Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are a classic southern dessert. I think the festive red color makes these perfect for Valentine’s Day or even Christmas.
More About Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Red Velvet Cake is such an iconic American dessert, which made it’s debut in the 1920s. I prefer this treat in cupcake form so it’s the perfect individual size.
The cake is flavored with a hint of cocoa and vanilla extract, buttermilk, vinegar and lots of butter. There’s just something about that tangy cream cheese frosting that pairs so well with the cake.
I tested these red velvet cupcakes with vegetable oil, but highly preferred the taste of butter. This recipe was also good with half butter and half oil, but I didn’t notice enough of a benefit texture-wise by using the oil, so I stuck with 100% butter.
I decided to use cake flour for this recipe to make the cakes a little lighter and fluffier, but if you prefer to use all-purpose flour, that’s fine.
I also tested with recipe using whipped eggs whites, which did make these cupcakes a little lighter, however, I didn’t personally appreciate the texture difference enough to find the extra step worth it.
See the image below which summarizes the steps to make the cupcakes. Simply sift dry ingredients, beat together the wet ingredients, combine everything together and bake in a cupcake tin. Nothing complicated here!
Can I use this recipe to make a cake instead of cupcakes?
If you want to make a cake rather than cupcakes, simply double all of the ingredients, and bake in two 8 or 9 inch cake pans, greased and lined with parchment.
The bake time may vary from this recipe. Don’t forget to double up on the frosting, too!
More Sweet Treats You’ll Love:
- Red Wine Brownies with Ganache
- Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Mascarpone Frosting
- Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Chocolate Peppermint Whoopie Pies
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Cranberry Orange Scones
- Double Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chocolate Olive Oil Ice Cream
- Nutella Cannoli
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Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are a classic southern dessert. These are great for the holidays or an anytime special treat!
- 1 ¼ cup cake flour
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder (I used Dutch processed)
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp kosher salt or ¼ tsp fine salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- ½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature*
- 2 tsp red food coloring*
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp white vinegar
- 8oz cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1–2 pinches of salt
- Heat oven and prep pan: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a standard cupcake tin with 12 liners.
- Sift dry ingredients: Place sieve over a bowl. Pour in flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt, and sift together. Whisk to evenly combine.
- Cream wet ingredients: Add butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. You can also use a regular bowl and handheld beaters. Beat together over medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and beat until well combined, scraping down sides of bowl.
- Combine wet and dry: Add half of buttermilk along with food coloring, vanilla and vinegar and mix to combine. Add dry ingredients in two additions, alternating with remaining buttermilk, and mix over low speed until just combined. Scrape down sides of bowl and stir in any unincorporated flour.
- Bake: Divide batter evenly among liners in prepared pan, using an ice cream scoop or two spoons to scoop batter. Liners should be approximately ⅔ of the way full. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 5-10 minutes in pan and then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Make frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine cream cheese and butter, and beat over medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add sugar, vanilla and salt, and mix over low speed. Once sugar is mostly incorporated, increase to medium-high speed for about 1 minute, or until well-combined.
- Decorate: If desired, transfer frosting to a piping bag, fitted with a large round tip. Pipe frosting onto cupcake starting from the outside, working your way inside in a circular pattern. Gently lift to create curved tip. Enjoy.
For a substitute for buttermilk, mix ½ cup of whole or lowfat milk with 1 ½ teaspoons of white vinegar. You can also mix in a couple tablespoons of sour cream or plain yogurt instead of vinegar.
If using red gel color, add a couple drops at a time until you reach desired color. You can also use beet juice as a natural coloring.
Store cupcakes for up to two days and room temperature, or up to a week in the fridge.
You can wrap cupcakes in plastic wrap and place inside of a Ziploc bag to freeze. Freeze up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge. Leave at room temperature about 30-60 minutes before eating to further soften frosting.
- Prep Time: 40 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 cupcake
- Calories: 400
- Sugar: 38g
- Sodium: 190mg
- Fat: 23g
- Saturated Fat: 14g
- Unsaturated Fat: 9g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 50g
- Fiber: 0g
- Protein: 3g
- Cholesterol: 77mg
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