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The Best Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe for red velvet cupcakes has been my favorite cupcake recipe for years.   Red velvet cupcakes are my go-to cupcakes for parties and potlucks because everyone seems to love them.  I love this recipe because it produces a classic red velvet cake that is moist and tender with a not too red cake color.  Of course, the cream cheese frosting is the must-have frosting.  In my mind, you can’t have a red velvet cupcake without cream cheese frosting.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
The Best Red Velvet Cupcakes
These cupcakes are made with oil instead of butter, resulting in a moister cake texture.  Buttermilk adds the dairy flavor balance that might be missed without butter in the mix.  I played around with the amount of red food coloring until I achieved the color I wanted for these cupcakes.  If you prefer a redder red velvet cupcake, add a little more coloring.

The Best Red Velvet Cupcakes

This recipe freezes well, so if you are in make-ahead mode for a party this is a great recipe choice.  I’ve frozen the unfrosted cupcakes and frosted them just before serving and I’ve frozen the cupcakes frosted, too.  If you choose to freeze the frosted cupcakes, place the pan of cupcakes in the freezer to let the frosting set up before wrapping them in plastic wrap for storage.

Red velvet cupcakes are a festive dessert option for so many occasions.  They work Memorial Day, the 4th of July, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and just because you want a yummy cupcake day.  I've even served them in a mini version at a bridal tea. 
Patriotic Red Velvet Cupcakes

My Favorite Red Velvet Cupcakes

Makes 24 cupcakes
Frosting red velvet cupcakes
Use a Pastry Bag with a Star Tip

  • 15-1/2 ounces all-purpose flour, or 3-2/3 cups
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 13 ounces granulated sugar
  • 1-1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red food coloring
  • 1-1/4 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1-1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 cup water

The Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 pound confectioners' sugar (3 1/2 cups)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Line your muffin tins with cupcake liners.  Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa in a bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of your mixer (with a paddle attachment), mix the oil, sugar, and buttermilk.  Add the eggs, food coloring, vinegar, vanilla, and water.  Mix well.  Add half the dry ingredients, stir and add the rest, scraping down the sides and mixing just to combine.  Don't over-mix your batter to avoid making a tough cupcake. 

Scoop the batter into the paper liners. I love using a scoop for my cupcakes.  It cuts down on drips and ensures all the cupcakes will be the same size.  Bake for 20-30 minutes until the cupcakes spring back when touched and a toothpick comes out clean. I baked mine for 20 minutes.

To make the cream cheese frosting, I weighed the sugar using my kitchen scale, but volume measurement will work as well. Set aside.  Cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla using your electric mixer and the paddle attachment. Sift the sugar into the cream cheese and butter mixture, mix on medium speed until well combined. Spread a generous amount of the frosting on each cupcake or get fancy using decorator tips and a bag.
Fourth of July Cupcakes
Perfect Cupcakes for Memorial Day or 4th of July 

This recipe has become my go-to recipe for red velvet cupcakes.  I'm confident you will love them, too.

Essential Kitchen Tools

Muffin Tins
Decorating Tips and Bags
A Great Mixer
Cupcake Papers

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