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Red Velvet Cupcakes

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Calories: 394kcal
Author: Shinee
These classic red velvet cupcakes with velvety texture and buttery soft crumbs are ridiculously easy to make and so perfect with tangy cream cheese frosting!
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For cupcakes:

  • 1 ½ cups (190g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cups (200g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder Note 1
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • ½ cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup (180ml) buttermilk at room temperature, Note 2
  • 1 tablespoon liquid red food coloring or 1 teaspoon gel food coloring, Note 3
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon white distilled vinegar

For cream cheese frosting:

  • 8 oz (225g) cream cheese at room temperature
  • ¼ cup (55g) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups (250g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt


To make cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line muffin pans with paper cupcake liners.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg, vegetable oil, buttermilk, red food coloring, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  • Add prepared dry ingredients and mix until smooth, about a minute.
  • In a small dish, mix together baking soda and vinegar. While the soda/vinegar mixture is bubbling, add it to the batter and mix it well.
  • Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter into 12 muffin cups. (Fill the cups 2/3 of the way.)
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool the cupcakes for 5 minutes in the pan. Then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make frosting:

  • In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter on medium high speed until fluffy, about 1 minute.
  • Add powdered sugar and beat on low speed for a minute. Then increase the speed to medium high and continue to beat until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Stir in vanilla extract and salt. Whip again until incorporated, 30 seconds.
  • Transfer the frosting into a pastry bag, fitted with decorative tip (I used this Wilton M1 piping tip).
  • Frost the cooled cupcakes preferably right before serving, or a few hours prior.


Note 1: It's best to use natural cocoa powder for these cupcakes, as Dutch-processed cocoa powder has a darker color, which may result darker cupcakes.
Note 2: If you don't have buttermilk on hand, make a homemade version: stir in 1 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice into ¾ cup milk. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
Note 3: Feel free to adjust the amount of food coloring as it's totally up to you how much food coloring to use. The provided amount is to achieve the level of brightness you see on my photos.
Storing Tips:
Store unfrosted cupcakes at room temperature, covered, for 1-2 days.
You can also freeze unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- Store leftover cupcakes in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days.


Serving: 1frosted cupcake | Calories: 394kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 246mg | Potassium: 78mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 468IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg