Red Velvet Cupcakes

What can I say about Red Velvet Cupcakes, other than YUM!!!!  Ok, aside from the cream cheese frosting (which I have already expressed my obsession with on other posts) – the cake is just so moist and delicious, I could just go on and on.  These are definitely on the short list of my all time favorite treats.

Last year for the dessert frenzy at an auction, I made my first (in many years) red velvet cake.  I was worried that it wouldn’t be fancy enough, so I decorated it with berries, and piped the frosting in a nice design – and it was a huge hit.  The table that selected it just happened to sit right next to our table, and they devoured it.  Fortunately I was able to secure a small sliver just to try it.   There was only one problem – I didn’t have enough food coloring, so the cake was a mild chocolate pink.  It never got that really deep dark red color.  I apologized to the table, but they didn’t care – in fact, they liked that they weren’t ingesting huge amounts of red dye into their bodies.  Recently I saw this recipe in Cooking Light – and of course because it was red velvet, I had to try it.  Instead of the 2 sticks of butter I used last year for the cake, I used 6 tablespoons for the 24 cupcakes (I only have 2 cupcake pans, so I made mine extra-large) – and let me tell you, I could not taste the difference.  These cupcakes were fabulous – and the icing – oh my goodness what a treat.  You can also lighten up the frosting a bit by using light cream cheese – but I had regular cream cheese in the house, so that’ s what I used.  The cupcakes had the perfect amount of frosting to cake ratio in my opinion.  And this time, I had the right amount of food coloring, so the cake was the beautiful deep dark red that it is supposed to be.  It was a match that was definitely meant to be.  This recipe is a keeper – in fact, I can’t wait to make them again.



  • Cooking spray
  • 10  ounce  cake flour (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 3  tablespoons  unsweetened cocoa
  • 1  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1  teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1 1/2  cups  granulated sugar
  • 6  tablespoons  unsalted butter, softened
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1 1/4  cups  non-fat buttermilk
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  white vinegar
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  vanilla extract
  • 2  tablespoons  red food coloring (about 1 ounce)


  • 5  tablespoons  butter, softened
  • 4  teaspoons  non-fat buttermilk
  • 1  (8-ounce) block cream cheese, softened
  • 3 1/2  cups  powdered sugar (about 1 pound)
  • 1 1/4  teaspoons  vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare the cupcakes, place 24-30 (depending on how big you want your cupcakes to be) paper muffin cup liners in muffin cups; coat with cooking spray.

Weigh or lightly spoon cake flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine cake flour, unsweetened cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk. Place granulated sugar and unsalted butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and 1 1/4 cups nonfat buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Add white vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, and food coloring; beat well.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire racks.

To prepare frosting, beat 5 tablespoons butter, 4 teaspoons nonfat buttermilk, and cream cheese with a mixer at high speed until fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar; beat until smooth. Add 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla; beat well. Spread frosting evenly over cupcakes.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Red Velvet Cupcakes

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8 thoughts on “Red Velvet Cupcakes

  1. These are so adorable, especially with the cute little hearts. I like how these are a little lower in calories, so you can enjoy them without quite so much guilt. ;)

  2. I just made these and OMG the are amazing.

    The only change I made was leaving out the food coloring all together- blasphemy I know. So I have some super delicious not-so-red velvet cupcakes. =)


  3. WOW! that is definetly the perfect cupcake! I am definetly going to describe that in my story. Ill also have 2 make that! :{)

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