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Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe

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This easy Red Velvet Cupcakes recipe is topped with cream cheese frosting. This classic recipe is always good to have in your recipe box!

If you’re looking for an easy red velvet cupcake recipe, you’ve found it. They’re moist and tender and perfect with cream cheese frosting!


unwrapped red velvet cupcake

Cupcakes aren’t usually my first choice of desserts, unless it’s a red velvet cupcake. I absolutely love the flavor of a red velvet cake and, of course, the cream cheese frosting completes the experience.

There is a cupcake shop nearby that sells cupcakes for about $4 each. They’re good, but they’re not $48 per dozen good, not when you can make your own cupcakes so easily. Over the past few months I’ve tried to get all the basic cupcake recipes onto this site, so that you always have cupcake options. I have a Yellow Cake recipe (which makes 24 cupcakes or a 9-inch layer cake) and a basic chocolate cupcake recipe, which makes about 30 cupcakes. Soon I’ll have my favorite chocolate layer cake too! I also have Funfetti Cupcakes and a Lemon Cupcake recipe that I absolutely love.

In the cupcake universe, everyone needs a good red velvet cupcake. I guarantee that someone you know loves red velvet. Sure, you can use a cake mix for their birthday, or spend an arm and a leg at a cupcake shop, but when you can make a dozen easy red velvet cupcakes from scratch in under an hour, why not try it?

red velvet cupcake photo

Have you ever wondered what the taste of red velvet cake is? Me too, ha! I really think of the cupcake as a vehicle for the cream cheese frosting, but the cake itself has a hint of chocolate. It’s not a chocolate cupcake, but there is the slightest tang of it.

This recipe makes 12 perfectly sized cupcakes or you can bake a 9-inch round with it. If you go the route of baking a cake layer, it’ll be a full one, so make sure to use a 9-inch pan (round or square). One of the things I love about this recipe is it’s also so easy to double to make 24 cupcakes or a full 9×13-inch or layer cake.

I think a 12 cupcake size is much easier to have in your recipe box; in my opinion doubling a recipe is easier than halving it (for most people, anyway).

The perfect red velvet cupcake has several components. One of the things I love most about this recipe is that – surprise – there are no eggs. That’s right – a cake without eggs that’s tender, moist, and fluffy.

It’s kind of a cupcake miracle!

So, what goes into a red velvet cupcake recipe?

  • Vegetable oil (not butter). Traditionally, a red velvet cake is not a buttery cake. It’s moistened with oil.
  • Buttermilk. While it is possible to make red velvet cupcakes without buttermilk, this recipe uses it. I absolutely love the tang of the buttermilk in the cake. It pairs perfectly with the cream cheese frosting. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own. Add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to your measuring cup and then fill it with milk to the 1 cup mark. Let it sit for 5 minutes and you’ve got buttermilk!
  • No eggs! Nope, this recipe has no eggs. Believe me though, it’s perfectly moist without them. They’re actually lighter and airier than a cupcake made with eggs. The batter uses a combination of baking soda, vinegar, and the aforementioned buttermilk for moistness and rise.
  • Cocoa. Red velvet cake has the slightest bit of cocoa. Just 2 tablespoons give a little hint of cocoa taste. The acidity in the cocoa powder also helps the red color POP.
  • Red Food Coloring. To make the telltale red color of a red velvet cupcake, you need food coloring. I like to use a basic grocery store food coloring (not a gel food color). Buy a bottle, not just those little 4-packs. You need a full tablespoon to achieve the color.

Once the cupcakes are baked, you add an easy cream cheese frosting. That’s what everyone really wants, right? Cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar mix for a soft and smooth and creamy frosting. If it makes it to the cupcakes, it’ll be a miracle.

BEST Red Velvet Cupcake recipe

Red Velvet Cupcakes are a great recipe to have in your baking arsenal. This easy recipe is egg-free and has a homemade cream cheese frosting on top!

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unwrapped red velvet cupcake
3.87 from 38 votes
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Servings: 12 cupcakes

BEST Red Velvet Cupcakes

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
17 mins
Total Time:
37 mins
This easy Red Velvet Cupcakes recipe is topped with cream cheese frosting. This is a twist on your traditional recipe without eggs! This classic recipe is always good to have in your recipe box!


For the cupcakes:

  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter — room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans with liners.
  2. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk buttermilk, oil, vinegar, and vanilla in a large measuring cup and whisk into dry ingredients until combined. Stir in food coloring carefully.
  4. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full. The recipe makes about 12 cupcakes. Bake for 13-17 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
  5. Make the frosting: Beat butter and cream cheese with a hand mixer in a large bowl until smooth, then mix in salt. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and beat in between each addition. Add vanilla and continue mixing a smooth frosting forms. Frost cupcakes as desired.
  6.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to one month.

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 cupcake) — Calories: 488, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 42mg, Sodium: 465mg, Carbohydrates: 70g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 52g, Protein: 4g

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  1. $48 for a dozen cupcakes is never worth it and I have those types of bakeries in my area too. And as you said, it’s easier to make your own and with tastier results!

  2. I so agree! A red velvet cake without buttermilk typically just tastes like red chocolate cake. It needs the tang!

  3. i’m a sucker for red velvet! i’ll have to add these to my summer bucket-baking list

  4. hey girl- these cupcakes look so yummy!

  5. i’m a sucker for red velvet! i’ll have to add these to my summer bucket-baking list

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