Red Velvet Cupcakes

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Red Velvet is one of those flavors that is difficult to describe. Some people say it’s a chocolate cake with red food coloring, but that’s not my definition of red velvet cake. For me, a red velvet cake has to have that punch of acidity that comes from the buttermilk and the vinegar. It should have a very mild hint of chocolate from the cocoa powder, but not enough to mistake it for a chocolate cake.

I always pair my red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting to up the acidity even more. The flavor combination is just perfect in my opinion. But, you could always go with the original Ermine icing that is a boiled frosting and is also very delicious. My mom is the best at boiled frosting and I like having something sacred from her that I don’t try to copy or mess with. Because, let’s face it, if I started making her frosting I would have to change SOMETHING. And then my childhood would be ruined.

You’ll notice that this recipe has all oil and no butter. This makes for an incredibly fluffy and tender cake. Make sure you use grease-proof cupcake liners like these. You can also place a thin layer of rice in the bottom of each cupcake tin before putting the liners in. This will keep the bottoms of your cupcake liners from getting greasy. Another tip is to remove them from the tins just a minute or two after taking them out of the oven. Carefully use a mini offset spatula to slide them out and place them on a cooling rack.

Red velvet must have buttermilk and vinegar. So, make sure you are using real buttermilk and not the homemade kind. It will make a difference in the taste.

Yes, it takes a lot of red food coloring to get this beautiful color. If you have any sensitivities to red food die, stay away from this recipe! There are recipes online using beet juice, but I haven’t tried it.

Happy Baking!


Red Velvet Cupcakes

Recipe by Amanda Innes-ShareefCourse: DessertDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





The calories listed are for one unfrosted cupcake.


  • Vegetable Oil 275g
    (1 1/4 cups)

  • Buttermilk 225g
    (1 cup)

  • Eggs 2

  • Vinegar 1 tsp

  • Red Food Coloring 2 Tbsp

  • All Purpose Flour 313g
    (2 1/2 cups)

  • Sugar 300g
    (1 1/2 cups)

  • Baking Soda 1 tsp

  • Salt 1 tsp

  • Cocoa Powder 1 Tbsp


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Line cupcake tins with grease-proof cupcake liners.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add all wet ingredients. Mix on medium-low speed until everything is combined.
  • In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients and whisk by hand to combine.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix on medium speed just until combined.
  • Using a cookie scoop, fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.


  • This can also be made into a 3-layer 6″ cake or a 2-layer 8″ cake. Baking time will increase.