Red Velvet Cupcakes

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Red Velvet Cupcakes have always been a classic, favorite flavor of cupcakes.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

These are the most perfect Red Velvet Cupcakes. They have a moist and tender crumb. They peel away from the cupcake liners nicely. And the buttercream frosting is soft and sweet. Keep them classic with no adornment, or give them some festive sprinkles.

Red Velvet Batter

How to make Red Velvet Cupcakes:

Flour, cocoa powder and salt are combined with buttermilk, butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs. Red food coloring is added in too, of course. Baking and soda and vinegar are combined and added at the end. The flavor of red velvet is created by adding the combination of cocoa powder and baking soda/vinegar + buttermilk to a basic cake batter recipe. This batter bakes into the most delicious basic red velvet cupcakes. Buttercream frosting is piped on top.

Frosting Red Velvet Cupcakes

What kind of frosting should you use for Red Velvet Cupcakes?

The frosting recipe included for these cupcakes is probably very different than other frosting recipes you’ve tried. It turns out very pillowy and soft, and if you use a round piping tip then it will frost onto your red velvet cupcakes just as you see in the photos. If you want to use a more decorative tip for piping or if you you just want to spread the frosting on with a knife, I suggest trying my Wedding Cupcake Buttercream instead.

Suggestion: you might consider making my heart-shaped Chocolate Wafer Cookies to use as a garnish on top of your cupcakes.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

What’s the best red coloring to use for cupcakes?

The recipe calls for one bottle of red food coloring. It’s a one ounce bottle. Otherwise, it’s two tablespoons of red food coloring. I sometimes like to use gel paste to color my baked goods because it’s more controllable, and I think it imparts a better red color. You can add a little at a time until you get just the right red color that you’re looking for.

Here are a few things you might like to purchase to help you make these cupcakes:

Red Velvet Cupcakes unwrapped

Here are a few more cupcake recipes you might like to try:

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Red Velvet Cupcakes

A favorite cake recipe turned into delicious cupcakes with white buttercream frosting.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 28 cupcakes
Calories 315kcal
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cupcakes, red velvet



  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
  • cups granulated white sugar
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • One 1-ounce bottle (2 tablespoons) red food coloring
  • cups buttermilk
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • teaspoons white vinegar


  • cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • dash of salt
  • cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • cups granulated white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract



  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and vanilla; beat until combined. One at a time, add the eggs; beat on medium speed after each. Beat in the food coloring on low.
  • Alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the egg mixture; beat on low-medium after each just until combined. In a small bowl, stir together the baking soda and vinegar. Add to the batter; beat just until combined.
  • Fill the cupcake liners two-thirds full. Bake 15 to 17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the centers comes out clean. Cool the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Gently remove the cupcakes from the pans; cool.


  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, flour and salt. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce the heat; cook and stir 2 minutes more. Transfer to a small bowl; cover the surface with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until cooled (do not stir).
  • In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar and vanilla on medium speed for 5 minutes until light and fluffy and the sugar is almost dissolved. Add the cooled milk mixture, 1/4 cup at a time; beat on low after each until smooth.
  • Use an open tip on a piping bag to frost the cupcakes. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.


  • Note: this is a really unique buttercream frosting recipe that is softer than typical frosting recipes. It's very good, but you can certainly try another kind of frosting recipe if you prefer. This one won't pipe on with grooved shaping.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 237mg | Potassium: 63mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 531IU | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg

Red Velvet Cupcakes

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  • Karen wrote:


  • Cat wrote:

    Ever since I have tasted red velvet cupcake from a store I’ve been in search of a close to perfect recipe (nothing in this world is perfect). I have tried 2 and this is the second. The first recipe I tried was a disaster. I think I over beat the batter. My husband said he couldn’t eat it. So I stumbled over this one thought I’d give it a try. I just finished making a batch several minutes ago. Unlike the first recipe I used muscle power, no electric beater or kitchen aid mixer. It was tiring but I have to say it’s worth the work out. It came out moist and fluffy even after the modifications I’ve made (unbleached all-purpose flour, no red coloring because I couldn’t find beet juice) to make it a little healthier. I also used low-fat buttermilk. Couldn’t find one that was not low-fat. No more rocklike, unedible red velvet cupcakes for us. Yummy cupcakes all the way! I was able to make 30 cupcakes from this recipe.

    Note: I found out that using an ice cream scoop is a lot better than using a spoon to transfer the batter into the cupcake liners.

  • Stacey wrote:

    I just finished making these and they are so yum! Thank you

  • julie g wrote:

    I just made these and they are really tasty…definitely moist with a light cocoa-y flavor (I used 2 TB of cocoa). I will definitely try these again…possibly with less cocoa b/c while they came out red, they have some brownish spots on them. Can’t wait to taste them with icing! THANKS for sharing a yummy recipe! Oh, I could only find lowfat buttermilk and they taste fine to me!

  • trace wrote:

    these are sooooo good! the first time i ever made and tasted red velvet the cake turned out so dry and just wasnt good. it ruined my experience with red velvet. a few years later i stumbled across this recipe and saw nothing but good reviews for it and decided to give red velvet another shot… now its my new fav cake!!!