Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

You just can’t beat a classic, and these tender and moist red velvet cupcakes with rich cream cheese frosting are about as good as it gets.

Classic red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting from [1]

For the last several weeks I have been testing out red velvet recipes in preparation for Valentine’s Day. I wanted to have something new and fun to share with you, but I kept striking out.

First, there were raspberry red velvet cheesecake bars that needed a lot of work. Insead, I lost interest and gave up.

Raspberry Red Velvet Cheesecake Bars [2]

Then there were red velvet cookies dipped in white chocolate and coconut. They looked really cute, but tasted totally blah.

Red Velvet Cookies [3]

Lots of manhours and many, many bottles of red food coloring later, I felt a little disheartened. I shelved the whole red velvet quest and redirected my Valentine’s energy to other desserts, like trifle [4]and chocolate cake [5].

Then yesterday it hit me — what I really wanted was a classic red velvet cupcake. No spins, no twists, and nothing flashy. Just a simple red velvet cake piled high with cream cheese frosting. I’ve had such a recipe on my blog for years, but it was outdated and buried in the archives. I gave in to my craving and decided I’d update the old post while I was at it. So here it is! With new photos and clearer instructions.

The cupcake I gobbled up this afternoon hit the spot, and I plan to enjoy many more over the long weekend. You probably should too.

Classic red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting from [6]

Red Velvet Cupcakes

A classic red velvet cake recipe made into cupcakes, and topped with traditional cream cheese frosting.


For the cupcakes:

  • 1 3/4 cup (210 grams) cake flour
  • 1/4 cup (20 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (237 ml) canola oil
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (155 ml) buttermilk, well shaken

For the frosting:

  • 8 ounces (225 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups (455 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners or grease with butter or cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift cake flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand-held mixer, mix the oil and the sugar until well-blended. Add eggs and egg yolk one at a time, mixing after each. With the mixer on low, slowly add all of the red food coloring, being very careful not to splash. Add vanilla.
  4. Add flour mixture in three additions, alternately with the buttermilk and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined, scraping bowl down as needed; don't overmix.
  5. Fill cupcake liners 1/2 fill and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. Let cool in the muffin pan 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. To make the frosting, beat together butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and cream and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

Have you tried this recipe?

I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below, send me an email [8], or take a photo and tag it on instagram [9] with #completelydelicious [10].


Note: This recipe was originally published in May 2011. Pictures have been updated and the recipe has been scaled down to make a more realistic amount of cupcakes.

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[4] trifle :

[5] chocolate cake:

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