Red Velvet Birthday Cupcakes

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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!

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 22 min


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)

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Lori Lange of Recipe Girl

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  • Kathy wrote:

    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? 

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      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!

  • Sam wrote:

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

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Yes, that should be fine.

  • zara asif wrote:

    how can i make my own sour cream at home?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

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

  • Julia from Dozen Flours wrote:

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

  • Wanda Nuxoll wrote:

    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!

  • Debbie wrote:

    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!

  • Stephanie wrote:

    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?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

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

  • diane wrote:

    can you freeze these?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

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

  • Gigi wrote:

    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.

  • Gigi wrote:

    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.

  • Courtney wrote:

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

  • Tracy wrote:

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

  • Pamela wrote:

    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,

  • Cookin’ Canuck wrote:

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

  • Jen of My Tiny Oven wrote:

    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.

  • Jenny Flake wrote:

    Fantastic!! Love these girl!! Happy Wednesday!

  • maria wrote:

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