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Two red velvet cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting on a wire rack.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

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Soft, buttery, and moist, these red velvet cupcakes aren't just for Valentine's Day! They're so easy to make and are topped with a homemade cream cheese frosting. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword red velvet cupcakes, Valentine's Day
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 16 cupcakes
Author Danielle

Ingredients

For the red velvet cupcakes:

  • 1 ⅓ cups cake flour spooned & leveled (145 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder (10 grams)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature (60 grams)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • ¼ cup oil canola or vegetable work well (60 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon liquid red food coloring (15 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • cup buttermilk room temperature (160 ml)

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened (115 grams)
  • 1 (8-ounce) package brick-style cream cheese softened (226 grams)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (240 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  • To make the red velvet cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two standard 12-count muffin pans with 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 salt. 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 over mix 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 to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • To make the 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.
  • Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, pipe the frosting on top.

Video

Notes

Frosted cupcakes may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Freezing instructions: Cupcakes will freeze well for up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature. Frosting will also freeze for up to three months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature and mix well before frosting the cupcakes.
Buttermilk substitute: Measure out 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or vinegar in a measuring cup, fill with milk to the 2/3 cup line, stir well, and set aside for 10 minutes.