Red Velvet Cupcakes

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These homemade Red Velvet Cupcakes are so light, fluffy, and moist. They’re topped with the velvetiest cream cheese frosting.

This post is sponsored by ADA Mideast. All opinions are my own.

an unwrapped red velvet cupcake frosted with cream cheese frosting, cupcakes in the background too

I can’t wait for you to try these red velvet cupcakes. They’re completely homemade with the most light and fluffy texture and finished off with a traditional cream cheese frosting.

The cupcakes are super easy to throw together and only require two bowls. Those are the best kind of recipe.
June is national dairy month, and I’ll be celebrating with my friends at the American Dairy Association Mideast. Years ago, I traveled to Ohio to learn all about dairy farming, keeping cows healthy and all the hard work that goes into producing my favorite dairy products. In Ohio and West Virginia, there’s 1,800 dairy farms which produce about 639 million gallons of milk each year.

Dairy is an essential part of baking. Common ingredients I always have on hand besides milk are cream cheese, heavy whipping cream, butter, and sour cream. Did you know that milk makes it from Ohio and West Virginia dairy farms to your fridge in just 48 hours?

This recipe contains a few of my favorite ingredients, which you can read more about below. Let’s get to chatting about these cupcakes.

a large piping bag frosting a red cupcake

What does Red velvet taste like?

Let’s be honest, red velvet is all about the cream cheese frosting! The cake flavor itself is subtle. It’s not quite a chocolate cake, but a little bit of cocoa powder gives under lying chocolate vibes. I also like to add a decent amount of vanilla to my batter.

This recipe also has a combination of vegetable oil and melted butter. It gives these cupcakes the most incredible texture and flavor. It’s not very traditional, but I also added a touch of sour cream to keep these nice and moist.

3 Key ingredients

Buttermilk is a requirement for Red velvet cake. The acidity in the buttermilk is part of what provides flavor. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make a homemade version using lemon juice or vinegar.

Vinegar is another acid that reacts with the baking soda to provide a little bit of lift for the cake. Can you see how fluffy this cake is?

Natural cocoa powder– Although there’s just a hint of cocoa powder in this recipe, be sure to use a natural cocoa powder as it’s best to allow the reaction with the acid. If you did not add any color, reaction would give this cake a light reddish-brown color.

three stacked red velvet cupcakes without frosting

Dying the batter red

I recommend using a concentrated gel like Americolor, Wilton or Chefmaster Super red gel color. These produce really bright colors without having to add a whole bottle of food coloring. I added about 1 ½-2 teaspoons to this recipe. You could start with 1 teaspoon and see if you like the color, and then add more if needed.

How to make red velvet cupcakes

This is just a two-bowl recipe, and I love easy recipes like that.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Combine: Vegetable oil, butter, egg, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until well incorporated.
  3. Beat in the sugar.
  4. Add the remaining wet ingredients: sour cream, vinegar, buttermilk, and red gel color and beat until well combined.
  5. Combine the dry ingredients and add to the batter, beating until well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  6. Fill the pan. I recommend using a large cookie scoop for evenly baked cupcakes. This recipe makes 12 cupcakes exactly, so don’t overfill the cupcakes, otherwise you’ll come up short.
  7. Bake at 350°F for 14-16 minutes.
overhead of a cupcake pan filled with red velvet cake batter

Simply the best cream cheese frosting

I am going to humbly brag that my cream cheese frosting recipe is hands down, the best. For every block of cream cheese, I use one stick of butter. This seems to be the best ratio for a stable frosting. My recipe also calls for cold ingredients, which is the key to preventing the frosting from being too soft.

Frosting Ingredients

  • Unsalted Butter
  • Cream Cheese– be sure to use full fat
  • Powdered sugar
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Heavy whipping cream– you can sub this with milk if needed

How to make it

  • Cut the butter into 1-inch blocks. Beat the butter for 2-3 minutes until it is light and fluffy. This helps the mixer break down the butter. Be sure it’s whipped and fluffy before adding the cream cheese.
  • Next add the cream cheese and cream together for 2-3 minutes until they are fluffy and free of lumps, scape down the bowl occasionally. This will prevent a lump frosting, so don’t rush this step.
  • Slowly add confectionary sugar 1 cup at a time and alternating adding the vanilla extract and heavy cream. Beat on low speed until the powdered sugar has combined then increase speed to medium-high and beat for 1-2 minutes. Repeat until all the powdered sugar has been added and beat until the frosting is completely smooth.
  • Decorate with an large open round piping tip.
overhead view of a glass mixing bowl filled with frosting and a white spatula

How to store frosted cupcakes

I prefer not to refrigerate cupcakes because it dries them out. However, in the summertime or if you live in a warm climate, they should be refrigerated in an airtight container. These are still best served at room temperature.

If you’d like to prepare them ahead of time but don’t want to refrigerate them, prepare the frosting, and store that in an airtight container. Remove it about an hour before you want to frost the cupcakes.

For more information about dairy nutrition, to find delicious new recipes and to meet Ohio and West Virginia dairy farmers, visit Drink-Milk.com, and follow the American Dairy Association Mideast on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

overhead shot of a frosted red velvet cupcake with a bite taken out of it
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a pink cake stand with red velvet cupcakes on top

Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • Author: Beyond Frosting
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes

Description

These homemade Red Velvet are so light, fluffy, and moist. They’re topped with the best cream cheese frosting.

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • 3 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cups (143g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vinegar
  • 1 cup (140g) sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sifted cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup (158ml) buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons Super red gel color

For the frosting

  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, cold
  • 8 ounces (226g) full-fat cream cheese, cold
  • 3 ½ cups (455g) powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) heavy whipping cream (or milk)

Instructions

For the cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the vegetable oil, butter, egg, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Next add the sugar and beat until well combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  3. Next mix add the sour cream, vinegar, buttermilk, and red gel color and beat until well combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients and add to the batter, beating until well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  5. Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly, filling each liner 2/3 full. Bake at 350°F for 14-16 minutes. Test the cupcakes for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done. Cool Completely.

For the frosting

  1. Cut the butter into 1-inch blocks. Beat the butter for 2-3 minutes until it is light and fluffy.
  2. Then add the cream cheese and cream together for 2-3 minutes until they are fluffy and free of lumps, scape down the bowl occasionally.
  3. Slowly add confectionary sugar 1 cup at a time and alternating adding the vanilla extract and heavy cream. Beat on low speed until the powdered sugar has combined then increase speed to medium-high and beat for 1-2 minutes. Repeat until all the powdered sugar has been added and beat until the frosting is completely smooth.
  4. Frost the cooled cupcakes with a large open round piping tip.
Nutrition Information:
1 cupcake
420
47.7g
20.5g
57g
.4g
3.1g
61mg
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Easy Cupcake Recipes, cream cheese frosting

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