Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet is sort of a family tradition for me. I had never even heard of red velvet until I met my husband, and I have to be honest...the first time I ever had it I thought it was awful. I think, though, it was because I was expecting it to taste like a chocolate cake or vanilla cake, and it doesn't. It definitely has it's own flavor!

After my husband and I got married, and I knew it was his favorite cake, I tried several time to find a recipe that was 1) easy 2) moist (nothing is worse than a dry red velvet!) and 3) husband approved. My first attempt was a three-layer cake with buttercream frosting for Valentine's Day one year. While the cake was okay, it was a little dry and I didn't love the pairing with the buttercream.

My next attempt was also a cake, and still dry. I used (gasp - don't judge me) canned cream cheese frosting. Still, not amazing, and I learned that day that I was never going to use canned frosting again.

After all this, cupcakes became all the rage in Foodie land. So I found a few red velvet cupcake recipes and after several attempts at each, I combined elements of each that I liked and created what my family thinks is the perfect red velvet cupcake recipe!! It is so easy to make and very elegant for any occasion. We make it for Valentine's Day every year and Christmas too. You could also substitute the red food coloring for green and make green velvet cupcakes for St. Patrick's Day!

**If you don't have buttermilk you can make your own! Place 1 1/2 Tablespoons white vinegar in a measuring cup. Pour milk into cup until it reaches 1 1/2 cups total. Let sit for about 5 minutes. Ta-da! Buttermilk!!
 LOVE the ruby red color!
I frost mine with a large star tip
Red Velvet Cupcakes
by Girls in Aprons

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 tsp cocoa powder
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
3 T red food coloring
1 tsp distilled white vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake papers. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. (Sifting is important here because it helps the texture to be more fluffy). In a large bowl gently beat the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the went and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake papers, about 2/3 full. (I find it really easy and lots cleaner to pour the batter in a gallon-size baggie and snip of a corner. Then I can just squeeze the amount of batter in the cupcake liner without dripping all over the pan like I do when I fill with a spoon.) Bake in oven 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once halfway through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and let cool completely before frosting.


1 cube unsalted butter, softened
1 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 3/4 to 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar (I use a little more because I like my frosting stiffer)
1 tsp vanilla

Beat the butter and cream cheese together. Add powdered sugar a cup at a time and vanilla.


  1. In the frosting recipe, what exactly do you mean by one "cube" of butter? how much? Thanks, Florence

  2. what do you mean by 3 T food coloring? is is 3 Tblsp?

  3. 1 cube equals 1 stick
    3 T equals 3 tablespoons
    I've made homemade cakes enough to know this is what it is calling for. :)

  4. This recipe was awesome! I changed some things up (and ran out of red food colouring!) I couldn't have been happier :)

  5. Are you using unsweetened or sweetened cocoa powder?

  6. Does this recipe work well as a layer cake?

  7. I love this recipe, but a add a half cup of sour cream and they come out very moist. 😋