Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe

This red velvet cupcake recipe is not very complicated and it will render you very soft, very velvety and very red cupcakes — no pun intended!

We will start by making a substitute for buttermilk — for those of us who can’t find buttermilk where we live and then continue with the rest of the recipe. The buttermilk will ensure that our cupcakes are very soft. As soft as velvet.

The buttermilk will also allow a chemical reaction with the vinegar and baking soda in this red velvet cupcake recipe which will help with the color. We will also use some unsweetened cocoa for this purpose and of course a lot of red food coloring.

Although these cupcakes have cocoa in them they only have a very subtle hint of chocolate. The cocoa is used only for color purposes as stated above.

Some people like adding the vinegar and baking soda at the end of this process. They mix it and make it fizz and then add it very quickly to the batter. I do not make them that way. Both methods work great.

As a final note, you will be using vinegar in the buttermilk substitute, if using, and in the liquid for this recipe. Please do not worry. Your cupcakes will not taste vinegary. I promise. It is essential that you follow these steps for a successful and perfect result.

This is what you are going to need for this delicate and delectable red velvet cupcake recipe:

Makes 24 cupcakes

1 cup buttermilk or buttermilk substitute*
2 TBS red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. white vinegar
2 ¼ cups all-purpose white flour
2 TBS dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
A pinch of salt
12 TBS softened, unsalted butter
1 ½ cups of sugar
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C) and prepare 2 muffin tins with cupcake liners.

*To make the buttermilk substitute simply place 1 TBS of white vinegar or lemon juice in a 1 cup measuring cup. Top it with whole milk until you get to the 1 cup measure. Allow the milk to sit, untouched, for 5 to 10 minutes.

Place the buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.
In another bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Cream the butter and the sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs one at a time and beat after each addition.

Alternate the flour and liquid, starting with and ending with the flour. Make sure to only beat until everything is mixed in well. Do not over beat your batter.

Fill each cupcake liner 2/3rds of the way and place the pan in the oven. Bake the cupcakes between 18 and 20 minutes. Check them at 18 minutes by placing a cake tester or toothpick in the middle. If it comes out clean your cupcakes are done. Remove them from the oven and cool down completely before frosting.

Frost with cream cheese frosting and decorate with your decoration of choice.

1 cupcake – CALORIES 156.01; FAT 6.60 grs (sat 3.99; mono 1.76; poly 0.34); PROTEIN 2.11 grs ; FIBER 0.46 grs; CARBS 22.35 grs; CHOLESTEROL 30.97 mg; IRON 0.69 mg; SODIUM 96.46 mg; CALCIUM 18.13 mg

Print the Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe Here

Print the Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe Here

My name is Mary Ann Allen and I am here to help you get organized so you can save money on groceries and feed your family healthy, nutritious food. My multi-cultural cooking background comes from being born in the US and raised in Bolivia. I have 5 kids and own around 400 cook books. I absolutely love to cook!


  • January 24, 2014


    Will it be ok if I use a round cake pan or a square cake pan for this recipe? In case i dont like havin it as cupcakes..

  • January 28, 2014


    Hi Charlene!
    You can absolutely make this as a cake. No problem. Thank you for stopping by!
    Mary Ann