Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Valentien's Day Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting | recipe from runawayrice.comWith gorgeous red color, these super-moist and fluffy Red Velvet Cupcakes topped with luscious swirls of a cream cheese frosting are simply delicious. This recipe is just in time for Valentine’s Day and making these scrumptious cupcakes is the perfect way to pamper your special someone with a decadent, sweet treat.  After all, who doesn’t love cupcakes?! 🙂

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

If you don’t have cake flour, make your own by sifting together 2 cups all-purpose flour + 1/2 cup corn starch.

Use a mild vegetable oil like soybean or canola.

If using gel food coloring, add just 1/2 tsp as it’s more concentrated than the liquid food coloring.

Don’t over-mix the batter.  This will lead to dense and heavy cupcakes.

After adding the baking soda and vinegar, work quickly to transfer the batter into the pans and then into the oven. Don’t let the batter sit too long or the cupcakes will deflate.

This recipe is generous and there will be some leftover batter. Resist the urge to fill-up the cups as they will overflow during baking.  Fill the cups just two-thirds full.

The secret to moist cupcakes is to not over-bake them; 20 minutes is all it takes. Also, as soon as they are cool enough to handle, remove the cupcakes from the pan so they don’t continue baking.

At the end of the day, refrigerator any remaining cupcakes in an air-tight container. Cupcakes can also be frozen for up to 2 months.

Watch the video below for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Sponge Cake (Banh Bong Lan) and Lighter Classic White Cake.


for the Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups cake flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 Tbsp red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

for the Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Line two cupcake pans with baking cups.  Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sift the cake flour, cocoa powder and salt into a medium bowl.  Stir to combine.

In a stand mixer, add the sugar and vegetable oil and whisk together on Medium High speed until combined, approximately 15-20 seconds.  Add one egg to the mixture and whisk until incorporated, approximately 10 seconds.  Add the second egg and whisk until incorporated.  Turn off the mixer.

Add the vanilla extract and red food coloring.  Starting on Low speed and gradually increasing to Medium speed, whisk for 15 seconds or until evenly combined.

Add one-third of the flour mixture, approximately 1 cup, along with half of the buttermilk and mix on Low speed until most of the dry ingredients are incorporated.  Add another third of the flour mixture, the remaining buttermilk and continue whisking.  Add the remaining flour mixture and whisk together.  Stop the mixer and scrape around the bowl working in the remaining dry ingredients.  Whisk for another 10 seconds.

In a small bowl, combine the baking soda and vinegar. Pour into the batter and whisk together on Medium speed for 10 seconds.

Use an ice cream scoop or batter pen to transfer the batter into the cups, filling each two-thirds full.

Bake the cupcakes for 20 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick and making sure it comes out clean.

Remove the pans from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and allow to cool for another 30 minutes.

Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a large bowl.

In a stand mixer, whisk the cream cheese and butter on Medium speed until fluffy, approximately 2-3 minutes.

On Low speed, add confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup at a time, and mix together until the sugar is fully incorporated.  Stop the mixer and scrape around the bowl working in any remaining sugar.

Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Whip the frosting on Medium High speed until fluffy, approximately 15 seconds.

Frost the cupcakes using an offset spatula.  Alternatively put the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a decorator’s tip and frost the cupcakes.

Yields: 24 cupcakes

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

Luscious Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting | recipe from*This post contains affiliate links.*

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12 Responses to Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Maria Christodoulou February 14, 2018 at 11:55 am #

    I made the cup cakes but they had cracks and and it took more than 20 min to cook them. I had thermometer in the oven and the temperature was 176C = 350F. What I did wrong? Thank you.

    • Trang February 14, 2018 at 2:21 pm #

      Hi Maria,
      It doesn’t sound like there’s anything wrong with your cupcakes. Perhaps the cracks are because they were a bit too close to the heat source. Average-sized cupcakes typically take 20 minutes but it can vary depending on the size of and type of pan used. More importantly, how do they taste?

      • Maria Christodoulou February 15, 2018 at 12:19 pm #

        Hi Trang,
        Thank you for the response. The taste is nice and well looking when I cover the cracks with the Cream Cheese Frosting. I will bake them again and I hope to be like yours.
        Thank you again.

        • Trang February 23, 2018 at 6:36 pm #

          Hi Maria,
          Frosting does a great job of hiding any minor imperfections. I am glad you enjoyed the taste. Good Luck on the next round! 🙂

  2. Martina Belén Herreros January 7, 2018 at 3:52 pm #

    Hello! Can you give me the recipe in grams, please? Thanks!

    • Trang January 13, 2018 at 3:05 pm #

      Please use the Kitchen Calculator on the sidebar to get gram conversions.

  3. Stella July 14, 2017 at 8:18 pm #

    I read on your notes that the batter must pour into mould , otherwise it will deflate. How about i put some baking powder into the ingredient. Will still have this problem ?
    I want to try bake this cupcake or i will double it up to make a cake instead. But the sad thing is i only have a small oven which can only fit 1 tray (6 muffin hole tray ) . And for the caje 1 want to make 2 layer. Then i’ll pour in the batter into 2 tray. So i have to bake 1 tray first and other 1 later.
    I come acress the blog gretchen bakery state that i will be no problem for the other battereave on that top while waiting for the 1st one to bake. Im confuse. Please help me out. Coz im planning to bake this cake for my son birthday this month end.


    • Trang July 24, 2017 at 10:14 am #

      Hi Stella,
      It should not be a problem to bake 1 layer at a time. The batter can sit on your counter for up to 30 minutes without deflating. No extra baking powder is needed.
      Good luck making your son’s birthday cake! Please stop back and share your results.

  4. Connie August 17, 2016 at 8:21 pm #

    My 9 yr old favorite cupcake! Told her we will bake it this summer so this Friday it is! We choose your recipe to follow, will update. Thank you for all the recipes!!!

    • Trang August 18, 2016 at 9:28 am #

      Hi Connie,
      I hope you have fun baking with your daughter. Enjoy the recipe and stop back to share your results. 🙂

  5. Lynn February 25, 2016 at 1:14 pm #

    Thank you Trang the cup cakes came out pretty moist a yummy

    • Trang February 29, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

      Hi Lynn,
      That’s awesome! Glad you enjoyed the recipe!

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