Red Velvet Cupcakes are a delicious treat anytime of the year, and they are particularly perfect for Valentine’s Day. These rich, cocoa flavored cupcakes with their namesake red color, are topped with a dreamy cream cheese frosting that is impossible to resist.
Reasons To Make This Recipe
- While made from scratch, this cupcake recipe is as easy as following the directions on a box mix.
- They are perfect for celebrating Valentine’s Day, 4th of July, Christmas or just a random Tuesday.
- Chocolate lovers can enjoy the cocoa flavor they love… with a twist!
- The Cream Cheese Frosting is out of this world delicious.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Red Velvet recipes are a favorite in my family. From red velvet cookies to red velvet bars and brownies, they are always at the top of the request list. Personally the cream cheese frosting is my favorite part of the red velvet equation. So much so that I use it in my Red Velvet Whoopie Pies!
What is Red Velvet
Red velvet cake combines a crimson hue, cocoa flavor, a bit of tang from buttermilk or vinegar and a classic cream cheese frosting.
Reactions to red velvet recipes can be a bit varied. Some LOVE the intense red color, others aren’t fond of food coloring. Truth be told you can put as little or as much red food coloring in these recipes as you like, it only impacts the appearance, not the flavor. The amount of cocoa in a recipe, and even the brand of cocoa can impact the color as well. With some cocoas I end up with a redder result, and with others the chocolatey brown stands out a bit more, as it did with these.
If possible, I highly recommend using actual buttermilk. While you can use my buttermilk substitute, real buttermilk will have a thicker consistency.
For this recipe, make sure to use a natural cocoa powder instead of a Dutch process cocoa powder. Natural cocoa powder is what you most often find at the grocery store. The good old standby Hershey’s Cocoa is a natural cocoa powder. If a cocoa powder doesn’t say natural or Dutch, it’s probably the natural variety.
From a scientific standpoint natural cocoa powder works well in recipes that use baking soda as their leavener. The acid in the natural cocoa powder reacts to the base in the baking soda to create carbon dioxide bubbles that help your recipe rise.
Red Food Coloring
While any red food coloring will work in this recipe, I tend to prefer the gel food colorings. They offer a more intense color and I find them to be less messy than liquid food colorings. These are the food colors I typically purchase. I always look for the squeeze bottle versus the little jars.
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Red Velvet Cupcakes
Red Velvet Cupcakes
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup butter softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- Red food coloring
- 8 oz butter softened
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Salt if desired
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a bowl and stir well to combine. Set aside.
- Using a mixer, in a separate bowl mix butter until light and creamy. Add sugar and beat until well combined. Add in eggs and sour cream, mix until combined. Add in red food coloring until desired consistency is reached. Combine dry and wet ingredients, and add in buttermilk, stir until combined.
- Scoop batter into muffin pans that have been lined with 24 muffin liners. Fill muffin liners about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely prior to frosting.
- Beat together butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add in powdered sugar, a little at a time, and beat until light and creamy. Add in vanilla and beat until mixed. Frost cupcakes once the cupcakes are completely cooled.
Originally published in 2015 as Star Wars Cupcakes. Simply add pretzel sticks dipped in red or blue chocolate to the top of these cupcakes and you have light saber Star Wars Cupcakes!
These easy homemade red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are made from scratch, and the lightsabers are simply small stick pretzels that have been dipped in blue candy coating. No decorating skills desired to make these work!
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Bounty. All opinions however are mine and mine alone.