We had a small family reunion recently and I offered to bring cupcakes, mainly because I didn’t know what else to bring. My plan was 3 dozen in 3 different flavors and obviously red velvet had to be one of them. Red velvet is always a crowd pleaser!

Honestly, I didn’t try these but they were definitely the most popular cupcake and I do believe I heard physical threats over them. (I kid.) I did try the cream cheese icing which is always excellent. My only problem with it is that it’s not stiff enough to pipe and really pile on top of the cupcake.

The recipe was simple. I did only make half of the recipe (which was a mistake) and it turned out fine. So if you’re not looking to have 24 cupcakes on hand, keep that in mind. Like I said, I didn’t taste these cupcakes but I liked the look of this recipe much more than others because of how little cocoa powder it calls for.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 oz. red food coloring two bottles
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
For the cream cheese frosting:
  • 16 oz. cream cheese 2 packages, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter one stick, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • pinch of salt
For the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
  2. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. In a small bowl, mix food coloring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the buttermilk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
  4. In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda. Yes, it will fizz! Add vinegar mixture to the cake batter and stir well to combine. Using an ice cream scoop, fill cupcake cups with cake batter (they should be 2/3 – 3/4 full). You may not fill all the cups, I ended up with 20 cupcakes. Place muffin tins on the middle rack of a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for approximately 20-22 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Check early and don’t overbake!
  5. Cool the cupcakes in their tins on a wire rack for 10 minutes then remove and allow to cool completely before frosting. Frost cupcakes with cream cheese icing
For the cream cheese frosting:
  1. With an electric mixer, blend together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Turn mixer to low speed and blend in powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Turn mixer on high and beat until light and fluffy. Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, until ready to use. If refrigerated, the frosting will need to be brought to room temperature before using (after frosting softens up, beat with mixer until smooth).



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