Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Serves 12

There’s something decadent and indulgent about red velvet cupcakes.  Maybe it’s the deep, rich red colour.  Or maybe it’s the melt-in-your-mouth texture.  Or maybe it’s the sour-sweet taste of the cream cheese frosting.  Or maybe it’s all these delicious components combined!  Traditionally the red colour of these cupcakes occurred naturally due to a reaction of the chocolate with the vinegar.  This reaction produced a deep red colour.  However, due to the way cocoa powder is made now, this reaction doesn’t produce a red colour.  I’m going to add red food colour to achieve the same effect.  You don’t have to add it to achieve the same taste, but if you want the same red colour then go ahead and add it.  Let’s get started.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting – Recipe


For Red Velvet Cupcakes:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2/3 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar, scant
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¾ tsp. no-taste red food color gel/paste
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ tsp. vinegar
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda

For Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 cup cream cheese spread, cold
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted and more if needed


For Red Velvet Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cupcake or muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners and set aside.
  2. Combine flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa powder in a bowl and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the egg and mix on low speed until well combined.
  5. Add the food colouring and vanilla extract and continue to mix on low speed until well incorporated.
  6. Alternately add the flour mixture and milk in thirds while the mixer continues to run on low speed.  Scrape down the side as needed until well incorporated.
  7. In a small bowl, add vinegar and baking soda, which will fizz up.  Mix well and add this right away to the cake mixture and mix until well incorporated.
  8. Using a tablespoon or scoop, spoon the cake mixture into each cupcake liner until ½ full.
  9. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Remove cupcakes and let them cool completely.

For Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting.  Add the cold cream cheese spread to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or to a large bowl with an electric egg beater and whip on low speed until smooth.
  2. Increase speed to medium and add butter and whisk until well incorporated.
  3. Turn speed to low and add in powdered sugar ½ cup at a time until well incorporated.
  4. Add vanilla extract, turn up speed to medium-high and whisk until frosting is light and fluffy.  If frosting is too runny, add more powdered sugar and if frosting is too stiff add a little bit of milk until desired consistency is achieved.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

 Frosting Red Velvet Cupcakes:

Fill a piping bag or large zip-loc bag with cream cheese frosting, snip off the end and frost on a swirl of the frosting on top of each red velvet cupcake.  If you have frosting remaining you can refrigerate for 2 days or freeze for up to a week to use for the next batch of red velvet cupcakes.  Let it come to room temperature, rewhip until light and fluffy and frost as directed above.

If you like cupcakes, also try the Falooda Cupcakes for a totally different flavour.


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