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Straight on view of a plate of red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting with a jug of milk in the background.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Sabrina Russo
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1 dozen cupcakes 1x


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
  • 12 pinches of salt


  1. Heat oven and prep pan: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a standard cupcake tin with 12 liners.
  2. Sift dry ingredients: Place sieve over a bowl. Pour in flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt, and sift together. Whisk to evenly combine.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Bake: Divide batter evenly among liners in prepared pan, using an ice cream scoop or two spoons to scoop batter. Liners should be approximately 2/3 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 buttermilkmix 1/2 cup of whole or lowfat milk with 1 1/2 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.

  • 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

Keywords: red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, red velvet cupcakes, red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting