Red Velvet Birthday Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 22 min

Red Velvet Birthday Cupcakes

I made these for a friend who was hosting a couple dozen girls at a pool birthday party. They were a big hit!


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated white sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 ounce (2 Tablespoons) red food coloring
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cupcake tins with paper liners (24).

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine butter and sugar. Beat on medium speed for 3-4 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated before adding the next. Mix in sour cream, milk, food coloring and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed just until blended. Don't over-mix. Scoop batter into muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full.

4. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pans for about 15 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting. I like to frost these with cream cheese frosting.


*I like to use regular sour cream (not light). That extra fat helps keep these cupcakes moist. If you use regular sour cream, it's okay to use nonfat or low fat milk.
*If using commercial red food coloring is uncomfortable to you, look for coloring made with vegetable dye in health food stores.
*I love a good cream cheese frosting to top red velvet cupcakes. Here's a good recipe: Pipe-able Cream Cheese Frosting

Source: (Adapted from McCormick)

22 Responses to “Red Velvet Birthday Cupcakes”

  1. postedMay 11, 2011 7:08 AM

    Lori-these look perfect!!! I love the sprinkles too:)

  2. postedMay 11, 2011 7:20 AM

    Fantastic!! Love these girl!! Happy Wednesday!

  3. postedMay 11, 2011 10:55 AM

    Ok these are drool worthy! YUM! I have been dying to try Red Velvet and this is the recipe I am going to be making.

  4. postedMay 11, 2011 11:03 AM

    These are so pretty, Lori. I can see why these were such a big hit.

  5. postedMay 12, 2011 4:22 AM

    Thank you so much for the recipe! I can’ wait to make them. I am going with a “take me out to the ballgame” theme and those will be perfect. (especially decorated like the cookies you show on your home page!) This is for my sons graduation party from High School. He has played BB since he was very little, so we are going to serve food you get at the ball park and the invitations are going to look like ticket stubs. very cost effective, time mgmt friendly and fun. (i’m a full time student)

    Thanks again,

  6. postedMay 12, 2011 12:10 PM

    They look fabulous! So festive with the fun sprinkles too!

  7. postedMay 12, 2011 1:01 PM

    Making these as soon as I’m back in my kitchen! 🙂

  8. postedJun 23, 2011 5:19 PM

    I made these last weekend and they were a hit with everyone. My 8 yr old didnt even wait for the frosting. She popped 2 before I was done with the batch. I did have a little trouble with the frosting, I’m going to tweeking a little next time. Thank you soooo much for the recipe.

  9. postedAug 28, 2011 3:00 PM

    I made these again for a friend’s baby shower and a friend’s party by request. Lori your recipe is a hit everytime. This time the frosting came out perfect, yay. Thanks so much for the awesome recipe.

  10. postedSep 3, 2011 8:13 AM

    can you freeze these?

    • postedSep 3, 2011 9:26 AM

      Generally, if you wrap cupcakes well… they will freeze okay. Frost them after they have defrosted and are ready to serve.

  11. postedOct 7, 2012 8:16 AM

    These sound delicious! I know these were posted over a year ago (I just saw them now), but can you bake them as a whole cake instead of a cupcake?

    • postedOct 7, 2012 9:46 PM

      I think it would probably work out just fine made into a whole cake.

  12. postedNov 19, 2012 1:21 PM

    Just made my very first scratch made cupcakes using this recipe. I the cupcakes are as good as the batter I’m a happy girl!

  13. postedJan 13, 2013 4:31 PM
    Wanda Nuxoll

    These are awesome!!! We used this recipe for my daughters baby shower. Everyone loved them and the frosting was great as well. I have used many recipes from Recipe girl-I have not been disappointed yet!

  14. postedJan 31, 2013 1:04 PM

    I must try your pipeable cream cheese frosting! Will have to check that out.

  15. postedMay 26, 2013 9:43 AM

    how can i make my own sour cream at home?

    • postedMay 26, 2013 10:27 AM

      I don’t have any idea- do a Google search, maybe?

  16. postedFeb 6, 2014 4:56 AM

    They look delish..a quick qn can I use gel colouting instead of liquid based colouring. Or is it preferable to use liquid? Thanks

    • postedFeb 6, 2014 8:05 AM

      Yes, that should be fine.

  17. postedAug 12, 2015 8:16 AM

    Hi Lori, I’ve been a long time fan of your recipes.  I always use your wedding cupcake recipe for my cupcakes and everyone goes nuts over them.  My question is do you think I could use that recipe with a boxed Red Velvet mix? 

    • postedAug 22, 2015 3:41 PM

      I’ve often wondered that… I might be concerned that the extra ingredients in the recipe might drown out the flavor of the red velvet. Let me know if you try it!

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