Red Velvet Cupcakes

Classic red velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are full of chocolate and perfect for dolling up special occasions.

Mini Baked Red Velvet Donuts are colorful and delicious. Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are red, tasty, and perfect for any Valentine celebration!

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting topped with heart sprinkles.

Classic red for VAlentine’s DAy

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting just seems like a classic Valentine’s Day treat to me, since cupcakes are pretty much good for any occasion!

I wanted to stick with traditional cream cheese frosting but didn’t want it to be runny or soupy. I did a little research and created a recipe that isn’t loaded with sugar and can easily be piped. Too good to be true? It’s not! I’ve got a few tips and tricks that will help keep this frosting tasting as good as it looks!

But first let’s talk about what’s under the frosting. The cupcake is buttery and moist with a subtle hint of cocoa. It’s got a good amount of food coloring in it to help give it that distinct red velvet look.

Since these cupcakes are nice and tender, they’ll look a bit underdone no matter how long you bake them, so be careful! I hope you’ll love these as much as we did!  

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting topped with heart sprinkles.

How to make red velvet cupcakes

PREP. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line one muffin pan with liners, set aside.

WET INGREDIENTS. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, buttermilk and vinegar, mix together. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter, sugar, vanilla and food coloring until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. With mixing speed on low, add eggs one at a time.

DRY INGREDIENTS. In a medium size mixing bowl whisk together cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. With mixing speed on low gradually add dry and wet ingredients, alternating one at a time. Continue mixing just until the batter is smooth no flour pockets remain.

BAKE. Scoop batter into prepared muffin pan filling liners ¾of the way full. Place in the oven and bake for 18-22 minutes or until the tops spring back and a cake tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cream cheese frosting

BUTTER. Meanwhile to prepare the cream cheese frosting, using the paddle attachment cream the butter, vanilla and salt for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.

POWDERED SUGAR. With mixing speed on low gradually add the powdered sugar, beat until it forms a fondant-looking ball.

CREAM CHEESE. Add cream cheese and mix on the lowest speed possible for 1½ minutes, then STOP! Place in refrigerator to chill for at least 15 minutes or until cupcakes have completely cooled.

FROST. Allow to stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before placing in a bag to pipe on cupcakes. Top cupcakes with desired sprinkles.

Tips, Variations + SToring Info

These decadent red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are sure to be a crowd pleaser at any event, and especially perfect for Valentine’s Day! Here are some tips when baking them:

  • Make your own Homemade Buttermilk to use in this recipe.
  • Make your own cake flour by measuring out your flour and then removing 2 ½ TBSP. Add in 2 ½ TBSP of cornstarch and sift together twice.
  • Be careful when handling the batter after you have added the food coloring as it can stain your clothing, especially if you have used the food color emulsion.
  • Add in a little more cocoa powder for a stronger chocolate taste, but keep in mind your cupcakes will be darker and less red in color.
  • Add extra red food coloring to the batter of one of your cupcakes before baking, then use that cupcake to make crumbs to sprinkle on the frosting of the others for a fun look.
  • For frosting that is the perfect consistency be sure to use a block of cream cheese, not the kind sold in a tub.

STORE unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days before frosting them. Frosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

FREEZE unfrosted cupcakes in a Ziploc freezer bag and use them within 2 months. When storing frosted cupcakes for an extended period of time it is recommended to flash freeze them first for about 20 minutes so the frosting will hold its shape. Then wrap them in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. 

Thaw frozen cupcakes at room temperature.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting topped with heart sprinkles.

More favorite cupcake recipes:

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Classic red velvet cake made into individual cupcakes… topped with a thick cream cheese frosting.
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Course: Cupcakes, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Servings: 12
Calories: 467kcal
Author: Life Made Simple Team
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup cake flour
  • 3 Tbsp natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter - room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider or distilled vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp red food coloring *
Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter - room temperature
  • 8 oz (1 block) original cream cheese - room temperature for 30 minutes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line one muffin pan with liners, set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine sour cream, buttermilk and vinegar, mix together.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter, sugar, vanilla and food coloring until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. With mixing speed on low, add eggs one at a time.
  • In a medium size mixing bowl whisk together cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. With mixing speed on low gradually add dry and wet ingredients, alternating one at a time. Continue mixing just until the batter is smooth and no flour pockets remain.
  • Scoop batter into prepared muffin pan filling liners ¾ of the way full. Place in the oven and bake for 18-22 minutes or until the tops spring back and a cake tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile to prepare the cream cheese frosting, using the paddle attachment cream the butter, vanilla and salt for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. With mixing speed on low gradually add the powdered sugar, beat until it forms a fondant-looking ball. Add cream cheese and mix on the lowest speed possible for 1½ minutes, then STOP! Place in refrigerator to chill for at least 15 minutes or until cupcakes have completely cooled. Allow to stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before placing in a bag to pipe on cupcakes. Top cupcakes with desired sprinkles.

Notes

*I have used both food coloring and baker’s emulsion. You will need different amounts depending on which kind you use (liquid and emulsion will be 1 tbsp.- Americolor and Wilton will be slightly less)
-This recipe easily doubles to make 24 standard size cupcakes.

Nutrition

Calories: 467kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 340mg | Potassium: 96mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 834IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1mg

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