Best Red Velvet Cupcakes {With Cream Cheese Frosting}

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The best, classic, light and fluffy, soft and moist red velvet cupcakes recipe from scratch, topped with tangy cream cheese frosting, homemade with simple ingredients.

Just in time for February 14th, these cupcakes will be a wonderful treat for loved ones. Consider serving them at a Valentine’s Day Party With its rich and moist taste and texture, they are just as delicious as my Red Velvet Truffles as well as Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies and Red Velvet Cookies (With Cake Mix) and of course, my Moist Red Velvet Cake and Red Velvet Frosting.

Homemade Red Velvet Cupcakes From Scratch on White Background

What are red velvet cupcakes? What do they taste like?

They are mini muffin shaped cakes that are topped with cream cheese frosting. They get their name from their vibrant red color. People seem to wonder: “Are they just vanilla cupcakes with red color?” The answer is No! They are actually vanilla cupcakes with a hint of chocolate flavor, that comes from the addition of some unsweetened cocoa powder.

How to make easy red velvet cupcakes recipe from scratch with buttermilk?

  1. Cream butter and sugar- Until light and fluffy.
  2. Mix remaining wet ingredients– This includes eggs, red fooding coloring, vanilla extract.
  3. Mix together dry ingredients separately– This includes cake flour and cocoa powder.
  4. Combine dry and wet ingredients– Alternating with buttermilk, until combined.
  5. Mix vinegar and baking soda– They will fizz and start to form bubbles.
  6. Add vinegar mixture to batter– Mix until just combined.
  7. Pour batter– In cupcake liners.
  8. Bake– Until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Prepare frosting– While the cupcakes are cooling.
  10. Pipe frosting– on top of each cupcake.
Partially Eaten Best Red Velvet Cupcake With Cream Cheese Frosting

What frosting goes with best moist red velvet cupcakes?

They have the best pairing with cream cheese frosting. It’s an old fashioned, traditional choice that provides a good balance of sweetness from the cupcakes and tanginess from the icing. Some other options are:

You can either pipe a swirl of frosting, using a piping bag and decorator’s tips (Wilton Tip 1M) or you can use a spatula to spread frosting on top of each cupcake in a rustic style.

Moist Red Cupcakes in Yellow Cupcake Liners


Cheesecake cupcakes– Stuff them with a no bake cheesecake filling, once they cool down and prior to frosting them. If you have never done this, check out this post on How to Make Filled Cupcakes.

Stuff them– Hollow out the middle of the cupcakes and fill them jams, preserves, pie fillings, chocolate truffles, Edible Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles, more frosting and even red sprinkles for kids birthday parties.

Add chocolate chips– Mix mini chocolate chips or white chocolate chips in the cupcake batter.

Make mini cupcakes– Use a mini cupcake pan and mini cupcake liners. Please note that the baking time will be shorter.

Marble cupcakes– Divide the batter in half and add red food coloring to only one half of the batter. Pour red batter and white batter in an alternating pattern in cupcake liners to make beautiful swirls during baking.


How to store cupcakes? They can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Can you freeze cupcakes? Yes, unfrosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Let them thaw overnight in the fridge and then frost them and enjoy!

Unfrosted Valentine's Day Cupcakes in Yellow Liners

Tips and techniques

How to make a frosting swirl on cupcakes? Check out this post on How to Decorate Cupcakes for more information on using Tip 1M.

Liquid food coloring vs. Gel coloring– Either can be used. You will need to use a lot of liquid red food coloring to get the most vibrant red color. Gel food coloring is more concentrated than liquid food coloring and a little amount goes a long way without changing the consistency of the cake batter.

Buttermilk substitute– Make homemade buttermilk by mixing together 1 cup whole milk with 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Mix and then, use in this recipe.

Use cocoa powder– This is unsweetened and not the same as hot cocoa mix and cannot be used interchangeably.

Use unsalted butter– Because that prevents these treats from becoming too salty.

Why did the cupcakes turn all brown? There could be a few reasons for this:

  • Not enough red food coloring was added in the batter.
  • Too much cocoa powder was added in the batter.
  • The cupcakes were baked too long.

Why are my cupcakes raw in the middle? They were not baked long enough. The rule of thumb is to insert a toothpick in the middle of the cupcake and it should come out clean. If it comes out with raw batter, it’s under-baked and needs more time in the oven.

You must use cake flour– Because it creates a delicate lighter crumb texture.

Cake flour substitute- Make it at home by mixing in some cornstarch to regular all-purpose flour. Instructions for this can be found below in the recipe card.

Do not over-mix– Because this makes tough cupcakes and can also cause the batter to collapse and sink while baking.

All ingredients must be at room temperature- Because they blend together smoothly and evenly.

Use baking soda– No baking powder is used in this recipe. Don’t replace one with the other since it would alter the texture.

More Valentine’s Day cupcakes

Best Easy Red Velvet Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting on White Background
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Easy Red Velvet Cupcakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
The best, classic, light and fluffy, soft and moist red velvet cupcakes recipe, topped with tangy cream cheese frosting, homemade with simple ingredients. 
Yield: 38 Cupcakes



  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, food coloring, vanilla extract and mix until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together cake flour and cocoa powder.
  • Mix in this dry flour mixture into the wet mixture, alternating with buttermilk, until combined.  
  • In a separate small bowl, mix together vinegar and baking soda. When these two ingredients come together, they react and create bubbles. That’s nothing to be alarmed about. 
  • Pour this vinegar mixture in the batter and mix until just combined. 
  • Pour cupcake batter in cupcake liners.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 16-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick in the center comes out clean. 
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool down completely.
  • While they are cooling, make cream cheese frosting.
  • Fill a piping bag with icing and pipe icing on top of each cupcake. Enjoy! 


  • Read all my tips above.
  • Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge from up to 3 days. They can also be frozen (without frosting) in a sealed airtight container for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the fridge when you are ready to enjoy them. 


Calories: 242kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 23mg, Sodium: 164mg, Potassium: 44mg, Sugar: 29g, Vitamin A: 145IU, Calcium: 17mg, Iron: 0.3mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 242
Author: Abeer Rizvi

Until next time, tata my lovelies.

2 comments on “Best Red Velvet Cupcakes {With Cream Cheese Frosting}”

  1. There is no baking powder in the recipe?

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