How to make Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


Video Recipe: See how this recipe is made from start to finish!

Isaac: Ooooh, what are you making?

Me: Red Velvet Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting!

Isaac: *proceeds to pretend gag and faints* Whyyyyy mother!!! Just whyyyyyy!!!”

SMH, what am I going to do with that child of mine? He gave up Red 40 food coloring a while ago (his choice), and he has stuck to it. This decision meant giving up his favorite Nerds candy, Nacho Doritos, and so many other products that have red 40 in them. I’m proud of my little guy and try to make sure I don’t bring Red 40 in the house if I can help it, but NOT when it comes to my pretty red velvet stuff!! No sirree!!

Listen, don’t play with a southern girl and her red velvet!! As much as I love natural options, I’ve tried the natural red food coloring, and meh! 

red velvet cupcakes

Red Velvet For The Win!!

I think my blog is due for an entire red velvet section! 

So far, we’ve got red velvet brownies, red velvet cake, red velvet cookie sandwichesred velvet pound cake, red velvet pancakes, and even did a red velvet snowball cookie on the Today show this past Christmas. Red velvet is my jam!

This recipe is the second red velvet cupcake recipe I’ve posted on the blog. You may be thinking, what’s the need for two red velvet cupcake recipes? Well, it’s a flavor thing. And I’m a firm believer that you can never have too many recipes for the same thing if they are all good!! Options are a lovely luxury!


red velvet cupcake recipe

Ya see, some rare people out there don’t like the flavor of red velvet. I know, wild, right? ! I think it’s the tang of the buttermilk and hint of bitter chocolate that throws them off. I’m an extreme buttermilk lover, so maybe that’s why I love it so much.

A Milder Red Velvet Cupcake

aaThis red velvet cupcake recipe is safe for red velvet newbies. It goes light on the chocolate, vinegar, and buttermilk, yet it still lends a delicate red velvet flavor, perfect for those unsure about red velvet. The texture of these cupcakes are incredible! So soft and cloud-like!

red velvet cupcakes cream cheese frosting

Which red velvet cupcake to make??

If you’re looking for a more decadent red velvet cake or cupcake, try this recipe or this one. If your going for a red velvet flavor that is a bit subtle stick with this one.

That Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting

Red velvet cupcakes and tangy cream cheese frosting make the perfect couple! This cream cheese frosting recipe is one of my favorites. Often, I’m that weird person that scrapes off most of the overly sweet frosting from cupcakes, but not with this cream cheese frosting! This recipe uses one cup of powdered sugar for each pack of cream cheese, making it a whipped frosting that is almost cheesecake-like in flavor. It allows that cream cheese flavor to shine through. I could eat it by the spoonful!

easy cream cheese frosting recipe

How to make the best red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

  1. Don’t overfill the cups. Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 filling will result in a flat muffin top and uneven baking.
  2. Don’t over bake. Remember, these red velvet cupcakes will continue to cook as they cool. Check on them at the 16-17 minute mark and add more time if needed. Over-baking will result in a dry crumb.
  3. Use quality brands. Making red velvet is not the time to use low-quality ingredients. This choice can often result in an aftertaste from the buttermilk, cocoa powder, and food coloring. You want all of these ingredients to be top of the line for a top of the line red velvet flavor.

red velvet cupcakes

Get the Recipe: Red Velvet Cupcakes w/ Cream Cheese Frosting

4.33 from 52 ratings
Bright red velvet cupcakes that bakes up soft and moist! Topped with a whipped cream cheese frosting!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes
Servings: 12 people



  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½-1 tablespoon red food coloring

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 (8 oz) blocks cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Set aside
  • To make the cupcakes, in a large bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
  • In separate large bowl, cream together the sugar, butter and oil.
  • Mix in the egg, egg yolk, vinegar, vanilla extract, buttermilk and food coloring until well combined.
  • Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until well combined.
  • Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full of batter. (Be careful not to overfill) Shake and tap the pan on a hard surface to even out the batter and release any trapped air.
  • Bake for 17-18 minutes. (may need slightly longer or less) Check on them at at 15-16minute mark to access. When a toothpick inserted into the center come out clean or with moist crumb clinging to it, remove from oven.
  • Let cupcakes sit in pan for about 2 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.


  • To make the frosting, in a large bowl cream together cream cheese and butter until fluffy.
  • Gradually add in powdered sugar until combined and then stir in vanilla extract.
  • Chill frosting if you prefer a firmer frosting.
  • Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes.



FROSTING: This frosting is very whipped and light. Do not melt butter. Refrigerate finished frosting if you desire it to be firmer.
Cuisine: American, southern
Course: cupcakes, Dessert, Snack
Tried this recipe?Mention @divascancook on Instagram or tag #divascancook.