Red Velvet Cupcakes

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Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
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Yield: 24 cupcakes

Recipe photo

One of our "secret ingredients," red velvet cake flavor, is sure to maximize the flavor and color of all your red velvet creations. These cupcakes have a somewhat crisp top, and are nicely moist within. Note: thanks to reader feedback, we've amended our original recipe for these cupcakes by decreasing the amount of flour, which produces a moister cupcake. Thanks, readers!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

star rating (21) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 24 cupcakes
Published: 10/01/2011




Tips from our bakers

  • To make a 9" round layer cake, scoop the prepared batter into two lightly greased 9" round cake pans. Bake the layers for 26 to 28 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Prepare the frosting, and frost, then stack the completely cooled layers.
  • No Red Velvet Flavor? Substitute 2 teaspoons vanilla extract + 1 teaspoon red gel paste food coloring mixed with 2 tablespoons water; or 2 tablespoons liquid red food coloring. If you're not a fan of the somewhat citrus-y flavor our Red Velvet Flavor will add to the cake, reduce the flavor to 1 tablespoon, and add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract + 2 teaspoons water.


1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake papers.

2) Mix the butter, oil, sugar, salt, color, flavor, and cake enhancer, beating until light and fluffy.

3) Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition.

4) Sift together the flour, cocoa, and baking soda (and dried buttermilk, if you're using it).

5) Alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the creamed mixture, one third at a time, beating well after each addition.

6) Spoon the batter into the prepared pans, and bake the cupcakes for about 18 to 21 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the middle cupcakes comes out clean.

7) Remove the cupcakes from the oven, cool on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes, then turn it out of the pans to cool on the rack.

8) To prepare the frosting: Sift the ClearJel with the confectioners' or glazing sugar.

9) Add the heavy cream, and start beating. When the cream reaches a soft peak, set the mixture aside.

10) Beat the vanilla, lemon, and cream cheese together until fluffy.

11) Whisk in 1/4 of the whipped cream mixture and stir until completely combined. Fold in the remaining whipped cream.

12) Frost the cupcakes; refrigerate to set up the frosting. For best flavor and texture, bring the cakes to room temperature before serving.

Yield: 2 dozen cupcakes.


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  • star rating 12/01/2014
  • Michelle from Texas
  • I made four different flavors of cupcakes for two separate events and these were the favorite both times! I did not review this recipe after the first event because since it was a bake sale, I was wary of making the frosting in this recipe as the cupcakes would be at room temperature for several hours, so I used a classic cream cheese frosting instead. For the second event, Thanksgiving, I used the frosting in this recipe and I must say, these are some of the best cupcakes I have ever had. Both the frosting and the cake are winners. The only issue I had, and it was minor, was that the wrappers were loose and practically falling off the cupcakes when I was arranging them to display. However, these cupcakes were tender, but just dense enough to be eaten with the hands without falling to pieces everywhere, and with just the right amount of chocolate flavor. The frosting had a lighter, less sweet taste, yet had great mouth feel and just the right amount of cream cheese goodness without being cloying.
  • star rating 02/14/2014
  • Barb from Monroe, CT
  • Yum! Moist, red and tasty! Very easy to make. The red velvet flavor is certainly preferable to either liquid or gel coloring and their accompanying weird taste. The Icing was new to me. Although I'm not usually a big fan of cream cheese icing, this one, with the added whipped cream is neither cloyingly sweet nor as heavy as traditional cream cheese icing. It does not over power the delicate cupcake. The only reason I don't the recipe 5 stars is because I like a wee bit more chocolate flavor in my red velvet.
  • star rating 11/24/2013
  • reena03 from KAF Community
  • I made this recipe for my father's birthday and he likes it. The color is very vibrant red and not so dry so I guess I did it right. But I just had one problem, the top area of cupcakes "moistens" just after several minutes of cooling. Is it normal? Or is it because I did not use cake enhancer? It is the only ingredient that I did not use because I don't have one.
    >Whether you're making whoopie pies or these cupcakes (read a baked good with a fair amount of sugar here!), the cake enhancer does help prevent the outer stickiness that sometimes develops in the baked goods. Irene@KAF
  • star rating 11/08/2013
  • Cathy from Citrus Heights, Ca
  • I would acturally give this recipe 4-1/2 stars. I converted this recipe to gluten-free. The cupcakes were moist, tender and rose well. I do feel it needs a "boost in flavor" as gluten free baked goods do, so I will add a 1/4 teaspoon chocolate extract the next time. I did not have the ingredients for the frosting; so I did a classic cream cheese one. I have been asked to make these again for our community bake sale.
  • star rating 12/22/2012
  • ehibshman from PA
  • SO delicious! I have never really been a big fan of chocolate cake, and red velvet seemed too fussy. This recipe has changed that for me. It is very easy to mix and flexible for cupcakes or a layer cake. I used the batter to make 2 6" cakes (split into 4 layers total) and 10 cupcakes. The crumb was so tender and fine. I used King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour Blend with regular sugar and the 2 tbsp of red food coloring/vanilla extract given as a substitute for Red Velvet Flavoring. This will be a recipe I come back to again
  • star rating 10/04/2012
  • MMagster from KAF Community
  • I made these for a co-workers birthday tomorrow. I'm afraid they may not make it to work though! I used KAF ingredients and didn't alter the recipe. This is the first time I've made a red velvet recipe so I was a little nervous. No need to be - the cupcakes turned out perfectly. Love the smell it leaves in the house!!!!!
  • star rating 06/01/2012
  • pooky1961 from KAF Community
  • First time making red velvet anything and the cupcakes turned out beautiful. Lovely light texture, they melt in your mouth. I made the recipe as written and don't think I would change a thing. Thanks for such a great recipe!
  • star rating 04/18/2012
  • llouie from KAF Community
  • This recipe is a definitely a keeper. The cupcakes are moist and tender with a delicious taste. I sifted the cake flour, added an additional level tablespoon of dutch cocoa and used the red velvet flavor. I don't have any cake enhancer but these cupcakes are so light I don't think you really need the enhancer. I frosted with a white frosting. Yummy, delicious, out of this world!
  • star rating 03/07/2012
  • Hassondi from KAF Community
  • I was hesitant to try this recipe not only because of some of the negative reviews but also because I have always used my Mom's recipe. I'm glad I did. I don't know why others had dense cupcakes. Mine were very light and considering the ingredients that is what I'd expect. The frosting varies from my traditional one but it is perfect with red velvet cupcakes. Love my Mom and will always honor her but her recipe has been replaced by this one.
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