Red Velvet Cupcakes

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With all of the same flavors as classic Red Velvet Cake, these Red Velvet Cupcakes are faster to make all topped with cream cheese frosting!

red velvet cupcakes on a white background. some of them are broken in half

Red Velvet Cupcakes | A Classic Cupcake

Red Velvet Cupcakes are a classic cupcake recipe taken from my Red Velvet Cake recipe. Perfect for when you want something a little more simple than a tiered cake but with all of the same great flavors! Vanilla, cocoa, and a bit of tang (from the buttermilk)! Pair with a homemade cream cheese frosting and you’ve got a show-stopping dessert.

top down view of red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting on the tops

Main Ingredients Needed

Head to the store to pick up all the ingredients you will need to make these amazing Red Velvet Cupcakes:

  • Vegetable Oil – this is to keep the cupcakes nice and moist.
  • Sugar – to sweeten.
  • Eggs + Egg Whites – for structure and texture. The extra egg whites are used to keep these cupcakes light.
  • Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder – here’s the cocoa powder that’s used to flavor the cupcakes.
  • Baking Soda – the leavening agent for this recipe.
  • Flour – this fills out the rest of the cupcakes.
  • Buttermilk + Vinegar – these provide that classic tang in red velvet cake and provide such good moisture.
  • Vanilla – for flavor.
  • Red Food Coloring – I used liquid food coloring but feel free to use gel coloring too. Start small and add more if you think it needs more color.

Looking for even more cupcake recipes? Look no further! Chocolate Cupcakes, Vanilla Cupcakes, Vegan Cupcakes, and Carrot Cake Cupcakes.

red velvet cupcake on a white plate with some cupcakes in the background

How to Make Red Velvet Cupcakes

For full details on how to make red velvet cupcakes, see the recipe card down below 🙂

Preheat Oven + Prep Pans

Preheat oven. Line cupcake tin with liners and/or spray well with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Prepare the Dry + Wet Ingredients

In a large bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together to combine. Set aside.

In a liquid measuring cup, stir buttermilk, vanilla, vinegar, and red food coloring. Set aside.

Make the Batter

In a separate large bowl, mix oil and sugar together until combined. Mix in eggs and egg white, one at a time, until the mixture becomes lighter in color.

Alternate adding in flour mixture with milk mixture, being sure to start and end with flour. Scrape the sides and mix again to ensure a smooth batter.

Bake + Cool

Divide evenly between the cupcake wells. Bake in the lower 2/3rds of the oven. The cupcakes will be done when a toothpick comes out clean or mostly clean with a few moist crumbs.

Cool in the cupcake tin before trying to invert on cooling racks. Once you can handle the warm pans with your bare hands, you can flip them out. Cool completely before frosting and decorating.

What Frosting Should I Use?

Traditionally these red velvet cupcakes are topped with cream cheese frosting (which I wrote in the recipe card). But you can also use regular vanilla buttercream frosting!

unwrapped red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting

Make-Ahead Instructions

And if you need to make these Red Velvet Cupcakes ahead of time, you’ve got options!

Storing at Room Temperature

Once your cupcakes has been baked, cooled, wrap them in plastic wrap and store at room temperature overnight. Prepare the frosting then cover and store in the fridge overnight as well. When you are ready to decorate, set the frosting out at room temperature to soften for about 30-45 minutes. Give it a quick mix to loosen it up in your mixer for about a minute, then frost away! (You may have to add a splash of heavy cream or milk to bring it back to life.)

Freezing Red Velvet Cupcakes

If you want to make these cupcakes even farther ahead of time, consider freezing it! Baked cupcakes can be frozen for up to 3 months. 

Wrap the cupcake tin (with cupcakes in it) well in two layers of plastic wrap and one layer of heavy-duty foil and store flat in the freezer. Alternatively, you can wrap each cupcake in plastic wrap and then store them in a freezer-safe bag.

To thaw, transfer from the freezer to the fridge overnight and then bring to room temperature before decorating. Do not freeze cream cheese frosting.

red velvet cupcake unwrapped and cut in half with cupcakes in the background

More Red Velvet Recipes to Try!

Make these cupcakes for your next special occasion or just when you crave it!

The recipe card is down below, enjoy 🙂

Red Velvet Cupcakes

With all of the same flavors as classic Red Velvet Cake, these Red Velvet Cupcakes are faster to make all topped with cream cheese frosting!
servings 32 cupcakes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 45 mins

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
  • 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

For the Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tin with liners and/or spray well with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together to combine. Set aside. In a liquid measuring cup, stir buttermilk, vanilla, vinegar, and red food coloring. Set aside.
  • In a separate large bowl, mix oil and sugar together until combined. Mix in eggs and egg white, one at a time, until the mixture becomes lighter in color, about 90 seconds.
  • Alternate adding in flour mixture with milk mixture, being sure to start and end with flour. Scrape the sides and mix again to ensure a smooth batter.
  • Divide evenly between the cupcake wells. Bake 15-22 minutes in the lower 2/3rds of the oven. The cupcakes will be done when a toothpick comes out clean or mostly clean with a few moist crumbs. Cool 15-20 minutes in the cupcake tin before trying to invert on cooling racks. Once you can handle the warm pans with your bare hands, you can flip them out. Cool completely before frosting and decorating.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter together. You want them very soft, at room temperature so they cream nicely together and create a smooth frosting. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt and very slowly start to incorporate. At first, it will seem like too much-powdered sugar, but as long as your butter and cream cheese were soft, it should combine. Once the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase speed to whip for 1-2 minutes or until light and fluffy. If it still seems too stiff to use as frosting, add in 1-2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream.

Notes

If you’d like a brighter red cake, use more red food coloring. Some recipes use a full 1 oz bottle, but I’d suggest using half that amount, 0.5 oz, at most. It can leave an unpleasant aftertaste, so I like to limit it. If this doesn’t bother you, go nuts with the food coloring.

Nutrition

Calories: 274kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 171mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 214IU | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: red velvet cupcakes

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