sharing.

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      It is correct. I really like the cupcakes and thing the oil adds a lot of moisture, but if you’re sensitive to oil in cupcakes, these could end up not being your favorite.

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      Either an 8 or 9 inch should be fine, depending on how tall you want the cake. If you use two 8 inch pans, you’ll bake them for about 30 minutes.

  13. Krystle

    Do you have a particular brand or kind of food coloring. You know most red food coloring have a god awful bitter taste

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  15. Brandi

    I just finished making these. They taste fine but are extremely oily and sunk in the middle. I was able to salvage 8 out of the 24 and had to throw the rest away.

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      I’m sorry you had that experience Brandi. I’ve made these several times and haven’t had any issue with them sinking. Normally that happens to cakes and cupcakes if the oven is opened too soon. Is that possible? The cupcakes are definitely moist ones. If you try them again, maybe try a thicker liner or even 2 per cupcake.

    2. Javier

      These cupcakes are horrible, they have no taste, are extremely oily and sink in the middlem(no I did not en the oven). They are terrible, 1/5 stars

      1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

        I’m really sorry you had a bad experience with this recipe. I really don’t know why they are sinking. I’ve made this recipe more times than I can count, as a cake and cupcakes, and have never had that problem.

  16. Caitlin

    I just tried to make these. I added the white chocolate chips and they fell… 🙁 I do live in Denver and might have something to do with the altitude. Any suggestions?

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      I’m sorry, I don’t know that I have a good suggestion. I don’t know much about high altitude baking. Often, when cakes or cupcakes fall in the center though, it’s from opening the oven in the middle of baking. I don’t know if that could be it or not.

    2. Kory

      Hi there! I’m in Nevada at 4500 feet and have always struggled with how to adjust from-scratch baking to high-altitude. I found this guy on YouTube and he explains it so well! Watch this one and then there’s a part 2 that should be below it in the “related videos” section. Then you will have the formulas on what to add and what to decrease for your exact altitude. It has changed my life!

      I keep a thing in my phone’s notepad with my exact measurements so I don’t have to calculate it every time.

      https://youtu.be/ypiSP-dyBpI

  17. Shikha @ Shikha la mode

    Your frosting job is so good! I’m terrible at frosting so I just dollop things on and call it a day 😛

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      It’s all about the frosting tips! I get mine from bakeitpretty.com. They have an awesome cupcake icing tip package.

  18. Joel A.

    I was 26 years old when I first had a taste of red velvet. I couldn’t get over it.
    These are the best looking red velvet cupcakes I’ve ever seen.

  19. Jelli

    These are literally so pretty I almost forgot I don’t like red velvet. Pinning for all those who do! Such pretty cupcakes.

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      Haha, thanks Jelli! I used to not be as much of a red velvet fan, but making it from scratch – it has grown on me! 🙂

  20. Joanne T Ferguson

    G’day! cute, romantic cupcakes! YUM! Great photos! Thanks for sharing!
    Cheers! Joanne
    Viewed as part of the Foodie Friends Friday Peanut Butter Party

  21. Rachel @ Bakerita

    These look absolutely delightful, and I love how cute the frosting and sprinkles look!! Nothing’s better than a good red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting 🙂

  22. Laura@baking in pyjamas

    They look brilliant, I love the shade of red these are. I’ve only baked red velvet once, I think I should bake it more.

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12