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Red Velvet Cupcakes

Karissa Parrish
These Red Velvet Cupcakes are soft and fluffy on the inside, have a delicious buttery flavor, and are topped with my amazing cream cheese frosting! The gel food coloring gives them that bright and iconic red color we all love when we think about red velvet!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 16 mins
Cooling Time: 10 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 cupcakes


  • 12-count muffin pan
  • Cupcake Liners
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Electric Stand Mixer


Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or canola oil)
  • 1/2 tbsp red gel food coloring
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp white distilled vinegar
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk, room temperature

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 ounce cream cheese (block-style), room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  • Red Velvet Cupcakes: Whisk together the flour, sifted cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer (or handheld) using the paddle attachment, beat the butter on med-high until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for about 1 minute on med-high speed (will be crumb-like). Add the egg, vegetable oil, red gel food coloring, vanilla extract, and vinegar and mix at low speed until combined. You may need to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times.
  • Add about half of the flour mixture and mix at low speed until almost incorporated (about 5-10 seconds). Then mix in the buttermilk until almost combined. Finally, mix in the rest of the flour mixture. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and use a silicone spatula to fold the rest of the batter together (the batter should be mostly smooth and slightly thin).
  • Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full (about 3 tbsp of batter, I use my cookie scoop) and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cupcake comes out clean. Allow them to cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer them over to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  • Cream Cheese Frosting: In the bowl of an electric stand mixer (or a handheld) using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on high speed until combined and creamy (about 2 minutes). Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat on low speed for about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for an additional 1-2 minutes until smooth and creamy.
  • Frost the cooled cupcakes. I placed the cream cheese frosting in a piping bag and used the Wilton 1A piping tip. Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


Measuring Flour: To help ensure you don’t add extra flour, follow these three simple steps: 1) Fluff up the flour using a fork. 2) Spoon the flour into your measuring cup. 3) Scrape a knife across the top of the measuring cup to level out the flour.
Cupcake Batter: Be careful not to overmix your cupcake batter and to fill the liners 2/3 of the way full (that's about 3 tbsp and using a cookie scoop helps).
Must-Use Ingredients: What makes red velvet cupcakes red velvet are these specific ingredients: buttermilk, vinegar, and red food coloring. These are must-use ingredients.
Room Temperature Ingredients: The cake batter (and frosting) comes together nicely when specific ingredients are at room temperature. I recommend removing the butter, egg, buttermilk, and cream cheese from the refrigerator 1 hour before you want to bake.
Leftovers: Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Keyword cream cheese frosting, red velvet, red velvet cupcakes