The BEST Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

The BEST Red Velvet Cupcakes are a light cake with a beautiful red color and a slight chocolate flavor with a little tang from the buttermilk.  They are perfectly moist and topped with cream cheese frosting.  You will agree that these are the best!

Hi, it’s Jenn, from Eat Cake For Dinner.  I’m back again sharing one of my absolute favorite cupcake recipes with you.

When I was young, I had never heard of, or seen, a red velvet cupcake.  It wasn’t until I was an adult when I first discovered red velvet cake.  Honestly, I think I first saw a red velvet cake on an episode of Paula Deen on T.V. and I had to try this interesting cake right away.

From the moment I first tasted red velvet cake, it instantly became my favorite and is still, to this day, my favorite flavor of cake.

There was a time when I was making a new red velvet cake recipe every weekend. I had to make up for lost time, right?  I tried recipe after recipe and none compared to this one.  It is a light cake with a beautiful red color and a slight chocolate flavor with a little tang from the buttermilk.  Red velvet cake is not meant to have a super strong chocolate flavor.

I top these cupcakes with my go-to cream cheese frosting recipe.  I prefer my cream cheese frosting to have more butter than cream cheese, but if you like a super strong cream cheese flavor, you can double the cream cheese and cut the amount of butter called for in half.

This has been my go-to red velvet cupcake recipe for years and years and I’m sure it will become your favorite too.

4.5 from 18 reviews
The BEST Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
A moist red velvet cupcake with a light texture and a slight chocolate flavor. Topped with a rich and creamy cream cheese frosting.
  • 3⅓ c. cake flour (not self-rising)
  • ¾ c. (12 Tbl.) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2¼ c. sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 Tbl. liquid red food coloring
  • 3 Tbl. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • 1½ c. buttermilk
  • 1½ tsp. white vinegar
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4½ c. powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbl. milk, plus more if needed
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and spray with cooking spray; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and sugar and mix on medium speed until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk the food coloring, cocoa powder and vanilla together; add to the butter/sugar mixture and mix well. Stir the salt into the buttermilk and add to the batter in three parts, alternating with the cake flour, starting and ending with flour. In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar and baking soda; add to the batter and mix well.
  2. Fill cupcake liners ⅔ full with batter and bake in preheated oven for 17-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not over bake. Repeat with remaining cupcakes. Cool completely and top with Cream Cheese Frosting. Makes about 3½ dozen cupcakes.
  3. For the Cream Cheese Frosting: In a large bowl, mix together butter, cream cheese, salt and vanilla until smooth. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. If frosting is too thick, add a little milk. If you are planning to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, you want it thick enough to hold its shape. This makes enough frosting to pipe a big swirl on the top of each cupcake. I used a Wilton 1M piping tip.
  4. *If you do not want to pipe a large swirl onto each cupcake and prefer to spread a small layer on top instead, the amount of frosting can be cut in half.
Alyssa Also Recommends:

Want to make this even easier? Here are a few products that I LOVE:

Finedine Mixing Bowls
KitchenAid Stand Mixer
The Recipe Critic Pink Apron

 Base Cupcake recipe adapted from: Magnolia Bakery and Frosting recipe from: Eat Cake For Dinner

You might also like these other delicious recipes from Eat Cake For Dinner

Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies with Cream Cheese Filling

The BEST Chocolate Cupcakes with Cheesecake Pudding Filling

Red Velvet Sweetheart Cookies

Jenn H

Hi, I’m Jenn and I blog over at Eat Cake For Dinner. I love being in the kitchen and spending my spare time cooking, baking and blogging. I like all types of food, but cake and frosting are my favorites. If you ask me, the more frosting the better!

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  1. I recently lost my red velvet cupcake recipe. I searched online for quite a while, reading reviews, always *just* about to print the recipe but hesitating because of the one-off comments some people made. I finally found your recipe and it sounded great. I made them last night and they were delicious! Sent them to school with my kids today. Thanks for the great recipe!

  2. Can you use all purpose flour instead of cake flour? Just wondering because I don’t have enough cake flour but I could go to the store sometime. Just wanted to know. Thanks and your recipes look great as always!

  3. Hey i made these cupcakes and they were awesome !! My client loved them too !! I have to make a cake now.. will the recipe work for a cake as well?

  4. It would be nice to know the quantity this recipe makes. I find this issue with a lot of recipes that no one ever lists the yield. Your directions state to line a muffin tin. but this could be a 12 or 24 count?

      1. hi Alyssa, just wondering if 3.5 dozen of small cupcakes or medium? i am going to try your recipe for a kid’s birthday party at school. it going to be cupcakes and cake.. please help.. thank you .

  5. As I write this the second set of mini cupcakes are in the oven, I also baked a cake with your recipe. My husband loves red velvet and I never liked it but omg I can eat this recipe everyday. Your red velvet Is so moist, so tasteful, so everything. This is definitely a keeper and I recommend whoever is thinking about making this not to think and just make it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  6. I just made these and they were soooo dense.. it was like a bread loaf.. I’m going to try them again and hope it was some little error I made ): Also this recipe made me 28 cupcakes!

  7. I would like to halve this recipe, but can’t halve 3 egss. Have you ever made this for a smaller number of cupcakes?

    1. What I do is normally crack the eggs in a bowl, whisk them, and weigh them on a scale. I then use that number to cut in half! It’s worked for me 90% of the time!

  8. Made these yesterday, and they were quite delicious. very tender cake and frosting was yummy, and not overly sweet! My kids loved them!

  9. OMG the best cupcakes ever! My daughter and I tested out the new kitchenaid mixer I got her for Christmas. This is our first attempt at making anything from scratch. Delicious, moist and flavorful. Just follow the directions!

  10. The cake is the recipe my Grandma passed down over 60 years ago, however you are not doing it justice using cream cheese frosting. There is NO better frosting for a red velvet cake than the old fashioned cooked icing.

    1. Make your CAKE FLOUR with ALL PURPOSE FLOUR + 2 TABLESPOONS CORN STARCH per 1 cup AP Flour. Spoon all-purpose flour into the cup over the cornstarch. Then use the back of a knife to level off the cup.
      SIFT 4-6 times.

  11. These cupcakes are super delish!! Red velvet is my hubby’s fave! He and my kids loved them!!! And even better because they’re homemade!! Thank you for sharing this recipe!! Blessings to you and yours!!

  12. Hi, I live in Europe and its quite tough to find buttermilk. Is there any supstitute fir it? Can I use neutral cream or something like that? And, please advise which cream cheez shouldI use? When you say 12tbl butter, how much that turns out in grams (or oz.) ? Sorry for all this questions, I don’t cook much 🙂 Thank you!

    1. For each cup of buttermilk, you can use 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice plus enough milk to measure 1 cup. Stir, then let stand for 5 minutes. You can also use 1 cup of plain yogurt or 1-3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar plus 1 cup milk. You are welcome to use a converter online that can help you convert to the grams or your correct measurements. Hope that helps! XOXO

    2. Sara,
      Try using kefir instead of buttermilk
      3/4 cups = 170 grams of butter
      the same kind of cream cheese you’d use for cheesecake or on a bagel, but not the spreadable stuff; the kind that comes in a brick. and don’t use light cream cheese, the water content is too high
      This recipe is delicious, but a little um… pink (i did use a gel colourant…)

  13. I’m trying these for the first time,. The cupcakes didn’t rise very well, they kind of spread out. Any recommendations so they can rise. They are super most and delicious!

  14. These cupcakes turned out great except they should be called “Pink Velvet”! I even used extra food colour but they still turned out dirty pink :(. I think the recipe needs to be adjusted. I used an entire 19 g tube of gel food colour and added about 2 tsp of red liquid and they still turned out pink! They are tasty though and have a great crumb 🙂

  15. I followed all the instructions and cooked them until the pick was clean. But for some reason mine looks more chocolate cupcakes with tiny hint of red then bright red like the picture? I used the right amount of unsweetened cocoa powder, so I donno what I’ve done wrong. They taste great though.

  16. Will the amount of frosting from this recipe be enough to frost the 2 or 3 dozen cupcakes this recipe yields? I don’t want to run out. Thanks!

  17. Have you ever tried this recipe with a giant cupcake pan? If so does the quantity of ingredients need to be adjusted? I would love to try this for my sons Mickey Mouse themed birthday party. Thank you.

  18. If you make these the night before to take to work, do you recommend icing them night before as well/completely making them & then putting them in tupperwares with lids in fridge? Would that dry out the cupcakes or the frosting? Or do you suggest just making the cupcakes, keeping in container with lid on the counter overnight & then make the frosting in the morning & decorate? Thx!

    1. I would suggest making the cupcakes and the night before and then making the icing the morning of and decorating them then if possible. The icing will be okay to make the night before but it won’t have the same smooth consistency.

    1. I like to use or for any nutritional questions. Hope that helps and you can find what you are looking for! Thanks for following along with me! XOXO

  19. Great recipe when it comes to the batter, but i did find it could use more food colouring and for some reason my icing did not come out that solid. But i did use more cream cheese then stated so this could also be why. Over all me and my mom enjoyed them and I shall use this recipe again. Thank you ! 🙂

  20. Thank you for this FAB Recipe! I made these for my kids and husband and they couldn’t get enough!
    Delicious and definitely the best red velvet cupcake recipe ?

  21. I tried this recipe over the weekend for my daughters 18th bday. They were a hit! The cake was lite and fluffy and had a great flavor. The icing was not too sweet but the cake was not moist. I followed the recipe exact. I live in NC so not at a higher elevation to have to adjust baking.

  22. i’m just getting into baking and have never attempted red velvet before. made these tonight (with all purpose flour) and they turned out great! very light and moist. will definitely be adding this to my recipe book!

  23. I just want to clarify if TBL means tablespoon? I want to try this recipe for christmas! Though I’m really scared i might effed up the frosting. c:

  24. I’ve been searching for a red velvet scratch recipe for some months and this was the ONE!!! It’s a big hit. I do wonder though if this can be used to make a layer cake?? Thank you!

  25. I made these cup cakes for my daughters basketball team. They loved it. It turned out just the way they look on your site. The colour and texture was great. Thank you 😘

  26. This is my go to red velvet recipes. I don’t use any other (and send people this recipe all the time). I’ve used it for cupcakes and cakes. Now, a friends kid is graduating and wants a half sheet cake. Help?!? For a double layer half sheet, would I double? Triple? Quadruple? Please and thank you ❤️

    1. AWE! That is awesome! Thank you! Yes, you will want to double the recipe for sheet cake. You don’t want it to overflow on the sheet cake so doubling it or tripling it will be great! Good luck! Please let me know how it turns out! I can’t wait to hear!

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