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Adding frosting to red velvet cupcake.
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5 from 2 votes

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cupcakes are made from scratch. The recipe produces a super moist and velvety cupcake with a gorgeous red color, topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting. However, don't be fooled. Both the cupcakes and the frosting are easy to make.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Course: Cakes, Dessert, Valentines
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 cupcakes


  • Regular-size muffin pan


Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • 1 cup (8ounces, 2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups (14 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 ounces (2 1-ounce bottles) liquid red food color
  • 2 Tablespoons (.375 ounces) unsweetened cocoa (See Tip 1)
  • 1 Tablespoon (0.5 ounce) white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) cake flour (See Tips 2 and 3)
  • 1 cup buttermilk (See Tip 4)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (See Tip 5)
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces, ½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 cups (24 ounces) confectioners' sugar


Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Place cupcake liners in the wells of the muffin pan. Set aside.
  • Cream butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add red food color, unsweetened cocoa, vinegar, vanilla extract, salt, and baking soda. Beat on high speed until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
  • Add ⅓ of the flour and half of the buttermilk. Beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Add half of the remaining flour and the remaining buttermilk. Beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Add remaining flour; beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and incorporate any residual flour.
  • Add batter to pan filling about ¾ of the way full. Bake for 18 to 21 minutes in preheated 350°F oven. Remove from oven. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, and salt on high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners' sugar, several cups at a time, beating well after each addition. (See Tip 6)


  1. I used regular unsweetened cocoa, but you could also use Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa.
  2. To ensure the proper consistency of the cupcake batter, it's important to weigh your ingredients
  3. Cake flour produces a softer, more tender cupcake. If you don't have cake flour, you can make your own as follows: For each cup of all-purpose flour, remove 2 tablespoons of flour and replace the 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
  4. It doesn't matter whether you use full-fat or low-fat buttermilk in this recipe. If you don't have buttermilk, you can make your own by adding 1 tablespoon (0.5 ounces) of white vinegar or fresh lemon to a measuring cup, and then adding 7.5 ounces of milk to equal 1 cup of liquid. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes.
  5. I used full-fat cream cheese in the frosting, but you can also use low-fat cream cheese.
  6. If necessary, add additional confectioners' sugar or whipping cream to achieve the proper piping consistency of the frosting.