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Red velvet cupcake with glass of milk

Small-Batch Red Velvet Cupcakes

These easy small-batch red velvet cupcakes are moist and tender with the perfect red velvet flavor and swirls of cream cheese frosting. The recipe makes just 6 cupcakes and is so simple to make. Perfect for when you don't want leftovers!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Half-Batch Red Velvet Cupcakes, Small-Batch Red Velvet Cupcakes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Cooling 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 cupcakes
Calories 380kcal


  • muffin pan


Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour (94 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • ½ cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoon salt or just use a tiny pinch
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (30 ml) canola works too
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (28 grams) melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup buttermilk (60 ml) or substitute with ¼ cup milk and ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons red food coloring feel free to use a little less if you prefer
  • ½ teaspoon distilled vinegar white vinegar works too

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • cup unsalted butter (75 grams) softened
  • ¼ cup full-fat cream cheese (56 grams) brick style, cut into chunks
  • 1 - 1 ½ cup powdered sugar (110 - 165 grams)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • teaspoon salt


Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Line a muffin tin with 6-7 muffin papers using the middle 6 cavities of the muffin tin.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and salt. If the cocoa has lumps, sift it into the bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, melted butter, egg, vanilla extract, buttermilk, red food coloring and vinegar.
  • Make a well in the middle of dry ingredients. Then pour the wet ingredients into the well.
  • Whisk together until smooth and lump free. Stop whisking as soon as the batter is smooth.
  • Spoon the batter into the lined muffin tin, filling each about ⅔ to ¾ full. You should end up with 6-7 in total.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 15-17 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes, then continue to cool the cupcakes on a cooling rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Beat the butter until smooth. Then mix in the cream cheese.
  • Turn off the mixer and add in ½ cup powdered sugar, the vanilla and salt. Starting with the mixer on a low speed, beat in the ingredients.
  • Mix in a little more powdered sugar until the desired sweetness is reached.
  • Frost the cooled cupcakes - I used a piping bag and 1M tip, or a knife works too.


  1. Buttermilk: If you don't have any on hand, add 1 /2 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice to ¼ cup milk. Whisk together before using. 
  2. Food Coloring: I used liquid red food coloring. Gel works too. Feel free to use a little less for a less vibrant red color, or a little more for a strong red color. 
  3. Storage: Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 24 hours, then store in the fridge for up to 3 days. 
  4. Nutrition: Details provided are based on 1 cupcake with frosting, assuming the recipe yields 6 equal-sized cupcakes and all the frosting is used. 


Calories: 380kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 197mg | Potassium: 73mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 620IU | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg