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Red Velvet Cupcakes

An easy red velvet cupcake that can be mixed up in one bowl and no mixer required!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time38 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: cupcakes
Keyword: cupcakes, red velvet, red velvet cupcakes
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Calories: 264kcal
Author: Heather Perine


For the cupcakes

  • cups (300 grams) cake flour
  • cups (297 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup (360 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (240 mL) buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp. (1 oz.) liquid red food coloring
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. distilled white vinegar

For the frosting:

  • 8 oz. (227 grams) cream cheese room temperature
  • 8 tbsp. (113 g) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • cups (313 grams) confectioners’ (powdered, icing) sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 350° F/180oC. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. 
  •  In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt; whisk to blend. 
  • In the same bowl add and whisk together the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar. Whisk until well blended.  
  • Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Let cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  • To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar and pinch of salt until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired. (I used a large, unlabeled star tip to frost these cupcakes.)


  • Tools: Cupcake PansCooling RacksPiping/Pastry Bags | WhiskAteco Tip #847 | Cupcake Liners
  • Make Ahead and storage:  You can make the red velvet cupcakes up to 2 days in advance, unfrosted. Just wrap in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature. You can also make the cupcakes and freeze for up to 2 months. The frosting can be made up to a week in advance. Just store in your refrigerator for up to a week. You may need to place them back in your mixer and rewhip back to the same consistency. If the cupcakes are frosted, it can stay fresh at room temperature for 1 to 2 days.
  • Cake flour: If you don't have cake flour, you can use AP flour but your cupcakes won't be as light and fluffy. Or you can make your own cake flour by measuring out the 2 1/2 cups AP flour, remove 2 1/2 Tbsp. Replace with 2 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch and then sift. Results won't be quite the same but will come close!
  • Buttermilk: If you don't have buttermilk on hand, then you can replace with 1 cup milk, and 1 Tbsp. lemon juice (or vinegar) mixed together. Let it sit for  10 minutes to thicken/react. 
  • Red food coloring: You can reduce or omit the food coloring, or use an all-natural alternative. I haven't tested with an all-natural coloring.
  • Layer cake: Here is my layer cake recipe
  • Check out my cupcake baking tips


Serving: 24cupcake | Calories: 264kcal | Carbohydrates: 22.8g | Protein: 2.7g | Fat: 18.4g | Saturated Fat: 6.1g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 207mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 12.1g | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 0.7mg