Red Velvet Cupcakes

I’ve only tried red velvet cake once in my life. It was on my last birthday at an adorable and well-known bakery in Chicago. The cream cheese frosting was yummy but I wasn’t impressed with the cupcake itself. If you’re not wowed then it really isn’t worth the calories, right?


Red velvet cake is the quintessential Valentine’s Day dessert. Every year the box mixes seem to sell out quickly; it has become really trendy. I wanted to be a part of it. When it took me 3 grocery stores to find red food coloring I thought to myself, “these better be worth it”.

The chic bakery cupcakes had nothing on mine, and I practically made a dozen for the price I paid for one. They were fluffy and moist. And the cream cheese was a perfect match for the cake. I’m officially in love with red velvet.

Hop on the bandwagon and make these for your sweetie ;)

Note: We opted for mini cupcakes therefore reduced our baking time to 12-15 minutes. Ours were ready in 12 minutes.  Recipe as shown makes 1 dozen standard cupcakes; we got 2 dozen minis and several standard size ones too.


Here’s what you’ll need

Combine food coloring, cocoa and vanilla

Mix together to form a thick paste

Cream butter and sugar; add egg

Add paste. And yes my fingers are full of red food coloring

Alternately add buttermilk and flour.

Then add salt, soda and vinegar

Fill cups 3/4 full

While the cupcakes bake, start creaming the butter and cream cheese for your frosting

Add vanilla then gradually the confectioners’ sugar

Out of the oven and almost ready to frost

Place cupcakes on a cooling rack

Sprinkles were the perfect touch

We put an extra cupcake in the food processor and used the crumbs to sprinkle on top

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Red Velvet Cupcakes

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert


For the Cupcakes

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 tbsp red food coloring
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp distilled white vinegar

For the Frosting

  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract


For the Cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn mixer to high and add the egg. Scrape down the bowl and beat until well incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl mix together cocoa powder, vanilla and red food coloring to make a thick paste. Add this to the batter, mixing until completely combined. You may need to stop the mixer to scrape the bottom of the bowl, making sure that all the batter gets color.
  • Turn mixer to low and slowly add half of the buttermilk. Add half of the flour and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining buttermilk and flour. Beat on high until smooth.
  • Turn mixer to low and add salt, baking soda and vinegar. Turn to high and beat a few more minutes.
  • Divide the batter evenly into the lined pan and bake for 20-25 minutes (12-15 for minis), or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, and then place on a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the Frosting:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until well incorporated and smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape the bowl down as necessary. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the confectioners’ sugar until all is incorporated. Increase the speed and whip until the frosting is light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary.
Keyword cupcakes