Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

White cupcake casesWhat is it about red velvet that people love so much? The dessert has surged in popularity over the past few years and The Hummingbird Bakery sell around 440,000 Red Velvet Cupcakes every year! I’ve made Red Velvet Cupcakes a few times in the past, so I really wanted to share my recipe with you as it is absolutely delicious, and it’s such a perfect dessert for Valentine’s Day. My two favourite things about red velvet are firstly the bright vibrant colour – it’s so attractive and appealing. Secondly – cream. cheese. frosting! Need I say more?! Cream cheese frosting is absolutely heavenly! If you want to find the way to my heart, presenting me with some Red Velvet Cupcakes is a pretty good way to start!

Step by step…

I started by creaming together the butter and sugar, then I whisked in the eggs, buttermilk and red food colouring. I added the cocoa powder and flour and whisked them in.

Then I divided the mixture between the cupcake cases. I decided to use white cases so the red of the sponge could be seen through the sides. They baked for 20 minutes, then I put them on a rack to cool fully.

To make the cream cheese frosting I mixed together butter, icing sugar, cream cheese and vanilla extract until smooth. I piped the frosting on top of the cupcakes, then added some cute little heart sprinkles.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

These Red Velvet Cupcakes are so light and fluffy, and the cream cheese frosting on top is an absolute dream! I’m usually quite happy to just have one slice or piece of my bakes, then give the rest away, but I wanted to eat several of these gorgeous Red Velvet Cupcakes!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Tips for making the Red Velvet Cupcakes:

  • If you can’t hold of buttermilk, you can use milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice added, leave it for a few minutes until it goes lumpy then it’s ready to use!
  • I use Pro Gel food colouring to get a vibrant red colour and you can find this on Amazon (see Recommend Equipment section below).

More Red Velvet recipes…

Red Velvet Cake Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
Red Velvet Cheesecake (No Bake) Halloween Red Velvet Cake Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

Recommended Equipment and Ingredients*

Red food colouring Electric hand mixer Cupcake tin
Heart sprinkles Cooling rack Red cupcake cases
White cupcake cases Jem 1E Piping nozzle

*I earn a small amount of money if you buy the products after clicking on the links. You will not be charged anything extra for this. Thank you for supporting The Baking Explorer!


Red Velvet Cupcakes
5 from 7 votes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red velvet cupcakes and cream cheese frosting

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Cupcake
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12
Author thebakingexplorer


For the sponge

  • 175 g Butter or baking spread
  • 175 g Caster sugar
  • 2 Eggs large
  • 65 ml Buttermilk
  • 175 g Self raising flour
  • 1 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • Red food colouring I use Pro Gel

For the cream cheese buttercream

  • 120 g Butter or baking spread
  • 280 g Icing sugar
  • 160 g Full fat cream cheese I use Philadelphia
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • Heart sprinkles Optional


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and line a muffin/cupcake tin with cupcake cases

  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl with a wooden or silicone spoon

  3. Add the eggs and buttermilk and whisk them in. If you can't find buttermilk, use milk with a squeeze of lemon juice, let it sit for 5 minutes then add to the mixture

  4. Add the cocoa powder and flour, whisk in. Then add enough red food colouring to get a very bright red colour

  5. Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases

  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cupcakes comes out clean, then put them on a rack to cool fully

  7. To make the cream cheese frosting use an electric hand whisk to mix together the butter and icing sugar, when they start to come together, add the cream cheese and vanilla extract and mix until smooth

  8. Pipe or spread the frosting on top of the cupcakes, then add sprinkles of your choice

  9. Store in the fridge and eat within 3 days

If you like this, check out more of my Cupcake recipes!

Pin for later!

15 comments / Add your comment below

  1. 5 stars
    I love how striking these are and yet they are understated. I like that about them. The colours are so pretty and perfect for Valentines day. They really stand out but without being all showy offy, like a perfect man I guess 😉 lol x
    thank you for linking to #Bakeoftheweek x

  2. 5 stars
    I think red velvet is so popular because of the amazing colour as well as a promise of something velvety smooth and gorgeous that clearly must have an immense appeal for our senses. Just a theory:) These are perfect for Valentine’s Day, and I love your cream cheese icing. Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare:)

  3. 5 stars
    These are so lovely -perfect for Valentine’s Day (though I’d happily eat them any time of the year) I always love how you give such great step by step instructions with photos…and the link to the equipment and ingredients is so helpful! Eb x

  4. I love the idea of red velvet cupcakes, but am always put off by the amount of food colouring. I have tried making red velvet with natural colouring but it has never been vivid enough. Either way….. your cupcakes are beautiful and perfect for Valentines x

  5. 5 stars

    his looks amazing

    if I make 8 oz. of this in a round tin how much buttermilk will I need

    thank you : )

    1. Sorry I don’t work in ounces so I’m not sure. I reckon a batch of this would make one 8″ sponge.

  6. Thank you for this recipe. I am planning to try it with gluten free self raising flour – fingers crossed! ?

  7. 5 stars
    Lovely and simple recipe! Turned out delicious and perfect. I used almond milk + 1 tbsp of lemon juice and cut down the cream cheese frosting by half. Very moist and fluffy. Highly recommend this recipe!! Thank you 😊 would bake this again
    (added some white choco chips as well)

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