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Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Really good red velvet cupcakes are elusive to many. Some are dry, some are TOO fake-red red. And what’s the story behind red velvet cake (and cupcakes) anyway? After doing a little research, I found that while foods were rationed during war time, bakers used boiled beets to enhance the color of their cakes and to retain moisture. Red velvet cake was a signature dessert at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel during the 1920s, and was also well-known in the restaurants and bakeries of the Eaton’s department store chain in Canada during the 1940s and 1950s. Many attribute the cake’s recent popularity to the film Steel Magnolias, in which the groom’s cake was a red velvet cake in the shape of an armadillo. All red velvet cakes have specific ingredients in common: white vinegar, buttermilk and baking soda; the reaction of the vinegar to the buttermilk is said to better reveal the red in the cocoa powder. I wasn’t always sold on red velvet, but I was eventually converted…

So now, on to my history with red velvet. I first tried it almost a year ago (January, to be specific) at a local Pittsburgh bakery. And to say that I was underwhelmed would be a gross understatement. After all of the buzz that red velvet had been receiving, I was expecting to be blown away. What I ate was pretty dry and tasteless (although the cream cheese frosting was good!). I wasn’t impressed (obviously) and it was about six months before I would try one again. During our little Georgetown cupcake tour, I had a red velvet cupcake from Baked and Wired. It was seriously amazing. It changed my mind about red velvet – it was fluffy, moist, with a hint of chocolate, and was all kinds of delicious. I had been converted.

The next step, of course, was to make a great one at home. I was admittedly stalling a bit but thanks to some of you who emailed me asking why in the world there wasn’t a recipe for red velvet cupcakes on my site (which is an absolutely legit question), I got my butt in gear. I did some reading, I looked at a lot of recipes, and in the end I decided to try this one. And I’m so glad I did, because I don’t think a better one could exist. They are everything I was hoping for – moist, fluffy, a tiny bit chocolatey, and a perfect vehicle for a heaping pile of cream cheese frosting!

Good any time of year, especially around Valentine’s Day. Dress ‘em up with some pink and red sprinkles and share them with your sweetie!

One year ago: Soft Cheese and Pepperoni Bread

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Cupcakes:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons red food coloring
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons distilled white vinegar

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 ounces butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard muffin/cupcake pan with liners.

2. On medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to high and add the egg. Scrape down the bowl and beat until well incorporated.

3. In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and red food coloring to make a thick paste. Add to the batter and mix on medium speed until completely combined. You may need to stop the mixer to scrape the bottom of the bowl, making sure that all the batter gets color.

4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add half of the buttermilk. Add half of the flour and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining milk and flour. Beat on high until smooth.

5. Again, reduce the mixer speed to low and add the salt, baking soda and vinegar. Turn to high and beat for another couple of minutes until completely combined and smooth.

6. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a thin knife or skewer inserted into the center of the largest cupcake comes out clean.

7. Cool for 10 minutes and then remove cupcakes from the pan and place them on a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

8. To make the frosting: Using the whisk attachment, whip the butter and cream cheese on high speed for about 5 minutes, scraping the bowl down as necessary. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar until all is incorporated. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Increase the speed to medium high and whip for a few minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary.

*Note: This recipe can be doubled to make an 8 or 9-inch layer cake.

(Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker, originally from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)

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613 Responses to “Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. Carbo on February 24, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Just tried this recipe. I am an avid baker, and have made many red velvet cupcakes before. I usually go with the classic Sylvia’s recipe which NEVER fails me. I decided to try something new, and came across this recipe. I must declare that I am thoroughly disappointed with the turnout. The actual batter was unsettling and had a distinct bitter after taste. The color wasn’t even a subtle red, it was purple brown. The texture of the cupcakes was super wierd and indescribable. The taste wasn’t even red velvet like, it was not even cupcake like. I am once again extremely disappointed with this recipe.

    Reply

    • Billy on February 24th, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      Are you serious?!?!? First of all, it cant be purple brown. Those are 2 different colors! And “super weird”? Go back to the first grade and learn some new vocabulary. “Indescribable”? If you cant describe a cupcake, you shouldn’t even be cooking cupcakes. “Its not even cupcake like”? Learn how to cook and learn some new words.

      Reply

  2. Enid on March 6, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    After reading many comments I decided to try this one. I am a beginer and this came out perfect I follow step by step had successful results.Will be using on my new adventure wedding cupcakes for my nices wedding. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  3. Leda on March 13, 2013 at 11:04 am

    I tried this recipe it tastes delicious ..but I’m still getting the muffin texture instead of the soft cupcakes texture . Any advice ?
    I also used the mentioned amount of food coloring , but they turned out light pink .
    Can you also please advise me regarding this matter ?
    Thank you !
    Happy baking :)

    Reply

  4. tiffani on March 14, 2013 at 12:18 am

    Help Michelle!!!
    This is my second time trying to make red velvet cupcakes and they keep over flowing then sinking….I just tried your recipe and same thing happened. What’s causing this? Thank you!

    Reply

    • Michelle on March 21st, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      Hi Tiffani, If it’s happening to different recipes, you may be overfilling the cupcake tins and/or your oven temperature may be off. Be sure to use an oven thermometer.

      Reply

  5. Laura Hawes on March 29, 2013 at 7:36 am

    I want to make these cupcakes but I just wondered can
    I use self-raising flour instead of all purpose?

    Reply

    • Michelle on March 30th, 2013 at 5:17 pm

      Hi Laura, No, you can’t substitute self-raising flour for all-purpose.

      Reply

  6. Valli on March 30, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Thanks so much for this recipe. I needed a good one for a loved one’s birthday whose favorite cupcake is red velvet. I’d tried two other recipes which were — eh. Yours was absolutely wonderful! The only change I made to the cupcake recipe was to use vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla. In my oven they were done at 18 minutes, and I baked them on the lower middle rack to avoid getting the tops too hard (I’ve found that makes a huge difference). I’m a vanilla buttercream girl, so I did that instead of cream cheese frosting. BTW, I’ve loved every recipe of yours I’ve tried — keep ‘em coming, girl!

    Reply

    • Valli on March 30th, 2013 at 11:27 am

      Quick add-on to my comment — I really think that this recipe turns out well when it’s followed exactly (exact for using vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla — my one change). I used McCormick’s red food coloring (not a cheaper version), didn’t use Dutch processed cocoa or red wine vinegar, didn’t use cake flour or self-rising flour, didn’t add baking powder, didn’t substitute in something for the buttermilk. :)

      Reply

  7. Az on April 13, 2013 at 5:38 am

    I mixed yogurt and milk to substitute for butter milk. I’ve added half of it and the rest is still in the bowl and I just read that there is no substitute! I’m screwed. :/ What do I do??? Add vinegar to that?

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 13th, 2013 at 12:51 pm

      Since you already started, I would just proceed and see if they turn out. I wouldn’t add anything else. For future reference, you need to add lemon juice or vinegar to regular milk as a substitute for buttermilk. You can find the instructions here: http://www.browneyedbaker.com/substitutions/

      Reply

  8. ShantelB on April 13, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Awesome! This is such a fantastic recipe, perfect coloring, texture and taste. Thanks you so much for sharing. I will be trying many more of your recipes now that you’ve made a believer out of me! Superb!

    Reply

  9. Karah on April 18, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Good morning! So happy I stumbled upon this on Pinterest. I have a wonderful recipe for cream cheese frosting — everyone is always looking for more once they are finished. It’s cream based, so it won’t make a nice shape as yours does. Does the butter in your frosting help with holding the frosting in place? Thank you for this post! I will definitely be trying this.

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 18th, 2013 at 11:35 am

      Hi Karah, Yes, between the butter and powdered sugar, it’s stabilized nicely.

      Reply

  10. Fy on April 28, 2013 at 7:14 am

    Hi Michelle!

    May I know if the amount of flour – 1 cup 2 tablespoons – is measured before or after sifting?

    Thank you!

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 28th, 2013 at 11:49 pm

      Hi Fy, I did not sift flour for this recipe, so no need to worry about that.

      Reply

    • Fy on April 29th, 2013 at 3:30 am

      One more question, did you use a whisk or paddle attachment?
      Thanks so much!

      Reply

      • Michelle on April 30th, 2013 at 3:19 pm

        Paddle for the cake batter; whisk for the frosting.

        Reply

  11. Anaisa on April 30, 2013 at 4:19 am

    Hi michelle!!!! I have a few questions about this recipe. I’ve done it before and this are (by far) the best red velvet cupcakes i’ve ever had!! So right now i’m in Spain visiting my sister who just had a baby (yay!!) and i wanted to bake this amazing cupcakes for her, but what’s my surprise??? Here in Spain they don’t use white destiled vinegar, they don’t even know what that is! They have a lot of different kinds of vinegar, but white. So i contacted with a local baking supplies store and they told me they use grappe vinegar, white wine vinegar or apple vinegar (they believe that is “white vinegar”….) would it be ok if i use one of the above???. I also was told that maybe at a colombians local store i could find regular white vinegar, but not destiled. Will that work? I guess it could be better than grappe, white wine or Apple vinegar. What do you think?.
    Also, in here they don’t use liquid food coloring, they only have gel. I was told that liquid food coloring could be found in the market but it wasn’t good because it doesn’t give the proper color. Would it be ok to use gel?
    Thanks in advance!!!!! Love your blog and your recipes :) xoxo

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 30th, 2013 at 3:39 pm

      Hi Anaisa, I am not familiar with grappe vinegar, but the plain white would probably work if you can get that; if not, use the apple vinegar. As for the food coloring, you can use gel; I find liquid to be easier to incorporate into the batter, but gel will work too. You may need to play around with the quantities of the gel, as you may not need as much.

      Reply

  12. Sandra Woodward on April 30, 2013 at 6:28 am

    Total disaster, went so flat and I couldn’t get them out of the tin, six went into the bin in crumbs, the other six were flat and looked awful but the actual cake was delicious!

    Reply

  13. Rashmi on May 2, 2013 at 1:47 am

    Made red velvet cupcakes for the first time ever, and they came out soooo good and moist :) I didn’t have buttermilk so used curds and whey instead ( yoghurt) and they still came out absolutely delicious. By the way, do u have any eggless cake or cupcake recipes! When I make for my daughters school, they specifically ask for eggless and wholewheat cup cakes. Not vegan though :)
    I just love your blog and recipes :)

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 2nd, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      Hi Rashmi, I’m so happy you enjoyed the cupcakes! Unfortunately, I do not have any eggless recipes.

      Reply

  14. Cath on May 5, 2013 at 1:21 am

    Just made these cupcakes, I baked them for 18 minutes they came out SO fluffy and delicious and paired so well with the cream cheese icing. Delicious. :)

    Reply

  15. Christina on May 6, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    I made these cupcakes a few days ago for my daughter’s birthday. They turned out SO good. Thank you so much for allowing me to find this awesome recipe! I did however make a few minor modifications. I only had 2 tablespoons of the liquid red food coloring, so I added a few drop of red gel and a tablespoon of water. The color turned out just like the photos. Also, I had read in Cooks Illustrated that natural cocoa powder must be used for Red Velvet because Dutch-processed cocoa will not rise or yield the proper color. Hershey’s natural unsweetened cocoa powder is what I used. I didn’t have white vinegar so I used apple cider vinegar. Lastly, I used 1 tsp of vanilla bean paste instead of extract. I will definitely keep this recipe and am thinking of making a 2-layer cake. Do you think I should just double the recipe to fill each pan? Any ideas on how long that would bake for? I was thinking 25 minutes.

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 7th, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      Hi Christina, Thank you for the wonderful feedback and sharing your modifications! You could double this recipe and make a two-layer 8″ or 9″ cake. It will take 25 to 30 minutes to bake.

      Reply

  16. Sandy on May 9, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Thank-you for the recipe. I am going to be cooking up a meal for my mom and aunts this Mother’s Day and I think these would be the perfect dessert.

    Reply

  17. Carrie on May 10, 2013 at 8:37 am

    This is just a general cupcake question…..what is the easiest way to fill cupcake tins?

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 10th, 2013 at 10:35 am

      Hi Carrie, I use a cookie scoop to scoop up batter and drop it into the cupcake tin. Super easy and keeps mess to a minimum.

      Reply

  18. Gabriella on May 11, 2013 at 7:41 am

    Can I substitute white wine vinegar with rice vinegar?

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 12th, 2013 at 11:06 am

      Hi Gabriella, Actually you would want to use white distilled vinegar, not white wine. If you don’t have white distilled, I think using rice vinegar would be fine.

      Reply

  19. Gabriella on May 11, 2013 at 7:52 am

    And what do I need to do if I want to use beet instead of red food coloring?

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 12th, 2013 at 11:07 am

      I have never used beets for food coloring, so I’m not sure how the liquid could affect the texture of the cupcake, or how much you would need for the desired color.

      Reply

  20. Kathryn on May 11, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Hi Michelle, i Am baking this for the first time.
    I want to maKe about 36 cupcakes, should I triple the recipe?
    Or stick to the recipe and repeat it 3 different times?
    Thank you!

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 12th, 2013 at 11:10 am

      Hi Kathryn, I’ve seen some feedback from folks who have doubled and tripled this recipe for success (although I have never tried it), so I think you’ll be okay!

      Reply

  21. Destiny on May 11, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Sigh… I was so excited about making these for my Mother on Mother’s Day.. but mine ended up sinking… I don’t understand why. I’m just going to turn them into mini ones now though because the taste is great and I’d hate to just throw them away.
    I’m going to cut the excess cupcake paper off and use what’s left and put the frosting on. Then use the other pieces to sprinkle on top of the frosting. :D Thanks for sharing though!

    Reply

  22. Kaela on May 14, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I have a question.

    I’ve followed the receipe to a T and my cupcakes are not turning out right, only if I add the vinegar. They swell up and then it’s like they kin of implode. When I go to remove them (I don’t check them until towards the end) the cup isn’t filled anymore and there’s batter all over the pan. I’ve lowered the heat, I’ve tried less vinegar and it all did the same. I got so frustrated I left the vinegar out after 5 full batches failing. The ones without vinegar didn’t implode but I know the vinegar is there for making them moist.

    Oh and I also tried filling the cups up less and it still happened even when they were filled less than half way.

    Reply

  23. Loretta J. on May 14, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    I want to make cupcakes now for an anniversary party in June. Can I freeze the cupcakes and top with icing the day before the celebration? I will be sure the cupcakes are completely cooled before putting in the freezer.

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 15th, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      Hi Loretta, Yes, you can do this, no problem.

      Reply

  24. Zita on May 17, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    WOW! It was my first time making red velvet cupcakes today, and the cake itself is so yummy, a little chocolaty and very light!!
    Cream cheese is delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe with all of us! This won’t be the last time I’m making these delicious cupcakes.

    Reply

  25. Zaynab on May 23, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    hi! These cupcakes are amazzingggg! made them at a family get together a couple weeks ago everyone loved them! But i have another party coming up on sunday and i wanted to know how to convert this recipie to get 2 – 9 inch circle cakes. Thanksss!!!

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 27th, 2013 at 12:36 pm

      Simply double the recipe and slightly increase the baking time, making sure that the cakes are cooked the entire way through.

      Reply

  26. Mary on June 1, 2013 at 5:08 am

    Beautiful recipe. just out of curiousity, can the vinegar be substituted for something else acidic, like soda water for example? I would like to make these now but I’m put of vinegar and as it happens , out of a way to travel to the grocery store.

    Reply

    • Michelle on June 2nd, 2013 at 10:59 am

      Hi Mary, I have never made that substitution. You could definitely try it if you have no other options; let me know how it turns out!

      Reply

  27. Caroline on June 16, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Oh my gosh, thank you for this recipe!! It was easy to make and probably the best cupcake I have ever eaten! I made these as well as your dark chocolate with peanut butter cupcakes following the recipes exactly and both were phenomenal. Only change I made was adding “Lindt” Chocolate balls to the cupcakes for an extra special Father’s Day treat. White chocolate balls in the red velvet and milk chocolate balls in the chocolate cupcakes, mmmmmmm heavenly.

    Reply

  28. Nimisha Goel on June 27, 2013 at 3:33 am

    I am so glad to see this recipe on BEB, tried the mocha cupcakes and they turned out to be great! Can’t wait to try this recipe now, I have only made red velvet once before and they were pretty tasty but not moist enough! Making these for a friend’s babyshower tomorrow!

    Reply

  29. inez on June 27, 2013 at 6:54 am

    Hi ! Im going to try out this recipe next week since there is so many good reviews about it. But i have a question to ask. How much does the cupcake rises or how much should i fill each cupcake up to?

    Reply

    • Michelle on June 27th, 2013 at 5:53 pm

      I just divide the batter between all 12 cups. It comes about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way up to the top.

      Reply

  30. Mary on June 28, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Made the red velvet cupcakes for my daughter’s 13th birthday (6/1/13) and they were a hit. All the girls were dying to try them so my beautiful display didn’t last long. Well worth it, not a crumb left.

    Reply

  31. Courtney on July 1, 2013 at 10:35 am

    I tried these cupcakes today and they are amazing! Will definitely keep this recipe close by. These have recently become very popular in South Africa and I live in a small village far from town, so I made these without even eating one before and it was delicious! Thank you!

    Reply

  32. Bon.C on July 5, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Thanks for your sharing! The recipe is just too good. I made it and everyone gave me a high compliment…:)

    Btw, I cut half of the powdered sugar in the frosting..less sweet but taste is good still.

    Reply

  33. inez on July 6, 2013 at 3:29 am

    Im baking these today and I have a few questions!! How much exactly is 4 tablespoons of butter? Is there anyway I cam get thag measurement in grams?? If I’ve baked these today and frosted it how do I keep it overnight? Do I put it in a container or can I just out it in the fridge? Thank u

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 6th, 2013 at 9:22 pm

      Hi Inez, 4 tablespoons of butter is about 57 grams. You can keep them overnight in an airtight container at room temperature if it’s not extremely hot/humid in your house. If it is, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

      Reply

  34. inez on July 6, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    I just finished baking these today! Its amaaazing!! Its my first time trying this out and I got it in one try! Thank you so much for the recipe!!! But I had a few “problems”. The cupcake liners seperated from the cupcake after cooling. The recipe for cream cheese is abit too much since I have excess now. And lastly I could only make 9 cupcakes and im using normal sized cupcake liners! Besides these the cupcakes taste amazing!

    Reply

  35. maria on July 7, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Hi! I made these and had extra frosting. Is there any recipe that I can use this for? Im thinking of cheesecake. Will it work?

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 9th, 2013 at 9:21 am

      Hi Maria, There are a lot of recipes here on the site that use cream cheese frosting, so you could try any of those. I don’t think I would put cream cheese frosting on top of a cheesecake, though.

      Reply

  36. Joanne on July 12, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Just made these- they are fantastic! Thanks for the recipe x

    Reply

  37. Claudia on July 19, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    I made these the other day and they turned out pretty good. The only thing is my cupcakes were pretty red with the amount of food coloring your recipe called for. Yours don’t look that red. What brand of food coloring did you use?

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 19th, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      Hi Claudia, I used McCormick red (liquid) food coloring. Hope that helps!

      Reply

      • Claudia on July 20th, 2013 at 11:26 am

        Thank you so very much!! I will try that. I actually just bought a bottle of it so… excuse me while I go get my cupcake on ;)

        Reply

  38. CStark on July 22, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    The cupcakes themselves came out perfectly and were delicious!
    I didn’t like the frosting at all. Way too much vanilla, which gave it a horrible metallic taste and definitely overwhelmed the cupcake flavor. It was also incredibly soft and runny, despite extra powdered sugar. I’ll keep using the cupcake recipe, but I’ll be using my standard frosting from here on out.

    Reply

  39. Juliana on July 22, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Hi there…
    I was amazed by these cupcake pictures and am tempted to make them for my girl’s birthday. I don’t have much experience with cupcakes and I plan do try the recipe in advanced but was wondering if I can freeze them? Have you tried it before??
    Thanx

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 23rd, 2013 at 1:45 pm

      Hi Juliana, You could freeze the baked cupcakes (unfrosted). Thaw and then frost before serving.

      Reply

  40. Raja Mahtra on July 23, 2013 at 10:25 am

    These cupcakes are delicious. I have never liked red velvet cake before until I tried your recipe. This recipe is a keeper definately. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

  41. pri on July 23, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Hi,
    can I use apple cider vinegar?thanks .

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 24th, 2013 at 8:32 am

      Hi Pri, I have not tried this substitute, but I think it might work. Let me know how it turns out.

      Reply

  42. Odelia on July 24, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Hi! Could i use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar? >< Thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 24th, 2013 at 8:32 am

      Hi Odelia, I have not tried this substitute, but I think it might work. Let me know how it turns out.

      Reply

  43. HappyBaker on July 26, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Ive tried this recipe a couple of times and I’ve gotten nothing but compliments for them. Thank you for this amazing recipe!

    Reply

  44. Alice on August 1, 2013 at 12:05 am

    Hi Michelle! I have two questions:
    1. Is there a substitute for buttermilk?
    2. For the butter used in making the frosting, is it salted or unsalted?

    Thanks! ^_^

    Reply

  45. Amanda on August 5, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! Was looking for a good red velvet to make for a fundraiser at work. These looks delicious, and the comments from people who made them make this too good to pass up!
    I’ve personally never had red velvet cake before…can’t wait to try them!

    Reply

  46. mariam on August 5, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    For the frosting shud v use icing sugar

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 6th, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      Hi Mariam, I am not familiar with icing sugar; whatever your equivalent is for powdered or confectioners sugar is what you need to use.

      Reply

  47. akwa on August 10, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    My red velvet turned out terribly the batter was quite runny and bitter and when they were baked they tasted like chocolate cupcakes but had a bitter aftertaste. What did I do wrong?

    Reply

  48. Chloe on August 12, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Hi :)
    Thanks for wonderful recipe. Have a question, is it right 3 “tablespoons” of red food coloring. It seems a lot… And I don’t have red coloring, but I have purple and pink… Do you have some advice that I can get red color from them? Thank you.

    Reply

    • Chloe on August 13th, 2013 at 11:44 pm

      Oh, I checked what food coloring I have, and they are wilton’s Rose and Burgundy.. I have tried mixing both like… 0.4:0.6 for 1tsp… But it turned out really dark brownish red…

      Reply

    • Michelle on August 19th, 2013 at 5:06 pm

      Hi Chloe, 3 tablespoons is correct. I’m not sure how mixing purple and pink will turn out; I’ve only ever used pure red.

      Reply

  49. Jessica on August 17, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Hi, I tried this recipe today and while the taste is good, they turned out pretty dry. :( I have tested my oven so I would suggest checking them for done-ness after 12 minutes or so. Thanks for posting the recipe though!

    Reply

  50. Linsey on August 22, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Hey, Michelle! Have you tried doubling this? I need to make 60 red velvets and LOVE this recipe, but I haven’t needed to increase the amount. Do you think it will double well? Or should I make the batter in batches? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Linsey on August 22nd, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      Crap…just saw that you can double to make a layer cake. How have I never noticed that note before!? Nevermind. :)

      Reply

  51. Shari on August 25, 2013 at 12:49 am

    I have tried these 3 times now and am so frustrated! They’re just not rising! Well at about halfway I looked through the oven door (definitely did not open it) and they were risen into beautiful domes and looked perfect! Then…at 20 mins…flat :( I’m sure it’s not my oven as I baked a batch of plain choc and they rose beautifully. Any hints or tips on what I may be doing wrong??? Please help!

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 25th, 2013 at 7:47 pm

      Hi Shari, I’m sorry that you’ve had some trouble with these cupcakes. While I don’t know exactly what the problem is, I would still recommend getting an oven thermometer, making sure your baking soda is fresh and ensuring that you’re using natural unsweetened cocoa powder, and not Dutch-process.

      Reply

  52. shida on August 26, 2013 at 4:52 am

    i baked this using sour cream instead of buttermilk, it turned out excellent too. 2nd time using this recipe, 1st was using buttermilk. both turned out great. an easy peasy recipe for a delicious red velvet. a must try!

    Reply

  53. tharu on August 27, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Hello there, can you please tell me how much is 1 cup? the exact measurement, sorry, I’m just a beginner..

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 27th, 2013 at 9:25 pm

      Hi Tharu, It all depends on what you’re measuring. If you’re using a standard solid measuring cup, you would just fill it. If you’re weighing it, it all depends on the ingredient, since different foods have different volumes. If it’s liquid, 1 cup = 8 ounces.

      Reply

  54. Diana on August 30, 2013 at 1:40 am

    I have to tell you first, this is my FIRST time ever writing a review for anything! Everything you said about red velvet is exactly how I felt!!!!! I tried it because of the “excitement” around it, and was totally convinced that people only liked the cream cheese frosting and didn’t know squat about good cake! I made a recipe ONCE over a year ago and it was as all others, bland and dry! Just yesterday, I had someone request red velvet cupcakes and I thought to myself, this will be another fail. I came across your blog here and I just thought, hey let me try this, she thinks like me! I just made it and I am converted as well!! Moist, delicious, just a hint of cocoa! Wow, I didn’t even need the frosting(of course I will put it on eventually). I just had to tell u that i am a red velvet believer, tho I’m still convinced most only love the frosting. Thank you sooooo much for this recipe!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  55. Kate on August 30, 2013 at 11:08 am

    May I use dutch-processed cocoa instead of the regular unsweetened one?

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 31st, 2013 at 6:26 pm

      Hi Kate, I would not here, because of the way the cocoa interacts with the baking soda and vinegar.

      Reply

  56. Robin on August 31, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Wonderful very light and fluffy big success

    Reply

  57. anne on September 3, 2013 at 6:02 am

    Made these yesterday and I found some “problems” with my end product. My cupcake we a bit tough and chewy at the same time. And the frosting was abit runny and didnt came out like in picture. Please help me as I wish to improvise my baking.

    Reply

    • Cherry on September 4th, 2013 at 5:53 pm

      Hi Anne,

      In regards to the frosting if you use the whole cream cheese package, you will need to add more powdered sugar until it thickens up. This will help the frosting to become more stiff and to the consistency you need. I hope that helps.

      Reply

    • Michelle on September 5th, 2013 at 4:06 pm

      Hi Anne, Please be sure to use full-fat cream cheese, not low-fat. I also recommend using Philadelphia brand, as it has a higher fat content that generic brands. If you don’t have enough fat, there will be too high of a water content, which can cause the frosting to be runny.

      Reply

  58. Cherry on September 4, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I made the cupcakes today and they came out perfect. My cream cheese frosting was a bit runny. I added some more sugar to stiffen it up. I am not yet an expertise with frosting but overall, it was a great experience.

    Reply

  59. mariam on September 12, 2013 at 8:31 am

    no baking powder? and can i substitute cake flour with all purpose flour? if yes then what will be the measurements of that?

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 12th, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      No, this recipe does not use baking powder, just baking soda. I would not recommend making a flour substitution, as it will affect the texture of the cupcakes.

      Reply

  60. Mary Warren on September 15, 2013 at 1:43 am

    How Many CupcakeS Does This Recipe Make?

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 16th, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      Hi Mary, This makes 12 cupcakes; you’ll be able to find how many servings any recipe yields if you look right underneath the recipe title, where it says “yield”.

      Reply

  61. Marilyn on September 16, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    I will try this recipe today. What’s ounces – could the measure be more specific? in grams or kg? I checked on google they say there are two types of ounces uk and us? Thank you

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 16th, 2013 at 10:44 pm

      Marilyn, I do not currently convert recipes to grams; if something is listed in ounces it is “U.S.”, although I’ve never heard that there are two types of ounces?!

      Reply

    • Marilyn on September 16th, 2013 at 11:11 pm

      I made a thorough check thanks google – so 4 oz = 113 grams. The cakes were perfect, it was my first time.
      The only thing is the amount of frosting is way too much.
      Thanks again for the recipe.

      Reply

  62. simran on September 18, 2013 at 4:44 am

    hey! this looks amazing. but as i m vegetarian i would like to know what could be substitutted in place of egg.

    Reply

  63. HyperionCT on September 19, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    I made 4 dozen cupcakes using this recipe last weekend and they were a big hit. (and I ate about a half dozen myself, so I know they were good.) I used a different frosting recipe and made much too much, so my solution? Bake more red velvet cupcakes this weekend! Great recipe, best one I’ve found so far (and I’ve tried quite a few). Thanks!

    Reply

  64. abhinav sharma on September 26, 2013 at 3:48 am

    Hi, i am The Lead Cake designer at cake2you,we operate out of gurgaon, india,had made this recipe for one of our very loyal customer,it was his wife’s birthday and he needed something special so we made this red velvet cake for him in heart shape. those guys loved it. thank you for putting this online. thanks again.

    Reply

  65. Jennifer G on September 28, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    I made these today and they are AMAZING! The texture of the cake is great, not too red and very moist. The icing is my family’s favorite! Thanks for sharing this great recipe!

    Reply

  66. swati on September 29, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    hi, after going through all the wonderful comments I’ve got really tempted to try this recipe but the only hiccup is the egg. we do not use eggs at all.
    could please suggest an alternative /substitute for it. would be very grateful as my son’s 8th birthday’s on 4th oct, n i surely want to give this a try.hope u reply soon with the best possible substitute. no egg replacer powders pls as they would not be available where i live.
    Thanks.

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 3rd, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      Hi Swati, Unfortunately, I do not know of any egg substitutes that would work here, especially if you cannot have egg replacements.

      Reply

  67. Orla on September 30, 2013 at 6:09 am

    I love red velvet and I’ve wanted to make it for so long but the idea of putting that much food colouring into something is a little off putting :/ Can you recommend any food colouring free red velvet recipes or do you have one yourself?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 3rd, 2013 at 2:36 pm

      Hi Orla, There are some recipes that use beet juice to get the red coloring, you might try searching for one of those.

      Reply

  68. betterwithsugar on October 1, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Holy crap these are fantastic! I just made these for like the 7th time in the last couple of months, this time at my BF’s request for his bday. Everyone loves these! If i knew they would be this awesome i would have made Red Velvet cupcakes years ago. And the cream cheese frosting is soooooo good *drool* … i have to say, i made a little mistake the first time and used the colour gel instead of liquid food colouring, and added some milk to make it more liquidy. Ended up with Orange Velvet Cupcakes instead! Still tasted great though, and after that i learned to always have the liquid food colouring stocked in my cupboards :)

    Reply

  69. Anna on October 2, 2013 at 10:49 am

    This recipe is amazing! I made these over a year ago and forgot where I saw this recipe and made a different red velvet cupcake recipe a few days ago. I ended up throwing them all in the trash, they were awful especially in comparison to this recipe. I don’t think I will ever use a different recipe again. These are perfect! However, I made the frosting exactly how it was written and it was runny. I even added another cup of powdered sugar and it still seemed too runny, didn’t look like your frosting here! Any idea why? I always seem to have a hard time with cream cheese frosting for some reason. Should the cream cheese be cold?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 3rd, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      Hi Anna, No, the cream cheese does not need to be cold. However, be absolute certain that you are using regular, full-fat cream cheese. Reduced fat cream cheese has a higher water content, and therefore will result in runny frosting. I’ve also found that Philadelphia brand cream cheese seems to have a higher fat content than generic brands, so I would recommend that as well.

      Reply

  70. Faiza on October 2, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Hi Michelle! Can’t wait to try this recipe this weekend for my husband’s birthday! Just wondering if I can use homemade buttermilk for this (whole milk and lemon juice) or do I need the store-bought kind?

    Reply

    • Anna on October 2nd, 2013 at 10:58 pm

      I’ve done it both ways and it seems to be fine either way.

      Reply

      • Faiza on October 3rd, 2013 at 10:40 am

        Yay! Thanks so much, Anne! :)

        Reply

  71. Anne Q on October 5, 2013 at 10:35 am

    I just made these cupcakes! They taste sooooooo good! Thank you Michelle for such a wonderful recipe! :))

    Reply

  72. Anne Q on October 5, 2013 at 10:38 am

    And I used cake flour instead of all purpose flour (I forgot to buy all purpose flour) and it still works!

    Reply

  73. Michelle on October 9, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Hi! I love your blog! Seriously you are amazing! I have a question for your cream cheese icing. Is it pipable? I am doing a rosette cake and would like to use this but am scared it will not hold!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 11th, 2013 at 3:39 pm

      Hi Michelle, Yes, it’s definitely pipeable, as you can see above, I pipe it into cupcakes.

      Reply

  74. Phan on October 11, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    I would really like to try this recipe, but I only have pure white vinegar, not distilled. Is this okay to use? If not, could I leave out the vinegar? Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 12th, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      Hi Phan, I think using your regular white vinegar should be okay.

      Reply

  75. Jino on October 24, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Can I use refined brown sugar instead of granulated sugar? Thank you :)

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 25th, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      Hi Jino, I would not recommend substituting brown sugar in place of granulated sugar; it will change the texture.

      Reply

      • Jino on October 25th, 2013 at 11:27 pm

        If we use brown sugar will it also change the color and the taste?

        Reply

      • Jino on October 26th, 2013 at 12:16 am

        Will it also change the color and the taste?

        Reply

        • Michelle on October 26th, 2013 at 10:35 pm

          It should not change the color, but it may change the taste.

          Reply

  76. Bobby Brown on October 26, 2013 at 10:45 am

    I tried these cup cakes and they were amazing! Though I carefully followed the recipe, the cup cakes were (to put it gently) as flat as Kansas. I can say tha because I live in Nebraska, which is also as flat but more pleasant to look at!

    Reply

  77. Connie Clough - CloBaker on October 27, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Our family has made red velvet cake for as long as I can remember. We use a flour recipe for the frosting.

    Reply

  78. Andrew on October 30, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Look fantastic. How do you get the cream cheese frosting to be stiff? All the cream cheese frosting i have made seem to less stiff and more runny. Suggestions?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 30th, 2013 at 4:08 pm

      Hi Andrew, I always use full-fat Philadelphia cream cheese. Low-fat cream cheese has a higher water content than full-fat and will result in thinner frosting. Also, I’ve read that generic and store brand cream cheese has a higher water content than Philadelphia, so I always use that brand. Hope that helps!

      Reply

  79. Claudette Salazar on October 31, 2013 at 9:01 am

    I love you and your recipes. I tried it at home for the first time, and people in here actually liked it. Though I have a bit problem where to find some ingredients esp. here in Philippines but all in all, it was really amazing. Thank you for sharing this. :D

    Reply

  80. Sheri on November 1, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    I made these & they were not good. They were very dry & dint taste nearly as food as most red velvet recipes.

    Reply

  81. Sisi on November 5, 2013 at 1:29 am

    The first time I made these they had a nice earthy red color and tasted great but were rather dry. I complained to a couple of my guy friends and in between mouthfuls one asked how I was measuring my flour. Turns out you should sift then measure *face palm*. Second go round and they came out like before except moist and light like you would expect from a cupcake! Yay me! (and browneyedbaker ;-))

    Reply

  82. Hira Butt on November 5, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Hi,

    I tried this recipe. It was quite disappointing because the cupcakes turned out to be salty instead of sweet. I think you should increase the sugar content in the cupcakes. That’s just an advice. I’d really like to get your reply on this as to what made them go sour and salty.

    thank you.

    Reply

  83. Sarah on November 7, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    How would you suggest spreading the icing?

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 11th, 2013 at 10:14 am

      Hi Sarah, I use a decorating bag with a tip to pipe the icing; if you don’t want to do that, you could just use an offset spatula to spread it on top of each cupcake.

      Reply

  84. Leanne on November 20, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Hi Michelle! May I ask how big is the cup you used to measuring sugar, buttermilk, flour and all sort of ingredients? Thanks very much! :)

    Reply

  85. Leanne on November 20, 2013 at 9:40 am

    And do I need to add oil when mixing up all ingredients?

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 20th, 2013 at 9:30 pm

      No, there is no oil in the recipe.

      Reply

  86. Melissa on November 20, 2013 at 10:33 am

    I’ve tried many many recipes for red velvet cake. YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY PERFECTED THESE! Thank you for making me look good.. Lol, red velvet is my hubby’s favorite!

    Reply

  87. Kristina on November 25, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    I made the cupcakes today but the food coloring made my cupcakes taste like food coloring is anybody else having that issue

    Reply

  88. Jill on November 27, 2013 at 7:59 am

    Made these cupcakes for a co worker, per her request after I lost a bet on a college football game. Red Velvet is her favorite and she loved the cupcakes! First time making Red Velvet cakes and I only had about 1Tbs of red food coloring but the color was a beautiful red and the feedback I got was that they were “the bomb.” I am making them again for my store for Christmas…and Valentine’s Day…& 4th of July…

    Reply

  89. Khulood on November 27, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Hey, very nice recipe , I adjusted mine and made it similar to yours ..turned out amazing, yummy, moisty and velvety …. :) just what the name promises

    Thanks a lot :)

    Reply

  90. Prits on November 28, 2013 at 7:52 am

    Hi
    I am completely in love with your recipe. I have tried various red velvet cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting and none reached my expectation. I confess I am a perfectionist. My hunt for the best red velvet stops here. The cupcake turned out perfectly moist and oh so flavourful. The cream cheese frosting is to die for. This is the first time I have tried your recipe and now I am hooked. I am surely going to try other recipes (already bookmarked some ;) .. Thank you for such a delightful recipe!

    Reply

  91. Niki on December 4, 2013 at 6:48 am

    hey your cupcakes are amazing and I’m making them for a project but I was wondering how many cupcakes can these ingredients make? I haven’t made them yet but looking forward to it

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 5th, 2013 at 3:46 pm

      Hi Niki, This recipe makes 12 cupcakes. For future reference, you can find the number of servings for any recipe at the top of the recipe box, below the title, where it says “yield”. Enjoy the cupcakes!

      Reply

  92. Dunke on December 8, 2013 at 8:09 am

    Hi,
    This recipe looks fabulous, I want to try it this week. Please could you give me gram or ounce measurements for the butter?
    Cheers.

    Reply

  93. Michelle on December 15, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    I did not like this recipe at all. I made these for my sister as a gift. I completely regret it. Terrible.

    Reply

  94. Novita on December 15, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Hi, I’m going to try this recipe soon, but i can’t find McCormick food coloring near me. Can I substitute it with Club House red food coloring, and should I use the same amount? Thanks! :)

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 16th, 2013 at 2:08 pm

      Hi Novita, I think that would work just fine. Use the same amount. Enjoy!

      Reply

      • Novita on December 16th, 2013 at 2:12 pm

        Thank you for replying! I will make them tomorrow, and will let you know how it goes! Have you tried freezing the cupcakes? I’m thinking of making them early and frost them the night before. I need these for Thursday.

        Reply

        • Michelle on December 16th, 2013 at 8:18 pm

          Hi Novita, I have frozen them occasionally, but if you only need them for Thursday, you can bake them tomorrow and just keep them in an airtight container at room temperature, then frost the night before. No need to freeze for only a couple of days.

          Reply

  95. Novita on December 17, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Just made my first batch, and they turn out fabulous!! and SO good! I followed the exact recipe, except I used Club House food coloring. I’ll be making more! :)

    Reply

  96. syphy on December 22, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Please can u interpret the measurement in gramms for me cos the cupcakes really looks nice and would love to give it a try. Thanks.

    Reply

  97. Nur on December 23, 2013 at 5:41 am

    This is absolutely delicious! I’ve tried it, and my family and friends LOVED it. Some even said this is the best cupcake they’ve ever tasted. Really good for a beginner like me to try and make it. Quite easy though ;)

    Reply

  98. Li Qi on December 25, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Hi! Can i know what piping tip are you using to pipe the cream cheese frosting in this recipe?

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 25th, 2013 at 10:42 pm

      I used a Wilton 1M decorating tip.

      Reply

  99. S on December 29, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    I just finished making these cupcakes and I am EXTREMELY disappointed. This was my first attempt at baking red velvet cupcakes from scratch, and expected an extremely delicious desert – instead I was left with very high blood pressure and runny icing as the cake itself had way too much salt. I feel I have wasted time, energy, money, ingredients and cup cake cases!!

    Reply

  100. Margaret Smith on December 29, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    I have red velvet bakery emulsion from Wilton. Can i use this instead of red food coloring, or will that affect the recipe?

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 29th, 2013 at 10:38 pm

      Hi Margaret, I am not familiar with that product; unfortunately, I’m not sure how it might affect the recipe (if at all).

      Reply

      • Margaret Smith on January 1st, 2014 at 3:14 pm

        Thanks for your input Michelle. I’m just going to use the food coloring until I know were I can use it.

        Reply

        • s's on January 10th, 2014 at 4:38 pm

          I have the same the thing as you and it will work. On the back it should say “red velvet coloring”.

          Reply

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