Red Velvet Cupcakes – super easy to make and stays moist for days, with a classic red velvet flavor and cream cheese frosting that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day. A new cupcake recipe by our contributor, Lindsay Conchar.
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure Valentine’s Day was created as a way for sweets lovers to have an excuse to destroy everyone’s New Year’s Resolution and get them back in the treat game. I mean think about it – for the whole month of January you may have totally crushed your new commitment to eating well and here comes Valentine’s Day with its chocolate, sweethearts and dinner dates. Well played, sweet lovers. Well played. ☺
Of course I’m of the belief that everything is good in moderation. If you’ve survived so far, you actually deserve a cupcake. It’s true. And what’s better than a classic Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting? Few things – especially at Valentine’s Day.
One of the best things about these cupcakes are the easy of putting them together. Unlike many of my cupcakes, there’s no creaming involved. Instead this recipe uses oil and it provides a wonderfully moist cupcake that stays delicious for several days. Perfect for sharing with friends whom you want to shower some cupcake love all over.
It also uses fairly straightforward ingredients that you likely already have. The only exception might be the buttermilk, but I’ve got a secret for you. You can make this recipe without buttermilk! If you’ve never heard of powdered buttermilk, you have to check it out. It’s literally a powder that you add to batter, along with water, and it replaces the buttermilk. The powder can stay in its container in the fridge for months and still be good. No longer do you have to use a small amount from a big jug and throw the rest away. Plus, then you always have it on hand. Brilliant!
I know a lot of people wonder if red velvet cupcakes are really just chocolate cupcakes with red food coloring. While this classic American recipe does include cocoa powder, it is a very small amount of cocoa in comparison to a chocolate cake. Traditionally, the red color was the result of the chemical reaction between an acid (cocoa, buttermilk) and a base (the baking soda). The batter was naturally “reddish” but the addition of red food coloring really intensifies the color. Aside from the color, red velvet cake is also well known for its springy texture and a slathering of cream cheese frosting. Undoubtedly the best part!
MORE RED VELVET RECIPES TO TRY:
- Red Velvet Cupcakes with Pink Ombre Ruffles
- Red Velvet Cake
- XOXO Valentine’s Day Cake
- Green Velvet Cupcakes with Rainbow Buttercream
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Red Velvet Cupcakes – super easy to make and stays moist for days, with a classic red velvet flavor and cream cheese frosting that’s perfect for Valentines Day.
- Yield: 12-14 Cupcakes 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: Cupcakes
For the Red Velvet Cupcakes:
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 ⅛ teaspoons baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons natural unsweetened cocoa
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup buttermilk (or substitute with powdered buttermilk + water)
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons red food coloring
- ½ cup hot water
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
Make the Cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare a cupcake pan with liners.
- Add the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa and salt to a large mixer bowl and combine. Set aside.
- Add the buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, eggs, vinegar and red food coloring to a medium sized bowl and combine.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until well combined.
- Slowly add the hot water to the batter and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
- Fill the cupcake liners about half way and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- Remove the cupcakes from oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Make the Frosting:
- Combine the cream cheese and butter in a large mixer bowl and mix until smooth.
- Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
- Add the vanilla extract and mix until smooth.
- Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
- Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes using a large open star tip. Top with assorted sprinkles and edible gold stars, if desired.
- Refrigerate cupcakes until ready to serve. Serve at room temperature.
- If using powdered buttermilk, follow directions on package to make ½ cup.
- If desired, you can omit the red food coloring.