Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I make red velvet cake (or cupcakes) all the time… My husband absolutely loves it, so it’s a pretty frequent request around here.  So, in almost 2 1/2 years of blogging, you’re probably wondering why you’ve never seen a recipe for red velvet cake here on my site. It’s a valid question!

Here’s the thing… I’m not really much of a red velvet fan.  It just doesn’t do it for me.  I have spent quite a few years of my life trying to figure it out… It’s not really chocolate, but it’s not vanilla, either. When I was younger, I thought there might be some cherry flavor in there, but I was disappointed to learn that cherry was nowhere to be found in the ingredients.

I still haven’t really wrapped my head around the whole red velvet thing… I can pretty much take it or leave it. Though, I do love the cream cheese icing.  That said, I make it a lot, and since it is a favorite of my friends and family (especially my hubby!), I thought that it was time that I share the recipe with you. You can make up your own mind!

My recipe uses just a bit more cocoa powder than most that I’ve seen… I like the extra bit of chocolate flavor, but it does darken the color of the cupcakes a bit.  You could always scale it back a bit and add more food coloring if you want more of a bright red color for your cupcakes.

Oh, and before I forget… Be sure to reserve a few of these cupcakes.  Why? I’ve got another recipe coming tomorrow that uses leftover cupcakes. You won’t want to miss it. You can take my hubby’s word for it!

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
(Makes 18 – 20 cupcakes)

For the cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • Red food coloring, to desired color
    (about 1 bottle of typical red food coloring)

For the frosting:

  • 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Begin by preheating the oven to 350°F.  Line muffin pans with paper liners and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until well creamed (light and fluffy).  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Stir in the vanilla extract.

Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt.  In a separate bowl, stir together the yogurt and milk. While mixing on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and wet ingredients to the creamed mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.

In a separate small bowl, combine the baking soda and vinegar.  Stir to combine (the mixture will foam up a bit).  Pour the mixture into the batter, and stir to combine.  Fold the food color into the batter.

Use a 1/4 cup scoop or measuring cup to measure out the batter into the cupcake liners.  Bake for 18 – 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean (or with just a few wet crumbs).

Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, beat together the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl until fluffy.  Gradually add the powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time. Beat well on high speed, adding just enough heavy cream to make the icing creamy and easily spreadable.

Pipe or spread the icing on the cupcakes once they have cooled completely.

13 Responses to Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. I also agree with you. People go nuts over the red velvet and yet I don’t see the big deal especially in the taste. I read somewhere that it is just about the colour contrast. That beautiful rich red looking cake with the creamy white icing. That is the nice part.

  2. Your frosting (and cupcakes) look amazing. Honestly, I’ve never had a red velvet cake or cupcake. Can’t believe a bottle of colouring goes into it! Looking forward to the next post with those leftover cupcakes (kinda wondering if your hubs is doing another post :)

  3. I am a serious red velvet cake lover. There’s something about that combination of cake flavor with cream cheese frosting that gets me every time. I really, really need to make these.

    PS – Hope you’re still recovering well!

  4. I love red velvet cupcakes, though admittedly it has a lot to do with the cream cheese frosting :) Your cupcakes look awesome – perfectly domed!

  5. I’m not really a huge red velvet person either, but I’m with you, the cream cheese frosting makes it worth it. ;-)

  6. i love red velvet cake. decidedly for me it is the combination of milk and vinegar that gives it the homemade buttermilk tang, if you know what i mean. also your cream cheese frosting is the best. love the blog, keep up the good work. :)

  7. I made these today, and they were perfect! This is definitely the best recipe for red velvet cake. Thank you!