Skip to Content

Red Velvet Cupcakes

These red velvet cupcakes are moist, rich, and luxurious.  Toss out the box mix and make these cupcakes from scratch. I promise you will never want to make red velvet cupcakes from a box again. This recipe is fast, easy and delicious.

Red Velvet Cupcake
A light, moist and tender red velvet cupcake with a silky smooth cream cheese frosting

I get a lot of requests for red velvet cake and this is the best recipe I have ever used. The cake itself is tender, moist and soft. The cream cheese frosting is silky, smooth and creamy. It is the perfect compliment to the red velvet cake and practically a must!

The deep red color of the cake contrasted with the white cream cheese frosting has such a WOW! factor and makes it fun to eat. This is the same recipe I have used in several wedding and specialty cakes including this baby shower cake that I have posted on my cake designs page.

Red Velvet Cupcake
red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting

Not Just For Special Occasions

There is something about the dramatic red color of red velvet that appeals to brides for their wedding day. It is a vivid and striking cake for the most glorious day in a young lady’s life.

Although this is a popular choice for weddings, it is also quite popular during many holidays. It has the festive colors of Christmas and Valentine’s Day and reminds many of the saving blood of Jesus Christ during Easter. But these red velvet cupcakes should not be limited to holidays and special occasions. Make them for dessert tonight and the family will be singing a new song.

Red velvet cupcake
Delicious red velvet cupcake with a silky smooth cream cheese frosting

Fast and Easy Recipe for Red Velvet Cupcakes

This is an easy recipe that comes together pretty quickly and gives spectacular results every time. Even though it has a small amount of cocoa powder in it, it is not really a chocolate cake. It is actually a buttermilk cake with a barely detectable hint of chocolate. The cocoa powder is supposed to aid in the red color of the cake. There is a chemical reaction between the alkali of the baking soda and the acidic ingredients of the vinegar and buttermilk that brings out the red tones in the cocoa powder.

The reality is that the vibrant red color is achieved by using a generous amount of red food coloring. I have made this recipe without the food coloring and it turns out just as tasty but it does not have the same visual impact. Without the red food coloring, it is a light muddy reddish-brown color.

I know that red beet powder can be used to replace the food coloring but I have not tried that yet and just can’t say if it creates a vibrant red color or if it alters the flavor. I would love to hear if anyone has tried replacing beet powder for the food coloring.

You might also like these recipes:

Connect With Savor the Best:

Please follow us on our social media accounts

Facebook * Instagram * Pinterest * Youtube * Twitter

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Drop us a comment below. 

Red velvet cupcake

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Yield: 30 cupcakes

A light, moist and tender red velvet cupcake with a silky smooth cream cheese frosting



  • 2-½ cups (350 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1-½ cups (300 grams) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1-½ cups canola oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 to 5 teaspoons red food color

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3-1/2 cups (450g) powdered sugar, sifted


Cupcake Batter

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 30 muffin pans with paper cupcake liners.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Use a whisk to sift and combine the dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the oil, buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla, eggs and red food coloring. Mix well to combine. Pour half of the dry mixture into the wet mixture and mix on low speed to smooth out any lumps. Add the remaining dry mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl then mix on medium speed until well combined.
  4. Fill the cupcake liners about half full and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. If you bake more than one muffin pan at a time, rotate the pans halfway through cooking.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. To make the cream cheese frosting, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and salt in a large mixing bowl and beat on high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.
  2. With the mixer on low, slowly add the powdered sugar until it is well incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on high speed for 1 more minute
  3. Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost them with a butter knife or pipe with a decorating tip. If you don’t have a tip you can place the frosting in a ziplock bag and cut a small hole in the corner of the bag then pipe it onto the cupcakes.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 30 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 313Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 210mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 0gSugar: 24gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

Click here to follow us on Pinterest!

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

A light, moist and tender red velvet cupcake with a silky smooth cream cheese frosting
Red velvet cupcake with a silky smooth cream cheese frosting

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Emma @ Health Grinder

Thursday 14th of June 2018

Your red velvet cupcakes look perfect. I always have a hard time getting them to be the right consistency. Sometimes the middle isn't done through, other times, they feel like they've spent too much time in the oven.


Friday 15th of June 2018

Thanks Emma, try doing a toothpick test just before the "done" time. If it is not quite ready then check again in 1 or 2 minutes. The last few minutes of baking go fast so don't walk away for too long when it gets close to being done. I try to take the cupcakes out when it is still moist enough to leave a couple of crumbs on the toothpick. Thanks for the comment


Sunday 3rd of June 2018

Hello Dohn, Thanks for this yummy recipe, as I like red velvet flavor most and I was looking for its recipe. You helped me a lot. I will try it and would also recommend this recipe to my friends who love red velvet. Keep posting!


Monday 4th of June 2018

Thanks Alyssa, I hope you enjoy the cupcakes.

John@Kitchen Riffs

Wednesday 17th of December 2014

These look wonderful! And the color is so appropriate for the season. Speaking of which, I hope you guys have a wonderful holiday season!


Wednesday 17th of December 2014

Thanks John, same back at you

Kathi Kirk

Wednesday 17th of December 2014

These look fabulous! For some reason I have never made red velvet anything....I think I got my recipe now! Pinned! Kathi


Wednesday 17th of December 2014

Thanks Kathi, I hope you enjoy them

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe