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From the Kitchen: My Favorite Red Velvet Cupcakes

February 10, 2012

Until about 2 years ago, I wasn’t really a huge fan of red velvet cake. I guess I never really understood it. Was it white cake? Was it chocolate? What was the red all about? I tend to stay away from adding food coloring to anything that isn’t an easter egg. But for some reason, red velvet was and is wildly popular and when I used to bake for events, it was by far the most requested flavor. It always irked me that people went gaga for this obviously confused cupcake. Well, after experimenting with many recipes over time, I finally found one that I not only like, but I actually love. While, I’m still not keen on adding artificial coloring, I’ve found natural substitutes like these…and for occasions like Valentine’s day, it seems pretty fitting. So, without further ado, my favorite recipe for red velvet cake! xoxo!

Red Velvet Cake a la {Love+Cupcakes}

Makes 24 regular or 48 mini’s

Ingredients for cake

2 1/2 cups cake flour

1 1/2 cups bakers sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoon cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups safflower oil

1 cup buttermilk, room temp

2 eggs, room temp

1 teaspoon distilled vinegar

1 teaspoon red food coloring (or equivalent in beet powder, follow measuring instruction on packaging…adding color is OPTIONAL! You’ll still get a reddish/brownish cake without)

2 teaspoons vanilla


Preheat oven to 350° F and prep cupcake pan with liners.

Sift flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cocoa in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the buttermilk safflower oil, eggs vinegar, vanilla and food coloring on low just until barely mixed. Add the dry ingredients in 1/3 cup at a time until the batter is well mixed. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full and bake about 20-30 minutes depending on your oven. Check about 15 minutes in to see where they’re at and turn the pan if needed.

Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting


2 8oz packages cream cheese

2 sticks softened butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

2-4 cups powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a large mixing bowl or with a stand mixer on high until smooth. Add sugar a 1/2 cup at a time until you reach your desired sweetness. I usually stop at about 2 1/2 cups because I prefer a less sweet frosting. Scoop icing into a piping bag fitted with a tip (in this case a star tip) and frost away.

Add a cute fondant heart to sweeten the deal. Voila! Valentine’s Red Velvet Cupcakes! Enjoy!

P.S. Read about the origins of red velvet cake here…the redness originally came from a chemical reaction between the cocoa and the buttermilk!!

20 Comments leave one →
  1. February 10, 2012 2:31 am

    Great post! and good blog..

    Would be glad if you would check out my blog on:

    • love and cupcakes permalink*
      February 10, 2012 4:32 pm

      Thank you so much for the sweet comment! I checked your blog out, I love your fashion sense! Very cute! Can’t wait to see more :)

  2. February 10, 2012 2:49 am

    These look gorgeous! Might have to give them a try, but I’m fairly certain they won’t look like yours lol :)

    • love and cupcakes permalink*
      February 10, 2012 5:15 pm

      With a piping bag and star tip, it’s so easy to make pretty looking frosting! Try it, I promise you’ll be surprised :) and thank you for the sweet comment.

  3. February 10, 2012 6:58 am

    I think I mostly love it for the decadent cream cheese frosting. I love fat in my frosting. Red velvet is all around me right now, calling my name. I may have to make some…

    • love and cupcakes permalink*
      February 10, 2012 5:17 pm

      I do love me some cream cheese frosting! I think it may be my fave :)

  4. February 10, 2012 2:45 pm

    Holy Hannah these are puuurty! You are one talented girl!

    I’m going to attempt to bake this weekend… never mind my baking turning out as pretty — I just hope that it’s edible!

    Have a great weekend!!

    • love and cupcakes permalink*
      February 10, 2012 5:19 pm

      Well, this recipe is pretty forgiving and delicious so I’m sure your baking session will be a success! I’d love to know if you try them out. Thanks and you have a great weekend too! xoxo!

  5. April 11, 2012 3:51 am

    These look just GREAT

  6. June 5, 2012 8:58 am

    Those look perfect!! Have you tried this red velvet recipe in cake form?

    • love and cupcakes permalink*
      June 5, 2012 9:06 am

      Thanks! I have used this recipe for cakes as well. It makes 2- 8″ round layers.

  7. emilybrennan1992 permalink
    July 7, 2013 3:07 pm

    These look Lush!! I must try these!!

    • love and cupcakes permalink*
      July 7, 2013 3:26 pm

      Emily they’re super delicious! I highly recommend them :)

  8. Sunitha permalink
    February 16, 2014 4:40 am

    I made these for Valentine’s 2014 and took them to the office….everyone felt the love :-) They turned out great! Though, I reduced the sugar in both the cupcake and icing. I was trying not to use colouring but the batter didn’t turn red so I added some colouring. Does the reaction happen after its baked?

    • love and cupcakes permalink*
      February 16, 2014 5:20 am

      Hi Sunitha! I’m glad the cupcakes were a hit! A true old fashioned red velvet is not bright red, more of a reddish brown. I too have added food coloring when I wanted that pop of color but for the most part, I just leave it it’s natural color. Beet powder is a great natural alternative to red food coloring.

  9. missmidnightsparrow permalink
    August 19, 2014 11:48 am

    Reblogged this on Miss Midnight Sparrow and commented:
    Simply love this recipe!


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