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