May 16, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Now that I have shared my Red Velvet Graduation cupcakes here , I should share the recipe for these gorgeous beauties, all high and mighty and RED and oh so yummy! :-)

I have to admit that I must have gone through atleast a dozen different red velvet cake/cupcake recipes before finalizing on the one I used for mine. There were a few factors which was my highest priority:
a). It should be moist even a day or two after baking them
b). I wanted a flavorful cupcake, such that it tasted good with or without frosting
c). The cupcakes shouldn't be very oily such that the cupcake liner is drenched with oil ( though oil helps in retaining moisture)
I was finally able to bake the best Red velvet cupcakes ever! They had a smooth velvety crumb , a slight hint of cocoa and was very moist without your hands smeared with oil :-) My recipe is highly adapted from here, but I'm so glad I tweaked the recipe.
I baked an extra batch a few days before the graduation party (with recipe below) and took them to my office and my colleagues really loved them. They all said it had a professional touch and that it tasted very yummy ;-)
The friend for whom I was making the graduation cupcakes is Vegan, but instead of making them wholly Vegan , she suggested I use Soy products instead and eggs for from a trusted farmer she knew. So from the recipe below, I substituted these ingredients to make her cupcakes:
a. Soy buttermilk ( 1tblsp Lemon juice mixed with 1 cup Soy milk)
b. Soy cream cheese
c. Margarine instead of butter ( but she gave me margarine spread which was salty, so I used regular unsalted butter)
You'll never know the difference, both recipes resulted in beautiful cupcakes and a sweet, creamy and cheesy cream cheese frosting.

The recipe for the red velvet cupcake is really simple, dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ingredients in another and combine the two, really simple. I have provided detail pics below, taken the night I made these cupcakes and frosted them. Enjoy! :-)

May16: Update -  this recipe provides 24 standard sized cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
You'll need
For the cake:
Cake Flour - 2½ cups
Sugar - 1½ cups
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Cocoa powder - 3 tblsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Large eggs - 2
Vegetable oil  -1½ cups
Buttermilk - 1 cup
Liquid red food coloring - 2 tblsp (1 oz.)
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Distilled white vinegar - 1 tsp

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
Cream Cheese - 8 oz. ( 1 pack)
Unsalted Butter, at room temperature - 5 tbsp
Vanilla extract - 2 tsp
Confectioners’ Sugar, sifted - 2½ cups

For Frosting the cupcakes:
Piping bag or large Ziploc bag - 1
Piping tip (optional) - I used Wilton 1M

For the cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and  line cupcake pans with paper liners.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt; whisk to blend.
3. Using a electric hand mixer , combine the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar.  Beat on medium speed until well blended.
4. Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
5. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners, almost 2/3 full.
6. Bake for about 18 minutes, rotating the pans halfway (at around 9  minutes) through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
7. Let cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. ( If left within the pan for too long the cupcake will continue to cook with the heat of the pan and may become less moist)

Directions for the Cream Cheese Frosting:
1. Combine the cream cheese (best if cold and straight out of the fridge) and butter using a hand mixer or in the bowl of an electric mixer.  
2. Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth  (about 2-3 minutes).  
3. Mix in the vanilla extract.  
4. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth. 

Frosting the Cupcakes:  
1. Cut off the ends of your piping bag or a large Ziploc bag just enough to squeeze through your piping tip. The tip should be tightly secured inside this hole. ( I used a large Ziploc bag)
2. Put the piping bag into a large tumbler (this will help to add in the frosting easily).
 3. Scoop the entire prepared frosting into the piping bag using a spatula or spoon and gently press the frosting down into the bag and once you can see the frosting at the tip , twist the bag at the topmost end such that no frosting comes out from the other open end. You may tie that end with a rubber band and squeeze the rubber band down as you frost or simply keep twisting the bag.
 4. Place your arm on the sides on the table (sit down if that's preferable) and with a steady hand , place your left hand near to the tip of the bag and with right hand on the twisted top end and gently squeeze the frosting from the top end of the bag releasing it out from the tip.
5. Keep rotating in concentric circles until you reach the centre, and pull out.
   6. There you go, beautifully frosted cupcake in a nice swirl design.
7. Repeat for each cupcake . Yummy and pretty cupcakes are ready to eat  :-)
Suggestion: If you do not have a piping tip, you can simply place about 2 tblsp of frosting on the cupcake and smooth it around the cupcake using a butter knife or a small spatula.

 Give them a try. You'll love them and its a definite crowd pleaser , beautiful to look at and really good to taste! 


  1. wow...all of them r looking wonderful...gr8 work dear Manju ...superb clicks too
    Super Yummy Recipes

  2. Looks beautiful and delicious.

  3. would love to have them.. they look superb
    Noel collections

  4. absolutely delectable & fantastic job,dear..yummy cupcakes!!

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  5. Cupcakes look cute. I had tried red velvet cakes once. The taste was awesome but I didn't get the colour. You have got both perfectly.

  6. Those cupcakes looks damn cute and definitely attractive.

  7. Lovely cup cakes Manju..nice swirls too..liked ur graduation cupcakes cute,looks professional :)

  8. they look great! love how they have retained the dome shape. bookmarking this

  9. These look so good Manju! love the swirls! :)

  10. cupcakes looks superb. lovely.

  11. okay, now you really got me hooked on to these cakes... couple of questions.. because I'm a novice at baking.. Can I use all-purpose flour for the cake flour? and food coloring, do we get in regular stores??..

    1. Hi Devi,
      Thank you so much for all the lovely comments. :-)

      Yes you can use all-purpose flour also, I made my own cake flour (1 cup cake flour = 3/4 cup all-purpose flour + 2 tblsp cornstarch)

      Yes you should get red food coloring in all regular stores, atleast in US i know we do.

  12. super cupcakes.. i m really impressed.. :)nice clicks

  13. Thanks Manju! Will try it sometime :)

  14. Hi Manju, I was thoroughly impressed with your pictures. They look good enough to eat, and that has inspired me to try this recipe for my mom, who will be celebrating her birthday soon. My question to you is will the icing keep if I take them out on a one-hour road trip to my mother's place? Or should I take them without the icing and then ice them there? Silly question, I know, but I am such a beginner that any advice would really help.
    Thanks and regards, and keep up the good work.

    1. Hi Cynthia,
      Thank you so much for the lovely comments and for considering this recipe for your mom's b'day. Trust me, she'll love it ! :-)

      And of course your question is quite a genuine one.
      To be on the safer side, I would just frost the cupcakes just before serving (if you'll be on a road trip), as creamcheese may turn sour if kept out for too long.

      But if you keep the cupcakes with frosting in an ice-box or some form of trannsportable mini-fridge, then it should be fine if its already frosted.
      Hope that helps :-)


  15. lovely and cute they look... cant stop starring at them Manju...

  16. I just tried your recipe and I have to thank you! They were so delicious! Chocolaty, moist and most importantly not oily. Thank you again! :D

  17. I tried your recipe yesterday and I have found my new GO TO for Red Velvet! They were absolutely delicious! Chocolaty, moist, and most important not oily. I have tried recipes in the past that have called for that much oil and I was hesitant at first. A big THANK YOU to you! :D

    1. Thank you so much for the feedback Jennifer , I'm so gald you loved this recipe. Its definitely my Favorite one too :-)

  18. Hi Manju thank you for posting yourrecipe I've been looking for this kind of cupcakes ill try this tonight for someone birthday tomorrow :)
    Question. I want to make mini cupcakes. Is it the same the range of time to regular one?

    1. Hi rhims,

      I am not very sure about the baking time for mini red velvet cupcakes. I would suggest you bakes them at 350F for 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway (at 5mins) and then do a toothpick test to see if the mini cupcake is baked well.

      Let me know how they turned out :-)Send me a snap if possible, I love snaps :-)


    2. Hi Manju,
      I ddnt make a mini but i did the regular one, the bammmm it turns out pretty much good and taste superb,everybody specially the birthday Celebrant love the taste.
      I add some optional 1/2 cup heavy cream in the cupcake batter it taste creamy
      frosting i add 1 cup of whipping cream too And i reduce the sugar i think i just put less 2 cups of sugar.
      Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  19. The cupcakes look lovely. I have plans on making a cake next week too just as soon as I buy some red color. This recipe sounds fabulous!

  20. They look so tempting....Was hunting for red velvet recipe and I think I should give an end to it since I now have one from u :) R those M&Ms ...they reminded me of Manjadi kuru :)

    1. Hey Anupa, saw this comment only now...those are red skittles candy, not M&M :-) This recipe is superb Anupa, I have made it several times and its the best ever! Not boasting ;-)

  21. hi manju....just saw ur red velvet cupcakes...they look so tempting...i just want to bake them right away but in my place we don't get any buttermilk or cream cheese... can u tell me wht can i substitued them with or if possible how can i make cream cheese n buttermilk at home... n also u wrote distill white vinegar...can we use simple nonfruit vinegar as its the only thing available here...plssssssss help...thank u... :-)

    1. Hi Puja,
      Thank you for the feedback. Now to answer your question:
      1. I have never made cream cheese at home, so not sure how to make. You could check online for any recipe that suits you, else make buttercream or whipped cream frosting.
      2. Yes, we can make buttermilk at home, for 1 cup buttermilk : add 1 tblsp vinegar to the cup and fill it up with milk and let it sit undisturbed for 5 mins. Then stir gently and use as desired.
      [1 tblsp Lemon juice can also be used instead of vinegar]

      And yes distilled vinegar is regular Vinegar :-)

  22. manju

    can i use this measurement of frosting to layer n cover 2 9 inch round cake??

    1. Hi Francy,
      This quantity is ok if you do not want a lot of filling for the layers. But to be on safer side it would be better to double the cream cheese frosting to fill and cover two 9-inch rounds.


  23. What type of sugar did you use? Castor sugar?

    1. Hi Rinna Sarbini,
      Are you referring to the sugar in the cupcake recipe or the Cream cheese frosting recipe?

      I have used regular granulated sugar for the cupcakes and powdered sugar (also called as icing sugar or confectioner's sugar) for the frosting. Hope this helps.


  24. i made these cupcakes...awesomeness in one word!!!...

  25. I made these now and everything seems right except that the inside is doughy and together. its not like how the texture of cake supposed to be :(

    1. Sorry to hear that. I've never had an issue with this recipe and the cupcakes have a good texture. Several factors can cause cake to become doughy, like under-mixing the batter, baking soda being bad, oven temperature, even the flour matters. I hope you will try them again and that it comes out well for you.

  26. I'm finally trying out this recipe! Looks delicious

  27. What is the cup size you use??125 ml or 250 ml

  28. Looks Yummy and So Delicous in Pic, I cant' control my self.. by the way thanks for sharing method, I will definitely request to my Mom to bake this cupcake..

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