These red velvet cupcakes are easy to make, fluffy, light, moist, and topped with cream cheese frosting. These bakery-style cupcakes taste incredible and are every red velvet lover's dream!
What do red velvet cupcakes taste like?
Red velvet cupcakes taste like a combination of chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, topped with creamy, slightly tangy cream cheese frosting. These cupcakes are one of the most popular cupcake flavors ever!
Why this recipe works
- These cupcakes are perfectly sized.
- These cupcakes are unbelievably moist and fluffy.
- Topped with creamy cream cheese frosting.
- Made with simple ingredients.
- Perfect for any occasion like Christmas, valentines day, birthday, or family get-togethers.
Before you start to make this recipe, measure and prepare your ingredients so the baking process will go smoothly and easily.
Full measurements are in the recipe card below.
For the cupcakes
Flour– we used all-purpose flour for this recipe, self-rising flour, and cake flour will work great as well.
Cocoa powder- Use natural cocoa powder for this recipe.
Butter- Use room temperature butter.
Buttermilk- we make our homemade buttermilk (1 cup of milk plus 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar).
Granulated sugar– we like to use granulated sugar, also the most common sugar used in baking. Caster sugar will work great as well.
Eggs– To give the cake a good structure. Make sure you’re using room-temperature eggs.
Vinegar- the acid in the vinegar in the cupcake batter will activate the rising factor in the cupcakes and will create fluffy and moist cupcakes.
Salt– We used kosher salt for this recipe. Salt doesn’t give the cake a salty taste, it helps to enhance the chocolate flavor.
Red food coloring- We suggest using gel red food coloring, it's more vibrant and mixes great with the cupcake batter.
For the cream cheese frosting
Butter- make sure you are using room temperate butter.
Cream cheese- make sure that you are using whole-fat cream cheese that is at room temperature.
Powder sugar- is known as confessional sugar. For a smoother buttercream, sift it before adding it to the butter.
Vanilla extract- for extra flavor.
Pinch of salt- to balance the sweetness.
Set the dry ingredients aside and cream together the butter, sugar, and oil until a smooth mixture forms.
Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and add the red food coloring, and mix until just combined. Don't overmix the batter so you won't get dry and dense cupcakes.
Pour the batter ¾ into the cupcake tins and bake in a 180c (350f) preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
Make the cream cheese frosting
Into a large bowl add room temperature butter and mix with a hand mixer or a stand mixer until the butter is light and fluffy.
Add the cream cheese and mix until smooth.
Add ½ of the powder sugar at a time (you don’t want to be in a powder sugar cloud).
Add a pinch of salt, and vanilla extract and mix well until smooth.
Transfer the cream cheese frosting into a piping bag with a star tip and frost the cupcakes.
- Use room temperature ingredients.
- Don’t overmix the batter, you don’t want to develop the gluten in the flour. This step ensures you have moist cupcakes and not dense and dry cupcakes.
- Use room temperature butter and cream cheese.
- Use full-fat cream cheese, this step makes sure that your frosting is stable.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before adding the frosting.
- Mesure you flour correctly! When measuring your flour, avoid scooping it with a measuring cup. Instead, stir the flour with a spoon to create as many air pockets as possible, and spoon it into your measuring cup. Finally, level it with a back of a knife.
- Do not overfill the cupcake liners! don't fill the cupcake liners with more than ¾ of the way full. These cupcakes will puff up and expand. It doesn't seem like much but it truly puffs up beautifully.
- Use red gel food coloring. Gel food coloring mixes the best in cake batters, plus, it's super vibrant and pigmented!
- Double or triple the batter for more cupcakes! this cupcake recipe makes 12 cupcakes. So double or tripe the batter for more cupcakes!
These cupcakes will last up to 3 days in the fridge. Cover them with plastic wrap or foil to prevent them from drying out.
Yes! These cupcakes bake great as a sheet cake or a cupcake! Make sure you change the baking time.
We use all-purpose flour for these cupcakes. Self-rising flour and cake flour will work great as well.
The cream cheese frosting needs to be refrigerated because it contains cream cheese and butter.
If your cupcakes aren’t frosted, it’s okay to store the cupcakes at room temperature. Make sure that you store the cupcakes in an airtight container so they won’t dry out.
Freeze these cupcakes after they cooled completely in an airtight freezer-friendly container for up to 3 months.
Our tip is not to freeze it decorated or covered with frosting, because it can ruin the decorating on the cupcake, we suggest freezing the cupcake and decorating it when you defrost it.
If you’re not looking to impress anyone with your decorating skills, it’s absolutely okay to freeze the cupcake with the frosting on.
Dairy-free- to make this recipe dairy-free, replace the buttermilk with almond milk and replace the butter with vegan butter. Also, replace the frosting with vegan cream cheese frosting.
Frosting- If you don’t like cream cheese frosting, you can use vanilla buttercream or chocolate buttercream.
Chocolate chips- add chocolate chips to the cupcake batter for an extra chocolaty flavor!
More dessert recipes
Sprinkle brownies- These sprinkle brownies are made with a fudgy brownie base, topped with silky smooth chocolate ganache, and topped with rainbow sprinkles!
Triple chocolate cheesecake- This triple chocolate cake is made with an oreo crust, baked with a delicious and creamy chocolate cheesecake filling, topped with chocolate ganache, topped with chocolate whipped cream, and topped with chocolate sprinkles!
Nutella cake- This incredible Nutella cake is made by making three chocolate hazelnut cake layers, topped with Nutella buttercream, topped with chocolate ganache, and covered with toasted hazelnuts.
If you tried this recipe, don’t forget to leave a rating and a comment below. We love hearing from you.
If you liked this recipe:
Red Velvet Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 230 g Cream cheese
- 115 g Butter soften
- 3 cups Powder sugar
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Set the dry ingredients aside and cream together the butter, sugar, and oil until a smooth mixture forms.
- Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and add the red food coloring, and mix until just combined. Don't overmix the batter so you won't get dry and dense cupcakes.
- Pour the batter ¾ into the cupcake tins and bake in a 180c (350f) preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
For the cream cheese frosting:
- Make the cream cheese frosting: into a large bowl add room temperature butter and mix with a hand mixer or a stand mixer until the butter is light and fluffy.
- Add the cream cheese and mix until smooth.
- Add ½ of the powder sugar at a time (you don’t want to be in a powder sugar cloud).
- Add a pinch of salt, and vanilla extract and mix well until smooth.
- Transfer the cream cheese frosting into a piping bag with a star tip and frost the cupcakes.