Red Velvet Cupcakes

Finding the perfect red velvet cupcake recipe can be a challenge. Now – I love red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, but they need to be just right. They need to be moist and fluffy with a soft cupcake crumb. And they have to have a mild chocolate flavor, slight tanginess and a beautiful bright red color. I can honestly say that this is hands down, that these are my favorite red velvet cupcakes.

A few months ago I received an email asking if I had a recipe for red velvet cupcakes. And sadly, I had to say no.

Yes, I’ve taste tested my fair share of red velvet cupcakes and played around with different recipes-  but I didn’t feel like my own recipe experiments were any better than red velvet cupcakes from the bakery. So clearly, I had to do some kitchen research.

One of the most requested recipes I’ve had in the last couple of months has been for red velvet cupcakes. I love red velvet but it’s such a unique flavor and can be a little hard to get just right.

I spent a while testing different variations when it came to these cupcakes, from using just butter to just oil and also a combination of the two. I think it’s safe to say that more cupcakes went through my kitchen than I care to admit, but I finally landed on the perfect recipe.

These cupcakes are buttery, moist, soft, and taste just like a classic red velvet cupcake. I topped these cupcakes with a simple cream cheese frosting, but I’ve included some notes for a couple other options you can try too!

The Best Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe
I originally posted this red velvet cupcake recipe a few years ago, but I wanted to make them even better. I wanted the perfect red velvet cupcake recipe to be:

Perfectly moist without being greasy
Have a soft cupcake crumb
A delicious red velvet flavor that has a hint of chocolate and slight tanginess
Beautiful red color


  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 1/3 cups of cake flour
  • 2 tablespoons of Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of buttermilk*
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of distilled white vinegar

Frosting ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 8 oz of Philly cream cheese (1 package), room temperature
  • 2 – 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

The cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer for 3 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is fully incorporated. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla extract, and red food coloring.
  4. Add a fourth of the dry ingredients and mix, then add a third of the wet. Continue adding in a dry, wet, dry pattern, ending with the dry ingredients.
  5. Scoop into cupcake papers, about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Rotate the pan after the first 15 minutes of baking to ensure even baking.
  6. Allow to cool for one minute in the pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

The Frosting

  1. Beat the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and mix.
  3. Add the powdered sugar, continually taste to get to desired sweetness. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.