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Red Velvet Cupcakes

Homemade Red Velvet Cupcakes are so light, fluffy, and moist and are topped with the velvetiest cream cheese frosting. The cupcakes are super easy to throw together and only require two bowls. Those are the best kind of recipes!

Let’s be honest, red velvet is all about the cream cheese frosting! The cake flavor itself is subtle. It’s not quite a chocolate cake, but a little bit of cocoa powder gives underlying chocolate vibes. I also like to add a decent amount of vanilla to my batter.

This recipe also has a combination of vegetable oil and melted butter. It gives these cupcakes the most incredible texture and flavor. It’s not very traditional, but I also added a touch of sour cream to keep these nice and moist.

I am going to humbly brag that my cream cheese frosting recipe is hands down, the best. For every block of cream cheese, I use one stick of butter. This seems to be the best ratio for a stable frosting. My recipe also calls for cold ingredients, which is the key to preventing the frosting from being too soft.

Try my other tasty cupcake recipes, too — including buttermilk Brown Sugar Pecan Cupcakes, chocolate chip-studded Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes and Maple Walnut Cupcakes with an irresistible Brown Sugar Frosting.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Photo of Red Velvet Cupcakes
  • 30 minutes
  • 14-16 minutes
  • 12 cupcakes


For the Cupcakes:

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons super red gel color

For the Frosting:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
8 ounces full-fat cream cheese, cold
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream


For the Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake panwith cupcake liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the vegetable oil, butter, egg and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Next, add the sugar and beat until well combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  3. Next mix add the sour cream, vinegar, buttermilk and red gel color and beat until well combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients and add to the batter, beating until well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  5. Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly, filling each liner 2/3 full. Bake at 350°F for 14-16 minutes. Test the cupcakes for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done. Cool completely.

For the Frosting:

  1. Cut the butter into 1-inch blocks. Beat the butter for 2-3 minutes until it is light and fluffy.
  2. Then add the cream cheese and cream together for 2-3 minutes until they are fluffy and free of lumps, scape down the bowl occasionally.
  3. Slowly add confectionary sugar 1 cup at a time and alternating adding the vanilla extract and heavy cream. Beat on low speed until the powdered sugar has combined then increase speed to medium-high and beat for 1-2 minutes. Repeat until all the powdered sugar has been added and beat until the frosting is completely smooth.
  4. Frost the cooled cupcakes with a large open round piping tip.


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