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Red Velvet Cupcakes - moist, tender & topped with cream cheese frosting!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Light & fluffy, perfectly moist Red Velvet Cupcakes topped with tangy cream cheese frosting. The only red velvet recipe you need!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Red Velvet Cupcakes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Cooling 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes


For the Cupcakes

  • 1 ⅓ cups cake flour*
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 1 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring liquid or gel
  • ½ cup buttermilk**
  • 1 ½ teaspoons distilled vinegar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 8 oz cream cheese room temperature, 8 oz
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch optional


Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line a muffin pan with muffin papers. 
  • In a large bowl sift together the cake flour, cocoa and salt. Whisk gently. 
  • In a separate large bowl beat the butter until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Then beat in the sugar until creamy (about 1-2 more minutes).
  • Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. 
  • In a liquid measuring cup whisk together the buttermilk and red food coloring.
  • Beat the dry ingredients (flour mixture) into the butter mixture about ⅓ at a time, alternating with about ⅓ of the buttermilk mixture. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. 
  • In a small bowl or cup dissolve the baking soda into the vinegar. Quickly beat it into the cupcake batter.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin papers, filling each about ⅔ full. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, before removing from the pan and continuing to cool on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until fluffy. 
  • Mix in the cream cheese until evenly combined. Then add in the vanilla and salt.
  • In a separate bowl sift together the powdered sugar and cornstarch (if using).
  • Beat the powdered sugar into the butter and cream cheese mixture about 1 cup at a time, starting with the mixer on low and turning it up to medium speed as the sugar incorporates.
  • Frost the cooled cupcakes using a piping bag and tip (I used a 1M) or a knife. 


*If you don't have cake flour, measure 1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour. Remove 3 tablespoons, and add in 3 tablespoons of cornstarch. Sift the mixture together 3 times.
**If you don't have buttermilk, add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to ½ cup milk (I recommend 1%, 2% or whole milk). Let it sit for 5 minutes to sour before using.
***Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 8 hours, or in the fridge for up to 3 days. Remove the cupcakes from the fridge 1 hour before enjoying.