Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

cream cheese frosting is so yummy!!!!

Honestly, I don’t know how red velvet should taste like. I tried googling “What should red velvet taste like” and found that I’m not alone after all.

I can’t put a name on its taste – it’s slightly chocolatey, but not overpowering. It’s not very sweet, but top it with a nice cream cheese frosting and you’ve got your sweet tooth satisfied! I’d recommend making it for people who are not fans of very sweet cupcakes like my parents (they liked it very much). And I must admit, I cannot deny the bragging rights it gave me when I told them I baked red velvet cupcakes haha!

How about you? Do you have a funny red velvet story?

This recipe I found in the internet1 but adjusted some of the amounts based from some suggestions in the comments.


RV ingredients

Cupcakes Cream Cheese Frosting
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups refined sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons cocoa powder

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup buttermilk*, room temperature

3 tablespoons red food coloring

1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pound cream cheese, softened

1 cup butter (=1  pack = 2 sticks), softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted



  1. Mix dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder) in a separate bowl.
Dry ingredients for RV cupcakes Dry ingredients

2. Mix wet ingredients (oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla) in a large bowl.

Wet ingredients

TIP: If you don’t have buttermilk in stock, you can make your own buttermilk by mixing 1 cup milk (I use evaporated milk) with one teaspoon of white vinegar. Just wait for 10-15 minutes to allow the milk to curdle then voila! You’ve got your own homemade buttermilk.

  1. Mix wet (pink) and dry (right) ingredients together until well-combined.

RV cupcake final mixture

That’s it! Now what’s left is baking. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F (177 deg C). If you’re using an electric oven (like me!), you may need about 10-15 minutes of preheating to achieve the desired temperature. While waiting,

a. Line your cupcake pan with cupcake liners, or grease it with baking spray or butter.

cupcake liners

b. Fill the cupcake pans up to about 2/3 full. Be sure to leave space for the cupcakes to rise.

cupcakes ready for bakingc. Once you’re done with preheating, you can start baking! Bake at 350 deg F (176 deg C) for 20-22 minutes.

cupcakes bakin!

TIP:  If you have multiple cupcake pans, you can bake them simultaneously – just be sure to change their places in the middle of your baking time to ensure equal cooking.


  1. Take out the butter and cream cheese from the fridge. Place in a bowl and set aside to soften.
Softened butter Softened cream cheese
  1. Combine softened butter and cream cheese.

Softened butter and cream cheese

I don’t have a mixer that’s why I’m mixing it by hand 🙂

  1. Add in vanilla.

Vanilla + butter-creamcheese

  1. Sift the confectioner’s sugar then mix with butter-cream cheese mixture.
Sifting confectioner's sugar Confectioner's sugar + butter-creamcheese

For those with mixers, you can first opt to mix it slowly to combine the ingredients well then switch to fast-mixing until the frosting becomes light and fluffy.

TIP: If you’re worried that the frosting might be too sweet, you don’t have to add in all 4 cups of sifted confectioner’s sugar. Try slowly adding confectioner’s sugar until you get your desired sweetness ^^

5. Refrigerate the cream cheese frosting to thicken before piping on cupcakes!

Cream Cheese Frosting!


  1. If you want a more chocolatey taste, you can add 1 more teaspoon of cocoa powder.
  2. There are a lot of issues with food coloring – being synthetic and not good for your health. You can use natural dyes but they’re a little bit pricey, or beets if they’re readily available to you. But if you’re making it for your family, or just a couple of friends – you can just cut it down or opt to not use any food coloring at all. A reddish brown mixture results from the reaction of baking soda, vinegar, buttermilk and cocoa1 – not as red as ones we know red velvet cupcakes are, but at least it’s guilt free!

I was using a powdered dye because there wasn’t a red liquid dye in the nearby grocery. I was worried it might be too strong (Note: powdered dyes are more concentrated than liquid dyes) so I experimented with the amount and came up with this:

Food color variety in RV cupcakes!

The 6 leftmost ones were the first batch where I used half a tbsp of food color. The second and third ones I added half a tbsp more each. The 3 tbsp of food coloring in the ingredient list uses liquid coloring based from the original recipe1. It should give you a deep red color like the ones in the 5th and 6th column.

  1. The three rightmost cupcakes were a little dry, maybe because they were too few for a batch (3 instead of 6). I’ll surely make these again, but next time I’ll try to use a 1/8 cup measure to fill my cupcake pans. This should give us around 24 cupcakes!
  2. My parents are watching their sugar intake, so they ate these cupcakes with little or no frosting at all (Like seriously?) – That’s why I had a lot of leftover cream cheese frosting. But don’t worry, it goes well with a lot of cupcakes (or admit it you‘re gonna eat it on its own!).

1“Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting” from

2“What does red velvet taste like?” From


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