Red Velvet Cupcakes are irresistible any time of the year, but especially fitting for Valentine's Day, 4th of July, or Christmas celebrations. With an eye-catching color, a hint of chocolate, and topped with an addictive rich and tangy cream cheese frosting, these will become an all-occasion favorite!

I love the simplicity and ease of whipping up a batch of homemade cupcakes for an unfussy treat that doesn't involves stacking and layering! Our Best Ever Moist Chocolate Cupcakes are truly amazing and so easy to whip up, and our S’mores Cupcakes with Graham Cracker Frosting are perfect for a taste of summer year-round!

Red velvet cupcakes with frosting on marble counter with red velvet cake crumbs sprinkled on top.

This easy red velvet cupcake recipe is ready in just 40 minutes, and I used regular, everyday pantry staples. The one thing you may need to run to the store for is red food coloring which you'll find in the baking aisle, or you could even buy it online if you're planning ahead.

Red velvet cupcakes are such an easy and fun dessert to make, perfect for pretty much any occasion. Want to make a fun Valentine's Day treat with the kids? Make Red Velvet Cupcakes. How about something red and white with green sprinkles for Christmas? Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting is the answer! Red, white, and blue for July 4th? All you need is blue sprinkles!

Overhead image of red velvet cupcakes with frosting on marble counter, one cupcake on it's side.

Why this Recipe Works

  • The combo of butter and oil makes for the best texture and flavor.
  • You get 2 dozen cupcakes so this is great for bake sales, parties, and more. Or you can freeze the unfrosted cupcakes to later.
  • The cream cheese frosting on these red velvet cupcakes is tangy, fluffy, and irresistibly good. I could just eat it with a spoon! It only requires 4 ingredients, again, you'll probably have them on hand already.

Ingredient Notes

I love that I almost always have the ingredients on hand so I can make this red velvet cupcake recipe whenever I get the craving. Did you know you can freeze cream cheese and buttermilk? They both do great in the freezer so you have some whenever you need it. Just be sure to let it thaw and come up to room temperature before adding it to the recipe.

  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk adds a lovely tang to cake and cupcake recipes. Perfect for red velvet cupcakes!
  • White vinegar: You might see the ingredient "vinegar" and think that's a little odd to put in a cupcake! When vinegar mixes with baking soda, however, they release carbon dioxide together which helps the cake to rise even more when baking.
  • Cake flour: If you don't have cake flour, you can make a good replacement by using 2 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour and ¼ cup of cornstarch instead.
  • Cocoa powder: Cocoa powder adds a chocolate flavor as well as darkening the color so that the red velvet cupcakes aren't bright red, but more of a crimson.
  • Cream cheese: Adding cream cheese gives the frosting an amazing tang. it's SO good!
Red velvet cupcake ingredients in separate bowls on a white marble surface.

How to Make This Recipe

  1. Prep the oven and the pan. Firstly, preheat the oven to 350°F, and then line a cupcake pan with paper cupcake liners.
  2. Beat the egg whites. Secondly, in a large bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form (about 2 minutes) and set aside.

3. Whisk Dry ingredients. Next, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt.
4. Mix wet ingredients, and then add it all together. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy and light. Add oil, vanilla, eggs, vinegar, and food coloring (affiliate link). Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk.

5. Fill 'em up & bake! Fill the cupcake liners ½ to ⅔ of the way full. Bake the red velvet cupcakes for 19-21 minutes until the tops spring back at a touch or a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean.

Homemade red velvet cake batter in cupcake liner in tray, ready to bake.

6. Make frosting and set. Finally, beat the butter and cream cheese with vanilla, and then add the powdered sugar. Beat them together for 5-7 minutes. Frost the red velvet cupcakes, then refrigerate to set.

An unwrapped, unfrosted red velvet cupcake.

Recipe FAQ's

What flavor are red velvet cupcakes?

Red Velvet Cupcakes have a buttery, light chocolate flavor, thanks to the added cocoa powder. Some Red Velvet Cupcake recipes skip the cocoa powder so they have more of a vanilla cupcake flavor with a bright red cupcake, but traditionally there will be a little cocoa powder in the cupcake batter for flavor and a deeper color.

Why do you add buttermilk to red velvet cupcakes?

Buttermilk, along with vinegar, reacts to baking soda giving these Red Velvet Cupcakes an excellent rise when they bake. If you need to, you can substitute buttermilk for regular milk, and increase the amount of vinegar slightly.

What are some other frosting options for red velvet cupcakes?

The cream cheese frosting I used this time around is a classic, but other great choices include Cookies & Cream Frosting, Homemade Rainbow Chip Frosting, or even just a good old plain Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.

Recipe Tips

  • Storage: As these cupcakes have cream cheese frosting, they'll need to be stored in the refrigerator. Store them in an airtight container and they'll last for up to a week.
  • Freezing: You can also freeze them for 2-3 months. Thaw on the counter, then frost and serve!
  • Measure correctly: I use the scoop & level method where you fluff the flour in the container, then spoon it into the measuring cup until it is piled over the top and use a knife or other straight edge to level it off.
  • Use room temperature ingredients: This really does make a difference when baking cakes and cupcakes! You can cheat a bit by putting your eggs in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes and microwaving the butter for 6-10 seconds to speed things up a bit if you have to.
  • Variation: Try tossing some chocolate chips in a few teaspoons of flour and stirring them into the batter before adding it to the cupcake liners! Or break up some Oreos and add those to the batter for an Oreo red velvet cupcake!
Red velvet cupcake with frosting and pink sprinkles on marble counter.

More Cupcake Recipes

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

Stay in the know

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

4.17 from 6 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Cake
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cupcakes
Red Velvet Cupcakes are irresistible any time of the year, but especially fitting for Valentine's Day, July 4th, or Christmas celebrations! With an eye-catching color, and a hint of chocolate, and topped with an addictive rich and tangy cream cheese frosting, these will become an all-occasion favorite!

Ingredients
  

Cupcakes

  • cup salted butter
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar (300g)
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs separated whites from yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk (240g)
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 ½ cups cake flour, spooned & leveled (298g)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (15g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons red liquid food coloring

Cream cheese frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • ½ cup salted butter softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (480g)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with paper cupcake liners.
  • In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form (about 2 minutes) and set aside.
  • Whisk cake flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt.
  • Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy and light. Add oil, vanilla, egg yolks, vinegar, and food coloring. Alternate adding flour and buttermilk. Fold in egg whites gently.
  • Fill cupcake liners ½ to ⅔ of the way full. Bake for 19-21 minutes until the tops spring back at a touch or a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean.
  • Beat butter and cream cheese with vanilla. Add powdered sugar. Beat 5-7 minutes. Frost, then refrigerate to set.

Notes

  • Storage: As these cupcakes have cream cheese frosting, they'll need to be stored in the refrigerator. Store them in an airtight container and they'll last for up to a week.
  • Freezing: You can also freeze them for 2-3 months. Thaw on the counter, then frost and serve!
  • Measure correctly: I use the scoop & level method where you fluff the flour in the container, then spoon it into the measuring cup until it is piled over the top and use a knife or other straight edge to level it off.
  • Use room temperature ingredients: This really does make a difference when baking cakes and cupcakes! You can cheat a bit by putting your eggs in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes and microwaving the butter for 6-10 seconds to speed things up a bit if you have to.
  • Variation: Try tossing some chocolate chips in a few teaspoons of flour and stirring them into the batter before adding it to the cupcake liners! Or break up some Oreos and add those to the batter for an Oreo red velvet cupcake!
  • Cake flour substitution: If you don't have cake flour, you can make a good replacement by using 2 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour and ¼ cup of cornstarch instead.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 277kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 246mg | Potassium: 55mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 363IU | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

Share This With the World

PinYummly

Related Recipes

About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

How many stars would you give this recipe?




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

Reader questions and reviews

  1. Hi, i have clarification re eggs. Recipe says 2 eggs and procedure says beat egg whites until soft peak. So do I use egg whites from the 2 eggs? How about the eggs mentioned in step #4? How many eggs total for the recipe pls? Sorry need to clarify. Thanks so much.

    1. I'm so sorry! It's fixed now - it's 2 eggs, separated. So the whites are beaten and it's just the yolks added in step 4, then the whites get folded in. I updated the instructions so they are more precise!

    1. I'm sorry for the confusion! It's 2 egg whites - the whites and yolks just need to be separated. I updated the instructions to try and make it a bit more clear!

    1. It's only needed if you don't have cake flour on hand. The measurements are in the notes but it's 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup cornstarch to replace 2 1/2 cups of cake flour.