Red Velvet Cupcakes


Red velvet cake is a cocoa-based cake with a red hue, beloved whether it is in cake, cake ball or cupcake form. Here we celebrate it as a cupcake, making it the perfect recipe to make for a bake sale, birthday party, office or school event, or anytime you want to make someone smile.

Image: Peter Muka

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Makes: Makes 15 cupcakes
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sifted natural cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider or distilled white vinegar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons red liquid or gel food coloring
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ batches Cream Cheese Frosting, ready to use
  1. For the Cake: Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat 15 cupcake wells with nonstick spray or line with fluted paper wrappers; set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl to aerate and combine; set aside.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and vinegar.
  4. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and beat until lightened, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Beat in the vanilla and red food coloring until combined.
  5. Beat in the eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to be absorbed before continuing. Add the flour mixture in four batches, alternating with the buttermilk mixture. Begin and end with the dry mixture and beat briefly until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  6. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center shows a few moist crumbs when removed. Cool pans on rack.
  7. For Decorating: Slather on the frosting using a small offset spatula. If you like, you could use a pastry bag and tip, in which case I recommend the Wilton 1M tip. Cupcakes are best served the same day but may be stored at cool room temperature overnight in an airtight container.

Bakepedia Tips

  • You probably noticed that this recipe does not neatly fit into 12 cupcake wells. Do not try to overfill in an attempt to get 12. You will have overflowing cake batter in the oven.
  • The amount of frosting allows you to top each cupcake generously. You might use more or less.
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