Red Velvet Cupcakes!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more details!*

Deliciously light & fluffy Red Velvet Cupcakes with a gorgeous Cream Cheese Frosting!

A couple of weeks ago I posted my recipe for my Red Velvet Cake and it was a massive success – it’s one that you were all waiting for for a very long time! I had, however, had many requests for a cupcake version, so here it is!  You will see however that my recipe isn’t just my Cake recipe halved as I believe this version bakes better as a cupcake, and the other as an actual cake – so there is a difference!

I was flabbergasted with how red my cupcakes came out – such as they look like they have been edited beyond belief, but they really are that red! It’s mind-blowing! Don’t they look cute! Look at the sprinkling of the red velvet crumbs – they’re just so red!

I use this red food colouring for these cupcakes. I will emphasise on the fact that you MUST USE A GOOD QUALITY COLOURING. Use a supermarket one? They’ll probably fail. You need quite a lot of colouring to get the right anyway, so using the better quality means they work, and also means you actually use less colouring! 

Red Velvet is one of those controversial cakes – it’s like why on earth does a cake need to have vinegar in it? and do I really have to use buttermilk?! But honestly – a classic ‘Red Velvet’ contains these ingredients – and you can’t really avoid them.

You can of course just bake vanilla cupcakes and use food colouring, but Red Velvet is meant to be Chocolate AND Vanilla but be super red – the bicarbonate, vinegar, and buttermilk help create the texture and bring the colour out more!

Bicarbonate of soda works by reacting to acid in the recipe – the rising comes from the mix of Bicarbonate, Buttermilk and Vinegar. I always use a White vinegar for my red velvet cupcakes, but others can work such as Apple Cider Vinegar. 

One question I always get is “What is buttermilk” or “can I just use regular milk” and to basically answer this.. you MUST use buttermilk. However, if you can’t find any in the shops (it’s usually found in pots near the cream!) you can make your own. To do this, you need to use FULL-FAT milk and mix with 1tbsp of lemon juice. Whisk it in, and leave to sit for five minutes before using! 

The reason that this recipe differs slightly to my regular Red Velvet Cake is that when using different forms of raising agents, then you can’t always just double or half it. So, this recipe is slightly different. However, I adore both equally! So definitely check out my other recipe if you want to make a layer cake version!

Now when this cake comes to the cream cheese frosting… things have changed a little. This recipe has been updated in April 2020. It’s quite a few worlds apart from the near five years ago it was originally posted! I will put the original recipe below in the notes, but the new version is much much better. I, in fact, LOVE IT. 

So the new method, which is explained in detail on my How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting – Back to Basics post – and it’s delightful. It’s beautiful. And if you ever normally have any Cream Cheese Frosting issues that often we all do, definitely give it a read! 

For the cupcakes cases, I use my usual favourite Red Baking Cups from Iced Jems! I love them as I repeatedly say, but you can use any regular size cupcake case or baking cup that you fancy! They are amazing. 

For the piping, I used my favourite 2D Closed Star Piping Tip – it creates the best swirl. And for the piping bags? I use these ones. I find that using the right size bag, and the right size piping tip will definitely help – especially when doing something like Cream Cheese Frosting! 

Red Velvet Cupcakes!

Deliciously light & fluffy Red Velvet Cupcakes with a gorgeous Cream Cheese Frosting!
5 from 14 votes
Print Pin Rate
Category: Cupcakes
Type: Cupcakes
Keyword: Cream Cheese, Red Velvet
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Decorating Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 12 Cupcakes
Author: Jane's Patisserie



  • 75 g Unsalted Butter
  • 150 g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Medium Eggs
  • 1 tsp Red Food Colouring (see notes)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 15 g Cocoa Powder
  • 125 ml Buttermilk
  • 175 g Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 tsp White Wine Vinegar

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 150 g Unsalted Butter
  • 150 g Icing Sugar
  • 300 g Full-Fat Cream Cheese (I use philadelphia)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract



  • Preheat your oven to 180C/150CFan and get 12 cupcake cases ready!
  • Beat together the butter and sugar in a stand mixer till smooth and fluffy like you would a normal cake!
  • Add in the eggs and beat again!
  • In a small bowl, mix together the red food colouring, and vanilla extract to a paste – Add this mixture to the butter mixture and beat until combined and coloured well!
  • Turn the speed down so it's slow and mix in the cocoa powder.
  • Pour in half of the buttermilk and beat on a slow speed. Add in half of the flour and beat again, and then the other half of the buttermilk & beat, and then the other half of the flour & beat (I realise this is faffy, but it works!)
  • Finally – beat in the Bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, and vinegar. Beat again briefly until everything is smooth and incorporated well.
  • Spoon into the cases so it's even – I use a cookie scoop and fill the cases about 2/3 full so that it's even across them all.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean when poked with a skewer! Once the cakes are baked, leave to cool on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Make sure your butter is at room temperature, and make sure to use actual butter and not a spread.
  • Beat your butter and icing sugar together until light and fluffy - like you would a normal buttercream. I beat them together for about 5 minutes.
  • Add in your full-fat cream cheese (That has been drained if needed), and beat for about a minute.
  • Scrape the bowl well, and add in the vanilla. Beat again for another minute.
  • Scrape the bowl again finally, and beat again if needed. It should be a thick and smooth frosting once finished!

To Decorate

  • If you want to use some cake crumbs to decorate, level off any peaked cupcakes, or core a couple out slightly and crumble up. This isn't essential, but red velvet cake crumbs make the best sprinkles!
  • Using your piping bag and piping tip, pipe your Cream Cheese Frosting onto the cupcakes.
  • Once piped on, sprinkle over the cake crumbs!
  • Enjoy!


  • These cupcakes should be stored in the fridge for up to 3+ days due to the cream cheese frosting!
  • I used...
  • This recipe was updated in April 2020. The cake recipe is the same, apart from using the better food colouring!
  • The original cream cheese frosting recipe was:
    • 75g Butter, room temperature, 150g Icing Sugar, 2-3tbsp Whole Milk/Double Cream, 1x 180g Philadelphia Full-Fat Cream Cheese
  • You can use self raising flour instead of plain flour - if so, also leave out the baking powder. I prefer using plain flour for red velvet cakes though. 
Nutrition Facts
Red Velvet Cupcakes!
Amount Per Serving
Calories 392 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Fat 25g38%
Saturated Fat 15g94%
Cholesterol 96mg32%
Sodium 151mg7%
Potassium 138mg4%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 26g29%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 861IU17%
Calcium 67mg7%
Iron 1mg6%
* These are only estimates and can vary dependant on brands of ingredients and serving sizes.


Find my other Cupcake & Christmas recipes on my Recipes Page!

You can find me on:

J x

© Jane’s Patisserie. All images & content are copyright protected. Do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words and credit me, or link back to this post for the recipe.

About Author

Hiya! I'm Jane, and I adore baking, cooking and all things delicious. I'm also partial to homewares, lifestyle posts and more!


  • Hayley
    November 8, 2020 at 8:05 am

    5 stars
    Hello, great recipe! I wondered how the icing would cope if I added colour mill food colouring? Want to make Christmas themed red velvets with green icing 😍 thanks xx

    • Jane's Patisserie
      November 8, 2020 at 10:32 am

      I’ve never used colour mill colours, but as long as they are really strong and you don’t need much it would be fine! x

  • Vikki Hughes
    November 3, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    5 stars
    The recipe is lovely and the cream cheese frosting is really beautiful, but my cakes look like chocolate cupcakes not red velvet? I’m sure I added plenty of red colouring? Maybe I put too much in although it was quite pink before I added the cocoa? I just need to have another go I suppose!

    • Jane's Patisserie
      November 3, 2020 at 2:23 pm

      What exact brand of colouring did you use? x

  • Caroline
    October 24, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    Hi Jane
    If I was to double this recipe would that be ok for 2 x 8inch tins. As this is more up to date than your red velvet cake.
    Thank you.

    • Jane's Patisserie
      October 24, 2020 at 12:52 pm

      I still stick by the red velvet cake sponges for the cakes – but which cream cheese frosting you use is up to you!

    • Caroline
      October 24, 2020 at 1:30 pm

      So the 2 layer red velvet cake recipe would this be ok for 3 6inch tins.
      Thank you so much for your help. I’ve found my love of baking again.

    • Jane's Patisserie
      October 24, 2020 at 8:07 pm


  • Jasmine
    October 16, 2020 at 8:17 pm

    Would I be able to add white chocolate chips to these or would that mean I had to alter the recipe? X

    • Jane's Patisserie
      October 16, 2020 at 8:22 pm

      You should be able to yes! I would maybe add 150g worth! x

  • Holly
    September 28, 2020 at 8:53 pm

    Hi could I double this recipe or would it ruin the rising agents.

    • Jane's Patisserie
      September 29, 2020 at 9:45 am

      As long as you measure accurately, it will be fine xx

  • Michelle
    September 25, 2020 at 10:49 am

    I made the large cake version of this and it was so amazing! I’ve just tried these cupcakes and it didn’t work for me at all – the cakes were lovely but the frosting came out like water, and I’m not sure why? I followed the recipe, used full fat Philadelphia, but somehow it just came out more like a soup than frosting, it just poured right through my piping bag 🙁 I ended up pouring the rest of the bag of icing sugar in to try and thicken it up, and left it in the fridge for a couple of hours. The ratio of cream cheese to icing sugar is very different in both recipes, I’m guessing that’s why, for the big cake it’s meant to be much thicker??

    • Jane's Patisserie
      September 25, 2020 at 5:26 pm

      This is a new and up-to-date recipe that I much prefer and find is much better – there’s a full post about it on my blog and video on my YouTube channel that can help you!

  • Silvia
    August 30, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    5 stars
    Brilliant! We made those today and they are delicious! The frosting is perfect! We used Sainsbury’s colouring so they didn’t come out very red or red at all 😅 but will definitely get the Rev one Des one from amazon xx

  • Patricia
    August 30, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    5 stars
    I made them yesterday. They are just AMAZING. And the creamcheese frosting is absolutely PERFECT

  • Danielle
    August 1, 2020 at 7:34 am

    Hi Jane,

    Can’t wait to try these!

    I have the Christmas red sugar flair food colouring, would this work ok in this recipe? X

  • Carol
    July 29, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    5 stars
    OMG, these are to die for!!!!! Another completely winning recipe, thank you!
    Would it be possible to use this recipe to make mini sandwich cakes, or would I need to change it?
    BTW, we’re trying your white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake tomorrow!!!
    Thank you!

    • Jane's Patisserie
      July 29, 2020 at 7:08 pm

      Hey! Yes it would happily make 10-12 mini cakes (depends on your mini sandwich tin as they can vary in size slightly!) x

  • avery
    July 11, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    Hi Jane,
    I really want to make red velvet cupcakes but I can’t get buttermilk. What would you recommend as a substitute?

    • Jane's Patisserie
      July 11, 2020 at 7:38 pm

      Theres notes on the post about making your own!!

  • Safa Ghanem
    July 5, 2020 at 12:02 pm

    5 stars
    Turned out perfectly! Super fluffy, with a thick and pipe-able icing – can’t ask for anything more

  • M
    July 2, 2020 at 10:14 pm

    Hi jane,

    Love your recipes, am i able to halve this recipe? Thanks x

    • Jane's Patisserie
      July 3, 2020 at 11:58 am

      Hey! Yes as this mix uses 2 eggs half should be okay! x

  • Mary
    June 28, 2020 at 10:05 am

    Could I possibly use Clover Margarine for the cupcakes? Will this margarine affect the cupcakes as Clover brand is made with buttermilk?

    (Obviously stick to an unsalted butter block for the frosting)

    • Jane's Patisserie
      June 28, 2020 at 5:11 pm

      For the sponge it should be absolutely fine x

  • Jen
    June 25, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    Hi Jane! My sister wants a red velvet giant cupcake for her birthday cake! Would I need to alter the amounts in this recipe for a giant version? I’ve got the silicone mould! Thank you! Jen 🙂

    • Jane's Patisserie
      June 25, 2020 at 9:26 pm

      Hey! I’m not 100% sure as the giant moulds can vary slightly – it may need a bit more? x

  • Lorraine
    June 22, 2020 at 11:27 pm

    Hi Jane
    I am hoping to try this recepie this week but for two lots two days apart. Do you think it would be OK to make the full mix, bake half and store the other half of the uncooked mix in the fridge over night or would this ruin the texture? If not able to store the uncooked mix would unfrosted cakes be still as fresh if stored in the fridge over night? Thank you 😊

    • Jane's Patisserie
      June 23, 2020 at 9:06 am

      I would 100% not recommend storing the raw batter – you could easily store the actual cakes for a couple of days though! x

  • AM
    June 22, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    5 stars
    delicious recipe! I wanted to make mini versions as the normal size ones turned out so well. Would the cooking time be the same for 24 mini cupcakes at the same temperature? X

    • Jane's Patisserie
      June 22, 2020 at 9:20 pm

      Mini cupcakes are usually about 10 minutes! x

  • Sumaiya
    June 20, 2020 at 10:53 pm

    5 stars
    I made these cupckaes today and they came out gorgeous. For the frosting I used less cream cheese and I squeezed the water out of it. The consistency was perfect compared to the last time I made soupy cream cheese frosting . Thanks Jane for the recipe ❤

  • sam
    June 19, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    5 stars
    Just made these Red Velvet Cupcakes. Followed your recipe. Absolutely divine!!! Even brought the redcolouring you mentioned and yes it is brilliant. Thank you so much Jane you are helping me through a difficult stage in my life. Live your recipes xx

  • H Baker
    June 15, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    5 stars
    These were amazing! Thank you for the fantastic recipe. My friend claimed that these were better than the Hummingbird bakery red velvet cupcakes (which are her favourite).

  • Nicole
    June 15, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    Just wondering , would I be able to use self raising flour?

    • Jane's Patisserie
      June 16, 2020 at 9:28 pm

      Hiya – so that may result in a different texture and may make them slightly explode as the raising agent is different in these! x

  • Hayley Simpson
    June 12, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    5 stars
    Absolutely bloody amazing!!! So worth getting the food colouring you suggested. Just love this recipe and used it loads.

  • Sophie
    June 10, 2020 at 9:22 pm

    Hi. Would stork/baking spread work as an alternative to unsalted butter?

    • Jane's Patisserie
      June 11, 2020 at 8:37 am

      Not for the frosting – for cakes you can easily use a baking spread, but for frosting you should always use block butter!

  • H Baker
    June 9, 2020 at 9:40 pm

    Can I halve this recipe to make 6 cupcakes? If so, can you please provide an estimate of the reduced baking time?

    Thanks so much!

    • Jane's Patisserie
      June 10, 2020 at 9:04 am

      The baking time remains the same, as the cupcakes are still the same size!

  • Chelsea
    May 18, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    I can’t get hold of any white wine vinegar. Is there is any other vinegars I can use instead?

    • Jane's Patisserie
      May 19, 2020 at 8:16 am

      Apple cider vinegar is good – or any other white vinegar that’s similar!

  • Aisha
    May 18, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    5 stars
    Hi Jane,
    Thank you for this wonderful recipe.
    I’m having difficulties getting hold of the sugarflair colouring. I’ve ordered online but it won’t come in time. Is there any other colouring you would recommend after sugarflair. I have Wilton, but the colour still doesn’t seem to come out that lovely bright red? X

    • Jane's Patisserie
      May 19, 2020 at 8:22 am

      Generally, I do only use the sugar flair as it’s by far the best – sometimes the Wilton one is darker, but it would still be much better than a shop-bought one!

  • Cam
    May 3, 2020 at 7:27 pm

    5 stars
    Love this recipe made the best cupcakes I’ve ever made the sponge is so light and fluffy! Will definitely be using this as my go to red velvet recipe!

  • Jarred
    December 19, 2019 at 9:24 am

    Would I be able to use vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean? The extract that you would normally use in vanilla cupcakes or something

  • Bee
    June 27, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    What can I substitute the white win vinegar with?

  • Hannah
    October 28, 2018 at 8:54 am

    Someone has asked me to make red velvet cupcakes and decorated with sugar roses…two questions, would the flowers work on cream cheese or woild they bleed and go soft. Also would they be ok out of the fridge if i was making on the sat amd being eaten on the sun?

    • Jane's Patisserie
      October 28, 2018 at 10:25 am

      Depending on what the flowers were made of, they might bleed, but they’d have to be kept in the fridge as cream cheese frosting needs to be in the fridge x

    • Hannah Nicholson
      October 28, 2018 at 3:35 pm

      I would be using floral paste do you think this wouod be ok?

    • Jane's Patisserie
      October 28, 2018 at 10:18 pm

      I can’t say for certain I’m afraid as I’ve never personally done it, but I’ve heard of colours leaking from fondant onto frostings x

    • Hannah
      May 7, 2020 at 1:39 pm

      5 stars
      Just made this and by far my favourite cupcake recipe! The sponge is really soft and moist, cream cheese frosting is perfect, not too sweet and sickly!

  • Verena
    May 26, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    Hi Jane
    They look amazing, will try them today (not Christmas, but sure they will still go down well).
    Do they freeze well?

    • Jane's Patisserie
      May 27, 2018 at 10:07 am

      Ahh thats fine, they’re perfect for year round!! And yes they do x

    • Sophie
      June 10, 2020 at 9:20 pm

      Hi. Would stork/baking spread work as an alternative to unsalted butter?

  • Nikki
    April 9, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    Made these today as a birthday treat for a friend. Absolutely gorgeous cakes. Recipe was easy to follow. Needless to say there aren’t many left now!

  • […] lovely and delicate. If you wanted to try some Cream Cheese Frosting with them then use it from my Red Velvet Cupcakes recipe, but I find it annoying sometimes so will always choose […]

  • Ryan
    June 7, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    After finally finding the best red velvet recipe from your red velvet cake I was even more impressed with your cupcake version! I did however use a different cream cheese frosting recipe, one that I’ve always found really reliable in the past and the results were great.

  • Beth
    October 26, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    Hi Jane. Absolutely love your blog and I’ve been trying out so many new recipes using it, and they’ve all gone so well… Except for this one.

    I copied the recipe to a T but the buttercream turned out really liquidy. If I tipped the spoon it just dropped straight off it, and I ended up spreading it onto the cakes. I have no idea why this happened, help!!

    • Jane's Patisserie
      October 27, 2016 at 9:01 am

      Chances are is that you over beat the mixture too much – with cream cheese frosting you have to be really careful not to beat it like crazy as it’ll loosen it. Also, the cream cheese might have had some excess liquid in it which wouldn’t have helped… sorry you had troubles!

  • Charlotte Ruijun Zhou
    December 1, 2015 at 2:54 am

    This looks amazing! I can’t wait to try!!! Thanks for the great recipe.

  • The Swedish Kiwi
    November 30, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    Yuuum! Perfect for Xmas 🙂

  • jabrush1213
    November 30, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    Love red velvet cupcakes! They are definitely common around this time of year with the holidays.

  • Lauren at Knead to Dough
    November 30, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    It’s so hard to find a reliable Red Velvet recipe – thank you for both of your’s Jane 🙂 my sister wants me to create red velvet brownies for her over Christmas, wish me luck! X

    • Jane's Patisserie
      November 30, 2015 at 12:32 pm

      Its such pressure for it to work, mostly it doesn’t come out red as people used the wrong colour! Hahah yes thats on the list for me too – red velvet eeeeeverything. Good luck!! 🙂 x

  • Dawn
    November 30, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Hi Jane if I cant get hold of buttermilk could I use double cream instead? These look yummy x

    • Jane's Patisserie
      November 30, 2015 at 12:31 pm

      You can make you’re own buttermilk very easily – double cream wouldnt work 🙂 x

  • Lina
    November 30, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Really cute


Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.