Classic red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are always a hit!  These are moist and flavorful, with a hint of cocoa and a slight buttermilk tang.

Red Velvet Cupcakes: the BEST recipe I've tried. Moist and soft, with a hint of cocoa and tangy buttermilk. Super simple to make too! food desserts cupcakes

Hey there! I’m posting on a Monday this week, instead of Tuesday like I usually do. I just wanted to make sure you saw these awesome red velvet cupcakes before you got too busy with the holiday! As you can probably tell, this is an older post, re-done. It originally published on January 26, 2016, but I’ve never been happy with the original pics, so I’ve re-shot the recipe and added a nifty video too. Hopefully now, this post will get the attention it deserves! These cupcakes are so moist and the cocoa-buttermilk flavor will make you swoon. They’re perfect any time of year, but especially at Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and (when garnished with a few fresh blueberries) the Fourth of July!

Are ya keeping warm?

It’s January, people!  If it didn’t seem that way before, it sure does now.  We got buried in over 2 feet of snow over the weekend, and things are feeling pretty frosty.  I’m not letting it get me down though.  Everything’s looking light and bright, and I’ve got my oven to keep me toasty.

Red Velvet Cupcakes: the BEST recipe I've tried. Moist and soft, with a hint of cocoa and tangy buttermilk. Super simple to make too! food desserts cupcakes

With Valentine’s Day coming up in just a few weeks, I realized that although I have a few red velvet-ish recipes, I am somehow missing the most important one of all:  simple, classic red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  I make this recipe pretty much every year for my kids’ class parties, and they’re always a big hit.  They’re super moist, with a little cocoa backnote and a slight buttermilk tang.  It all started with this recipe from Saveur a few years ago, and over time, I’ve tweaked it here and there to make it more to our taste.

Red Velvet Cupcakes: the BEST recipe I've tried. Moist and soft, with a hint of cocoa and tangy buttermilk. Super simple to make too! food desserts cupcakes

I like that these are a little less oily, and a little more buttermilk-y.  Also, the cocoa flavor is a bit more pronounced.  And, I really don’t find it necessary to add quite so much red food coloring.  Just one tablespoon makes it plenty vibrant enough, in my opinion.  Do you agree?

And it wouldn’t be red velvet if not for a big, luscious swirl of tangy cream cheese frosting.

Red Velvet Cupcakes: the BEST recipe I've tried. Moist and soft, with a hint of cocoa and tangy buttermilk. Super simple to make too! food desserts cupcakes

To get this look, just pipe a puffy dome of frosting onto the cupcakes, using a piping bag with a jumbo round tip.  If it’s for Valentine’s Day, you can garnish with candy hearts! And around July 4th they look great with a few fresh blueberries. But honestly, there isn’t any time of year I wouldn’t want red velvet, and red nonpareil sprinkles are always the perfect finishing touch!

Red Velvet Cupcakes: the BEST recipe I've tried. Moist and soft, with a hint of cocoa and tangy buttermilk. Super simple to make too! food desserts cupcakes

More great cupcake recipes on my “Cupcake Recipes” Pinterest board!


This post contains affiliate sales links.

5 from 3 votes
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

Classic red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are always a hit!  These are moist and flavorful, with a hint of cocoa and a slight buttermilk tang.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cupcakes, red velvet
Servings: 24 (2 dozen) cupcakes
Calories: 237 kcal
Ingredients
For the cupcakes
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk*
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the frosting
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • red nonpareil sprinkles for garnish
Instructions
To make the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a cupcake pan with papers.
  2. Place the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. Place the buttermilk, oil, egg whites, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla in a large measuring cup, and stir together.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry, and mix on low speed until smooth (about 90 seconds to 2 minutes).
  5. Fill the cupcake papers about 2/3 full with batter.
  6. Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the thickest part of a cupcake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
  7. Cool completely, then top with cream cheese frosting and garnish with red nonpareil sprinkles.
To make the frosting:
  1. Place the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl, and mix on medium speed until smooth.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing until smooth.
  3. When all the powdered sugar has been added, turn the speed up to medium-high and beat for one or two minutes, or until fluffy.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

*If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute by stirring 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar into 1 1/2 cups of regular milk.  Allow the mixture to stand for 5 minutes, or until thickened and slightly curdled.

For the layer cake version of these cupcakes, click here: Red Velvet Cake.

©Baking a Moment

Nutrition Facts
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 237 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 17mg 6%
Sodium 193mg 8%
Potassium 57mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 42g 14%
Sugars 31g
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 4.2%
Calcium 3%
Iron 3.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.