Red Velvet Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

red velvet cupcakes
Mrs_2015 / Getty Images
    37 min
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These red velvet cupcakes are made using cocoa powder, buttermilk, and red food coloring. The beautiful cupcakes are topped with a creamy cream cheese frosting. 

If you're short on time, use a purchased cream cheese or vanilla frosting or frost them with your favorite buttercream. I also like this less-sweet old-fashioned custard frosting on red velvet cake and cupcakes.

What You'll Need

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1/2 ounce red food coloring gel
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar, or more as needed

How to Make It

Prepare the Cupcakes

  1. Line muffin pans with cupcake papers. Heat oven to 350°.
  2. In a bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa.
  3. In a mixing bowl with electric mixer, cream the sugar and butter until light. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well. Slowly beat in about one-third of the flour mixture and about half of the buttermilk until well blended. Beat in another third of the flour mixture and the remaining buttermilk. Slowly beat in the remaining flour mixture.
  4. Beat in the food coloring and vinegar and continue beating until well blended.
  5. Fill lined muffin cups about 2/3 full.
  6. Bake the cupcakes for about 20 to 22 minutes, or until the cakes bounce back when lightly touched with a finger. 
  7. Cool on racks before frosting.
  8. Makes about 20 to 24 cupcakes.

Make the Frosting

  1. In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat the softened cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla and confectioners' sugar until fluffy. Add more confectioners' sugar, as needed for spreading or piping.
  2. Spread or pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.

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