Red Velvet Cupcakes


A few weeks ago, I made these red velvet cupcakes for a friend’s birthday. These ruby cupcakes are also on the menu for another sweet friend’s wedding in a few months. This leads me to believe that my red velvet cupcake recipe is worthy of an update on this site. Make no mistake:  the recipe I posted 3 years ago is flawless (if I do say so myself). The redo I’m referring to is the photo. A cupcake as sweet as this one deserves a photo that makes them look as delicious as they taste.

Can I count the reasons my red velvet cupcake recipe needs to make it into your repertoire?  For one, I’m Southern.  I know what I’m doing with red velvet.  Red velvet contains a touch of cocoa powder and buttermilk.  If you see a recipe without either one of those ingredients, run in the other direction.


The recipe only makes 4 cupcakes, so you aren’t faced with the extra calories of the leftovers.  Not only can you decorate with mini chocolate chips, but you can stir 1/4 cup into the batter if you want an extra chocolate kick. My friend from St. Louis taught me this trick, and since Missouri is arguably considered the South, I’ll let it slide. Plus, it’s delicious.

For those of you that ask, YES, you may double this recipe, but only under one condition:  you must share.  Enjoy, y’all!

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Yields 4 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ⅛ teaspoon white vinegar
  • ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • optional: ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
For the cream cheese frosting:
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon buttermilk
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  1. In a cupcake tin, place 4 cupcake liners on the outside edge. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat together the canola oil, sugar, buttermilk, egg white, red dye, vinegar, and vanilla using an electric mixer.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, while mixing. Stir in the mini chocolate chips, if using.
  5. Divide the batter between the four cupcake liners and bake for 20-22 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. Beat together all icing ingredients using an electric mixer. Frost cupcakes when cool.





  1. says

    I’ve never been particularly impressed with red velvet cakes but I think that’s clearly because I’ve never had proper southern red velvet cake. These are going on the to-bake list!

  2. says

    Ha! I love it that you feel I should run if a recipe does not include cocoa and buttermilk. I think that is the best advice I have ever received!

    I have never made or I think even had red velvet anything, but now I know what to do and feel confident in making an awesome red velvet cupcake. Yes!

  3. says

    You get me every.single.time. Seriously. Four cupcakes? Red velvet? These are on for a Sunday evening snack for the two of us, and soon. On another note, who the heck added Missouri to the south? I hadn’t heard this until a former pastor of ours claimed he was southern. I looked at Jerry, as he did NOT have a decent accent, and then the pastor said he was from Missouri. Unfortunately, by this time, my grandmother had passed away, so we couldn’t discuss this statement. I need to get out a map and check out where exactly the Mason Dixon line ran. I have my doubts, but that’s another epistle.

    • says

      Yes, it’s very debatable. Technically, they participated in the Civil War on the Confederate side, so they are Southern. But I believe it’s only a certain part of Missouri. Let me check my Mason Dixon line tattoo real quick….kidding! :)

      PS Y’all are going to love these little cupcakes. Just a touch of sweet and no leftovers for a crowd! :)

      • Carrie N says

        As someone from Missouri, I can tell you a good part of it is very Southern to this day. It’s always seemed very peculiar to me.

      • says

        Oh, you mean the war that really the south won? At least that’s what my Ma-Ma always claimed and I was smart enough not to go down that rocky road, especially living in Indiana. Can’t wait to make these. I’ll probably make them this weekend. :)

  4. says

    This is what I absolutely love about you! I don’t NEED more than four cupcakes (notice, need. because I definitely always want more than four cupcakes). I love the small serving and they also look fantastic, as per usual. :)

  5. says

    So, so, SO glad that you mentioned the whole buttermilk and cocoa powder thing. I’m not Southern (so I’m definitely not an expert), but whenever I see bright red red velvet cupcakes without even the slightest trace of cocoa/chocolate flavor, I’m so disappointed. They are a MUST!

    These are beautiful, love the idea of adding chocolate chips to the batter as well. Pinned!

  6. says

    My 8 year old just baked us a red velvet cake. From a box. (Oh, the shame!) I should really have just sent her here for your recipe!

    These look amazing!

  7. says

    Thanks so much for posting this, Christina! My husband and I had red velvet as our wedding cake, and I have been wanting to make red velvet cupcakes to celebrate our upcoming anniversary. There are so many recipes out there that I didn’t quite know where to start. I was so glad when I saw your recipe this morning. I’m sure if anyone knows a good red velvet cake, it’s you! And of course, love that it only makes four cupcakes. I’m trying NOT to gain the “Newlywed Nine” or whatever it is!

  8. says

    These look great! I am still so impressed that your recipes are for two. There are so many times that I’d like to make dessert but don’t want a huge batch. You have offered the perfect solution!

  9. says

    Dude, how you just converted a red-velvet-haterade-chugger into a full-fledged red-velvet-cupcake-craving-fool, I don’t know. Possibly because I want to jump into your photos and live on that mountain of frosting? I am dying over here!

  10. says

    Red velvet for twooooo! Love these beauties! My 3-year anniversary with the ol’ bf is coming up, so I’m keeping these at the top of my list to bake for the big day! :)

  11. says

    I have been seeing these everywhere. From the foodie sites to pins, they are just so pretty and I cannot not comment :) So there you have it, you have me WANTING a red velvet cupcake, big time! But only with like…a mountain of frosting. That’s the best part for me! ha! Pinned!

      • Roza Moolla says

        Apologies but non of your recipes for two have a quantity of flour. Its depicted by a sq block so in your choc cupcakes and red velvet is it a cup of flour or more? Thanks. Lost my husband recently so just have my son and myself to bake for so your Two recipes are perfect!

  12. SallyXiong says

    I made these cupcakes and it was bombdelious. my brothers arent a big fan but after I made they love it. thanks for the recipe.

  13. Briana says

    This recipe was PERFECT with a small tweak. I added just a little bit of hot prepared coffee to my batter and I was able to make 6 cupcakes. Thanks for creating a nice personal sized recipe!

  14. Shannon says

    Looks delicious! Just a few questions, can I make my own buttermilk or substitute? And.. How moist are the cupcakes because my cupcakes that I try always turn out dry and crumbly? Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Shannon,

      Sure you can make your own buttermilk using the lemon juice/vinegar + milk method. I’ve done it many times with success.
      Do you remove the cupcakes from the pan as soon as they come out of the oven? If not, they continue to bake and frequently overbake and dry out. I remove the cupcakes from the pan immediately. Also, I start testing the cupcakes using a toothpick 1-2 minutes before the baking time in any recipe. I pull out the cupcakes when moist crumbs cling to the toothpick. These two tips should eliminate dry cupcakes!
      Let me know how it goes :)
      Happy baking!

  15. Jessica L. says

    A coworker is switching teams next week, and to celebrate, I asked him about his favorite cupcake flavor. As soon as he said red velvet, I had to check your site to see if you had a good Southern recipe…you did not disappoint! I’ll be making these tonight (although probably tripling or quadrupling the batch!) for his “going away” party tomorrow. Thanks for being awesome :)

  16. Roza Moolla says

    Plz list quantity of flour by cups as you recipe shows it blocked off by a sq. Lost my husband recently and your “For Two recipes perfect! Thanks

    • says

      Hi Roza! Sorry, it’s a formatting issue when I converted some of my recipes. If you tell me which recipes are missing it, I will gladly update. You commented on Red Velvet Cupcakes, which seems to have the amount of flour clearly delineated.

    • says

      Hi Roza,
      I think it’s a formatting issue on your internet provider. It says 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon flour for me on Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Are you using the most updated version of your internet explorer?

  17. Anna campbell says

    I made them last night without the frosting and they were really good with a cup of almond milk. First time for a red velvet cupcake. Good job. Thank you for the recipe.

  18. Beth says

    These sound amazing and I love that the recipe is only for 2 people. I recently moved to Denver and am still not sure how to adjust baking recipes at a higher altitude. Do you know what modifications I should make in your recipe? I would love to make these for my husband for Valentine’s Day :) Thanks in advance for your help!

    • says

      Hi Beth! It’s nice to meet you :)
      I don’t know a thing about high altitude baking, but I can point you in the direction of my favorite high-altitude baker: I believe she goes through exact modifications in order to make most recipes work perfectly. Best of luck!


  19. Beth says

    Hi Christina! Thanks so much for your quick reply. I really appreciate you sending me the link to your fav high altitude baker. I will check it out! Thanks again :)

  20. says

    Hi Christina – I just made this recipe (posted on my little blog) from your new cookbook (wonderful, btw!!) and these cupcakes were glorious. So easy to make and so moist and delicious. I’d never really had red velvet before and all I can say is if all red velvet tastes like this, I’ll take it any day. I’m looking forward to trying a bunch more of your recipes from the book. All the best and thanks!!

  21. HM says

    Hi Christina, I’m just wondering if I may replace the red food colouring with beet powder instead? If yes, could you please advise if I should mix them at the flour mixture stage? Also, do you think 1 tsp will do? Thanks!

  22. Kristin says

    Is it possible to make this into a small round cake instead? What size cake pan would this recipe yield?

    Thanks so much!

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