Red Velvet Cupcakes

These deep red coloured cupcakes make a lovely change to the norm, with their cool cream cheese frosting and moist slightly chocolatey sponge – they are just irresistible!

We think you should make at least two batches of these…one is never enough!

There are so many tales about where Red Velvet cake originated from maybe we will never truly know. The tale we like best is about the lady who dined at the Waldorf Astoria (USA) and was served the most delicious vibrant red sponge as dessert. The lady asked the chef for the secret recipe which he kindly wrote down for her and handed over… along with a $350 bill!!

We thoroughly enjoy making and eating these yummy little American treats and you will too!


The Preparation Time for the cupcakes is around 15 minutes. Cooking time is 20 minutes and we reckon around about 8 minutes for decoration. So all in all around about 45 minutes.

Ingredients (Makes 12)

  • 140g (1 cup or 5oz) plain flour
  • 55g ( ½ cup or 2oz)unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 170g (3/4 cup or 6oz) caster sugar
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 1½ tbsp (10g or ½ oz) good quality cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp (2g) bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp (2g) baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 120ml (½ cup or 4fl oz) buttermilk
  • 1 tsp (5ml) vinegar
  • ½ tsp (2.5ml) vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp (2.5ml) red food colouring paste

Hints & Tips

  1. Cream cheese must be refrigerated.
  2. To stop cupcake cases from peeling, fill them between 1/2 and 2/3 full.
  3. For a brighter, bolder cupcake add a little extra red food colouring paste.
  4. Refrigerate these little darlings but remember to let them stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan assisted oven 160°C / Gas Mark 4).
  2. Place 12 good quality cupcake cases into a 12 hole muffin tin.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla extract and red food colouring paste together until thoroughly combined.
  5. In a separate larger bowl, whisk the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add in the eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition.
  6. Introduce the flour mixture a third at a time, alternating with a third of the buttermilk mixture, beating well after each addition.
  7. Divide the mixture evenly between the cupcake cases.
  8. Place in the oven on the middle shelf for 18-22 minutes or until risen and springy to touch. You can test that they are cooked by inserting a clean cocktail stick into the centre of each cake. If the cocktail stick comes out clean, they are cooked.
  9. Once cooked, leave to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.

For the Cream Cheese Topping

  • 70g (2/3 cup or 3oz) butter (at room temperature)
  • 200g (3/4 cup or 7oz) Philadelphia
  • 400g (3 cups or 14oz) icing sugar, sifted
  • ½ tsp (2.5ml) vanilla extract


  1. Place the Philadelphia in a clean mixing bowl and soften slightly using a spatula – do not beat.
  2. Gradually add in the softened butter, mixing until smooth.
  3. Slowly sift in the icing sugar, mixing until smooth.
  4. Lastly, add in the vanilla extract and mix well until all ingredients are combined thoroughly.

And Finally…

Once your beautifully moist Red Velvet Cupcakes have cooled, spoon or pipe on your cream cheese topping and decorate as desired. Enjoy!

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