Classic Red Velvet Cupcakes

Classic Red Velvet Cupcakes - the only red velvet recipe you need!|
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A Red Velvet Cupcake recipe to keep in your recipe book: moist and tender cupcakes with a hint of cocoa, topped with tangy, sweet, and creamy Cream Cheese Frosting.

  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes 1x



Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • 4 3/4 ounces (1 cup + 2 tablespoons, spoon and level) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons natural cocoa powder (not dutch-processed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 5 1/4 ounces (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature*
  • 4 1/4 ounces (1/2 cup) low fat buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons liquid red food coloring
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar**
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 12 ounces (3 cups) confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • generous 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons milk or cream, as needed
  • sparkling sugar (optional)


Red Velvet Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a standard size 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl. Whisk in the baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, oil, and sugar. Whisk in the egg until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the buttermilk, food coloring, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla until evenly combined.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir/fold in until incorporated. Be careful not to over mix; the batter can have some lumps and does not need to be smooth.
  5. Divide batter evenly between lined muffin cups; each one should be about 2/3 full. Bake cupcakes in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.***

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. In a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium-high speed until well-combined. Scrape down the bowl and beater and add the powdered sugar. Beat in, starting at lowest speed and increasing as it's incorporated. Beat on medium-high just until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and salt. Add milk or cream as needed to reach desired texture.
  2. Transfer frosting to a pastry bag and pipe onto cooled cupcakes.**** Sprinkle with sparkling sugar if desired.


*To quickly bring eggs to room temperature, place in a bowl and add warm water to cover. Let sit for about 5 minutes before using.

**Distilled white vinegar should work fine as well, but apple cider vinegar will contribute to the red color of the cupcakes.

***If desired, cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature overnight before frosting and serving.

****The cupcakes in the photographs were frosted with an Ateco #808 Round Tip