The BEST Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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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!

Close up on 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.

Pulling the paper off a red velvet cupcakes.

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.

A red velvet cupcake with a bite taken out of it.

The BEST Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

4.2 from 5 votes
A moist red velvet cupcake with a light texture and a slight chocolate flavor. Topped with a rich and creamy cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes


  • 3 1/3 c. cake flour not self-rising
  • 3/4 c. 12 Tbl. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 c. sugar
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 Tbl. liquid red food coloring
  • 3 Tbl. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 c. 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbl. milk plus more if needed


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and spray with cooking spray; set aside. In the [url:1]bowl of a stand mixer[/url], 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 [url:2]small bowl[/url], 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.
  • Fill cupcake liners 2/3 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 3 ½ dozen cupcakes.
  • 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.
  • *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.


[b]Alyssa Also Recommends: [/b]
Want to make this even easier? Here are a few products that I LOVE:
•[url:3]Finedine Mixing Bowls[/url]
•[url:4]KitchenAid Stand Mixer[/url]
•[url:5]The Recipe Critic Pink Apron[/url]



Calories9508kcal (475%)Carbohydrates2187g (729%)Protein122g (244%)Fat37g (57%)Saturated Fat13g (65%)Cholesterol530mg (177%)Sodium5970mg (249%)Potassium1450mg (41%)Fiber19g (76%)Sugar1595g (1772%)Vitamin A1298IU (26%)Calcium611mg (61%)Iron10mg (56%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

 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. 3 stars
    While the flavor was very pleasant, I did not have the best return on color nor cupcake consistency. I did not deviate from the recipe yet ended up with a very thin batter that ‘poured’ into my muffin tins rather than being a thicker cake batter as expected. The cupcakes baked up with lots of tiny air bubbles and a very slight dome. Not sure exactly why… As well, the color wasn’t quite there — even with including the red food dye and expecting the ‘kitchen science’ reaction (combining buttermilk, vinegar, baking soda, and cocoa powder seemed exciting to me!) to bring out the red tones. My cupcakes were more on the brown with a tiny hint of auburn spectrum rather than the decidedly red tone pictured. I used Hershey’s Natural Process cocoa and Watkin’s Natural food coloring in red. Did I goof? The frosting recipe was delicious and a great compliment to the cupcake flavor. I don’t have any complaints, just curious if you have any thoughts as to what may have contributed to the thin batter and lack of redness in the cake?

  2. This is absolutely the best recipe that I have come across so far. My family enjoyed it!!! Thank you for sharing.

  3. 5 stars
    For me I went a bit light filling the paper cupcake liners by accident but it really is a great recipe. It turned out perfectly for me I’m so happy with the bright red color that I got. I’m taking them to work with me so we will see what my coworkers say

  4. I have made these cupcakes many times and according to my son ( who is 29 years old) they are the best! Any suggestions as to how to convert the recipe into a 9×13 or sheet cake size as I want to use this recpie to make individual trifles for a party for 25 people.

  5. 5 stars
    We just made this recipe for my 2 year olds birthday. I used a hand held electric mixer and I cut the recipe in half. It was Perfect. And the Icing is something that will open your eyes.

  6. My frosting is too runny and sweet. What should i do so it is think enough bro pipe. I can cut on sugar to make it less sweet. Thanks. Kids loved the cup cakes.

  7. Can you freeze the cupcakes? I am planning a 80th birthday party for my dad and have lots to do. I would like to make these the weekend before and freeze them and then frost them the day of the party. Will this work?

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