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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Allow to cool for one minute in the pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Beat the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
- Add the vanilla extract and mix.
- Add the powdered sugar, continually taste to get to desired sweetness. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.