Home > Desserts > Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Published: Updated:

Red Velvet cupcakes are the love child of chocolate cupcakes and vanilla cupcakes! They’re soft, moist, and velvety with a slight cocoa flavor, which when paired with my tangy and not overly sweet Cream Cheese Frosting are a match made in heaven! No wonder these are my favorite recipe ever!

Red Velvet Cupcakes 22 - cupcake with wrapper taken off

Red Velvet Cupcakes are a strikingly deep red color and taste the love child of a chocolate and vanilla cupcake. They’re simple and easy to make and decorate, but somehow command the attention of everyone in the room when they sit on your dessert table.

How to get bright red cupcakes!

Use liquid food dye! Don’t use food gel, it’s not strong enough. When combined with the cocoa powder in the dry ingredients, these come out a deep red color. For a brighter red color use only 1 tbsp of cocoa powder.

Red Velvet Cupcakes 22 - batch 03

Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.

Ingredients To Make Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes 22 - ingredients list

Buttermilk – I would recommend using store bought buttermilk for this recipe. The result is better than making your own. However I have some info on how to make your own at home if you don’t have access to store bought in the frequently asked questions section of this post.

Vegetable oil – The oil in this recipe helps give these cupcakes added moisture. You can use either vegetable oil or sunflower oil.

Eggs – I used large eggs.

Vanilla ExtractAlways use good quality vanilla extract when baking, it makes a huge difference. I have a great recipe here for it if you’d like to try your own!

Liquid Red Food Dye – For this recipe, you need to use liquid food dye. Not food gel. To get that bright red color, you would have to use the entire bottle of red food gel. Trust me, I’ve tried it.

White Vinegar – the white vinegar reacts with the bicarb soda and helps give the better an extra boost in the oven as it bakes resulting in a fluffy cupcake! You can’t taste the vinegar.

Cake Flour – Cake flour will help give you a nice soft cake. If you’d like to learn how to make your own cake flour, check out my recipe here! Alternatively, you can use all-purpose flour instead.

Cocoa powder – I used unsweetened cocoa powder.

Baking powder – helps your cupcake batter rise.

Bicarb soda – helps give these cupcakes a fluffy texture as they bake and react with the vinegar.

Salt – I used fine salt.

Caster sugar – Caster sugar, also known as superfine sugar, is a fine sugar often used for cakes which helps give you a finer and more delicate cake crumb. If you don’t have it, you can use granulated sugar.

How to make Red Velvet Cupcakes!

Red Velvet Cupcakes 22 - instructional image 01
  1. Add the buttermilk, oil, vanilla, eggs, red food dye and vinegar to a jug and whisk together.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
Red Velvet Cupcakes 22 - instructional image 02
  1. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and use a whisk to mix until no dry ingredients are showing.
  2. Scoop the batter into your cupcake tin lined with white cupcake liners, filling them up 3/4 of the way. Bake for 40 minutes on 120C.
Red Velvet Cupcakes 22 - instructional image 03
  1. Once baked, allow to cool down. Use a round or open star tip to pipe with Cream Cheese Frosting.
Red Velvet Cupcakes 22 - cupcake cut in half

PRO Tips and Tricks For Recipe Success!

  • Use a hand whisk to mix this batter to avoid overmixing!
  • When mixing this batter, make sure you scrape down the bottom and sides to make sure everything is mixed in evenly.
  • Take care when filling the cupcake liners. No more than 3/4 of the way.
  • Using an ice-cream scoop allows you to fill each cupcake liner the same amount which will mean they all bake at the same time.
  • Make sure you measure correctly! You should always use the spoon and level method when measuring dry ingredients. Simply spoon the flour and sugar into your measuring cups using a spoon then level off with something flat.
Red Velvet Cupcakes 22 - sitting on a stone bench

Frequently Asked Questions about Red Velvet Cupcakes!

Are Red Velvet Cupcakes chocolate flavored?

Slightly. They have cocoa powder added in them to help them get that nice deep red color. But they’re only lightly chocolate flavored. The result is a unique vanilla and light cocoa flavor, which when paired with my cream cheese frosting are simply divine!

How do I store these cupcakes?

You can make them up to two days in advance and keep them unfrosted in a container with the lid slightly off. This will prevent them from going too moist and coming away from the cupcake liners.

Store the frosted cupcakes in an airtight container for up to two days from the day they’re baked, in the fridge. I would not recommend freezing these cupcakes.

Can I turn this into a cake?

Yes! This recipe will make one 8-inch cake which can be then trimmed into two cake layers. Bake for the same amount of time. Alternatively, I have a great red velvet cake recipe here!

Why have my cupcakes spilled over in the oven?

This can happen for two reasons

You’ve overfilled your cupcake liners. If they cupcake batter spills out you can still save your cupcakes! Turn the cupcakes upside down and place on your bench. Use a round cookie cutter slightly bigger than the cupcake top to cut away the excess cupcake and back into a round shape.

Red Velvet Cupcakes 22 - batch 02

What happens when you overmix your batter?

You want to make sure you don’t overmix your batter. Mix only until no dry ingredients are showing. When you overmix your batter it can cause your cupcakes to:

  • Shrink as they cool down, which can cause your cupcake liners to separate from the cupcakes
  • Make your cupcakes chewy and dense.

What’s changed from the original recipe?

I’ve added white vinegar to help give these cupcakes a boost in the oven. I’ve also added more buttermilk to make these even more moist!

Why are these baked on such a low temperature?

I use the long and slow baking method. That means a low temperature for a longer amount of time. The result is a flat top cupcake which is easier to frost that doesn’t overbake and remains moist for days!

Can I make my own buttermilk?

Yes! To make 1 cup of your own buttermilk you will need:


  • 1 cup milk (250ml) (vegan, plant based or cow’s milk)
  • 1 tsp white vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. Whisk both ingredients together and allow to rest for 5 minutes. The milk will curdle. Whisk again before using.

Couple more notes:

  • Can I just add though, store bought buttermilk is always better. I would use store bought if you can get it.
  • Also make sure your buttermilk is at room temperature.

What Frostings can I use with these cupcakes?

These cupcakes pair perfectly with my Cream Cheese Frosting, Chocolate Buttercream or Chocolate Ganache!

Gave these Red Velvet Cupcakes a go? Don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! Hungry for more? Join me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and TikTok for more great recipes!

If you loved this recipe, check these out!

Gave this a go? Don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! Hungry for more? Join me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and TikTok for more great recipes!

Red Velvet Cupcakes - thumbnail 24

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes have a gorgeous light cocoa flavor and are perfect when paired with cream cheese frosting melt in your mouth

Serves 20

4.7 from 52 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 124kcal


Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • 2 cups / 500 ml buttermilk, (see notes)
  • 3/4 cup / 190 ml vegetable oil, (or sunflower)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp red liquid food dye, see notes
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 2 1/3 cups / 400 g cake flour
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups / 320 g caster sugar, (see notes)

Learn How To Make it! [VIDEO]


Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • Preheat a fan forced oven to 120C / 250F. Line two cupcake trays with white cupcake liners. Set aside.
  • Add the buttermilk, oil, eggs, vanilla extract, red food dye and white vinegar to a large jug and whisk until well combined.
  • To a large mixing bowl, add the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarb soda, salt and caster sugar. Use a hand whisk to combine until no dry ingredients are showing. Scrape down the bowl and mix until no dry ingredients are showing.
  • Fill your cupcake liners up 3/4 of the way. Using an ice-cream scoop to transfer the batter to the cupcake liners makes this a quick and easy process, and ensures each liner contains the same amount of batter and that the cupcakes will bake evenly. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in a cupcake comes out clean. The cupcakes will look shiny and moist on top when they’re ready. If they bounce and don’t sink when you touch them, they’re done. Once baked, allow to cool completely.
  • These cupcakes are perfectly paired with my cream cheese frosting recipe, but are also nice with chocolate buttercream.


Red Velvet Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days. If it’s a warm day, store frosted cupcakes in the fridge.
To make 1 cup of your own buttermilk you will need:
1 cup milk (250ml) (vegan, plant based or cow’s milk)
2 tsp white vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice
  1. Whisk both ingredients together and allow to rest for 5 minutes. The milk will curdle. Whisk again before using.
Couple more notes:
  • Can I just add though, store bought buttermilk is always better. I would use store bought if you can get it.
  • Also make sure your buttermilk is at room temperature.
Red Food Dye
For this recipe, you need to use liquid food dye. Not food gel. To get that bright red color, you would have to use the entire bottle of red food gel. Trust me, I’ve tried it.
Caster sugar
Caster sugar, also known as superfine sugar, is a fine sugar often used for cakes which helps give you a finer and more delicate cake crumb. If you don’t have it, you can use granulated sugar.
Serving suggestion
Frost these using cream cheese frosting or chocolate buttercream. They’re also nice as they are.


Calories : 124kcal
Carbonhydrates: 14g
Protein: 3g
Fat: 2g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g
Monounsaturated Fat : 0.5g
Trans Fat : 0.003g
Cholesterol: 27mg
Sodium: 192mg
Potassium : 87mg
Fiber: 1g
Sugar : 3g
Vitamin A: 76IU
Calcium: 59mg
Iron: 0.4mg
Nutrition Disclosure
Gave this recipe a go?Mention @thescranline or tag #thescranline!


jessica lipumano July 26, 2021 - 6:03 am

5 stars
hi.how to make buttermilk.thanks.

Nick Makrides July 27, 2021 - 6:30 am

Hi Jessica! It’s two tsp of vinegar or fresh lemon juice to one cup of milk. Full cream or skim. Mix it in. Let it rest for 5 minutes and then use 🙂 Hope that helps! Nx

Emma October 26, 2022 - 10:05 am

Hey Nick, I’ve seen your video for Vegan Red Velvet cupcakes but the measurements of the ingredients weren’t listed and I can’t find it on your website. Any help?

Nick Makrides October 31, 2022 - 6:41 am

Hey Emma, unfortunately that one isn’t coming back on the site any time soon. It will make it’s way back eventualy. If you like, send through an email to hello@thescranline.com and I’ll email it through! N x

Molly November 18, 2021 - 12:24 pm

5 stars
Just from a bakers pov, do you think red velvet and caramel would go good together?

Nick Makrides November 1, 2022 - 4:45 am

Hi Molly! Absolutely! I think it would be an interesting flavor combination. N x

Nick Makrides November 1, 2022 - 4:57 am

Absolutely! N x

Olivia December 5, 2021 - 1:55 am

4 stars
The taste is great but I used the 2 tbls of red color and they were still a brown color. D: I don’t think this was your fault but I added the entire bottle! But they do taste great.

Nick Makrides September 13, 2022 - 11:26 am

Food gel?

Rachelle January 22, 2022 - 4:45 am

5 stars
This recipe is so easy and the cupcakes turned out delicious. My kids hate dry cupcakes but they turned out super moist and were loved by all. The cream cheese frosting is the cherry on top. The kids say this is a repeat recipe 😊

Nick Makrides September 10, 2022 - 12:52 am

Aww! That’s so lovely to hear! N x

Mireya February 9, 2022 - 11:36 pm

5 stars
Hi! Thank you for the lovely recipe. Can I frost and then freeze the cupcakes? I’m making them two days in advance because I won’t have time to frost the day of. Thank you in advance!

Nick Makrides August 2, 2022 - 11:08 am

Hi Mireya! I would recommend frosting them fresh. The cupcakes can be frozen and thawed fully before frosting. Hope that helps! N x

Shubha Shirsat March 14, 2022 - 8:25 am

I want to half the recipe to make 10 red velvet cupcakes. How do I replace half the egg. I was thinking of adding 2 tablespoons of yogurt instead of the half egg. Will it work?

Nick Makrides April 28, 2022 - 3:17 am

Hi Shubha! Hmm, I havent tried it, but that’s actually a really great idea. If you try that, I’d be interested to know how it went. N x

Kulbir April 12, 2022 - 12:49 pm

HI Nick, love your website and the recipes 🙂 A couple of years ago you had put up an eggless red velvet cake or cupcake receipe and it was a hit. Any chance you could post it up again or let me know how I can substitute the eggs?

Nick Makrides April 26, 2022 - 12:38 pm

Hi Kulbir! Sure! Woring as hard as I can to get those recipes that have gone missing back up! Thanks for the kind words! N x

Katherine September 1, 2022 - 11:10 pm

1 star
Extremely disappointed with these cupcakes. The cupcakes overfilled and spewed out when baking. Followed the recipe EXACTLY – even weighted most ingredietns to be extra accurate. This recipe does not make 20 cupcakes – it makes at least 26 or 28. They are flat (and even when the overspilled when baking, they were still a flat mess), so that’s one positive thing. Just measurements seem way off.

I am baking a second lot (I had already prepared a second lot of mixture while the first lot were baking, otherwise I would not have bothered) and I have filled them slightly less than half full – I have 24 cupcakes with a decent amount of leftover mixture. Will bake for only 35 minutes.

The baked cupcakes are moist, but lacking in flavour. I will smother in creamcheese icing in an attempt to zhoosh up the flavour. I will use my own recipe for that because I’ve lost confidence any recipe on this channel will be good. He’s obviously good at presenting and decorating cakes, but the flavour and technical side are off 🙁

Nick Makrides September 5, 2022 - 3:50 am

5 stars
Hi Katherine. ‘He’ is named Nick. ‘He’ also reads the comments. Now that i’ve started off snarky, let me thank you for writing this comment. You didn’t just say, ‘these are bad’ you explained your experience. So I appreciate that. What’s confusing though is that these cupcakes have no flavor. They definitely do. Know how I know? Theres salt, sugar, vanilla and cocoa powder in them. So telling me that the cupcake lack flavor is ridiculous. What I think you mean is ‘you‘ don’t like the flavor. Which is 100% fine, no issues with that. I just wanted anybody reading this to understand that they do have flavor. Second, of the recipes on this site, and all are tested three times, this one is the one I’ve baked the most, after the vanilla cupcakes. I know this recipe works. I’ve been told countless times that it works by people who have made it. Rather than tell you that you’re wrong, I have some questions about your experience. While I have your attention though couple more things. This isn’t a channel, it’s a website. Specifically a food blog. If you were hoping for an ‘oh dear I’m so sorry you experience such trauma’ you won’t get it from me. I’m arrogantly confident (with reason) that my recipes work. I’m also not one to apologise for nonsense lol. I’m also not a robot.I think a lot of people think food bloggers are just going to break when they see a comment like this and spend their lives telling people that we’re wrong, you’re right. There is a real person behind this food blog and I’m not a push over who thinks every person who jumps into their kitchen and doesn’t like my recipe enough to write something like what you’ve written is going to cause me to ‘apologise in a panic’. Now, to the questions. How did the second batch go? What size is your muffin tray? What size are your liners? Also, did you know that baking powder and bicarb soda can vary in strength? That could be why your cupcakes over filled. Also, every oven is different lol. Here I am listing what sound like excuses, but frankly, this recipe like pretty much all on the internet rely on a few basic things. Look, I understand it’s disappointing when stuff like this happens, and if you had simply given me your feedback that would have been fine. But there are a couple ‘frustrated untruths’ in your comment and I don’t allow people to tell me my recipes lack flavor lol. I also know for a fact, this recipe works.

Nicole September 10, 2022 - 11:40 pm

5 stars
Hi Nick! I haven’t tried out the red velvet cupcake recipe yet (but I have tried the cake version which I absolutely adore and love making for friends and family!) but I was just wondering why white vinegar is used for the cupcakes and not the cake as well? And if one was to use the cake recipe for the cupcakes instead, what difference would it make? Thank you for sharing your amazing recipes and kindness! <3

Nick Makrides September 12, 2022 - 4:56 am

Love that you caught this! I will be updating the red velvet cake to include vinegar in the coming months. But for now, the recipe that’s up is fabulous! N x

Mónica Fernández September 13, 2022 - 3:23 pm

No consigo nunca los ingredientes con sus cantidades para poder hacerlo…..

Nick Makrides September 15, 2022 - 11:40 pm

¡Hola! Si buscas los ingredientes, están en la tarjeta de recetas a continuación. ¡También puedes cambiar entre medidas de peso y taza! ¡Espero que disfrutes la receta! N x

Jayne September 14, 2022 - 10:02 pm

5 stars
Hi Nick! I made the red velvet cupcakes the other day for the first time and while they tasted great they definitely weren’t perfect. I was determined to try again and figure out where I went wrong and then found the recipe had been updated. Tried the new recipe and they were spot on. The changes you have made definitely made a huge difference. Paired with your cream cheese frosting – so good! Thank you for another amazing recipe.

Nick Makrides September 15, 2022 - 11:41 pm

Oh that’s so amazing! SO happy to hear that Jayne! N x

Sobia Khalid September 16, 2022 - 12:23 pm

At what temperature should I bake these if I don’t happen to have a “fan forced oven”?

Nick Makrides September 17, 2022 - 12:30 am

Hi Sobia! When baking in an oven with no fan, as a general rule, you need to increase the oven temperature by 20C / 70F. So these would need to be baked at 140C / 285F. Hope that helps! N x

Carina September 18, 2022 - 3:56 pm

5 stars
Hi Nick!
I am going to try this recipe this week.
I have guests and I trust your recipes 100%
The cream cheese and all your tips are really good!
Thank you very much for your time and for sharing your knowledge!
Muchas gracias y un abrazo!

Nick Makrides September 18, 2022 - 11:59 pm

Yay! Can’t wait to hear what you think! N x

Carina September 24, 2022 - 5:09 pm

5 stars
Dear Nick,
I made these red velvet cupcakes and it was a huge success!!
Everybody loved them!
I could keep some of them in the freezer (do you know for how long I can freeze them?)
Thank you so much for everything that you share with us!
you are a great person!

Nick Makrides October 31, 2022 - 7:21 am

So fantastic Carina! Glad you love them, they’re my favourite! I think if wrapped in plastic and in an airtight container in the freezer, they should last 1-2 weeks. N x

Leah October 23, 2022 - 11:35 am

5 stars
Wow these red velvet cupcakes are absolutely amazing! Super moist and the flavour was spot on! I’ve tried quite a few recipes in the past but this takes the (cup)cake! Paired with your delicious cream cheese frosting and you’ve got yourself a go-to recipe for many occasions to come. Thank you and love your work as always Nick!

Nick Makrides October 24, 2022 - 2:16 am

Thanks so much Leah! Glad you enjoyed these! N x

Ami January 6, 2023 - 1:04 am

Hi Nick,
Where canI find you Vegan red velvet recipe?
Link in the you tube doesn’t work.
Thank you

Nick Makrides January 21, 2023 - 6:03 am

Hi Ami! That one isn’t on the website anymore. I will be updating the recipe and putting it back up this year! I know that isn’t much help to you now, but I’m working through a lot of recipes this year that need updating. N x

Jenny February 17, 2023 - 3:05 am

Hi Nick!
I am super excited about your recipes and I just want to do everything you say. However, right now I need to make golden cupcakes for my kids golden birthdays. My daughter turned 11 on February 11th and my son turned 8 on February 8th. I plan to use your red velvet cupcake recipe along with your chocolate pastry cream recipe (because it sounds like the chocolateiest). As for style, I plan to use your gold cupcakes video that I found on YouTube utilizing a gold luster dust paint, though I hope to frost the cupcakes directly rather than frost a cookie sheet. There are two problems; it needs to be gluten-free AND also chocolate ice cream filled. I plan to replace the all purpose flour with Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour (because the internet said it’s the best). Does this all seem like a workable idea that will also be delicious? How long should these be out of the freezer before serving? Thanks so much!

P.S. I love your above response to Katherine on Sept 5, 2022 SO SO much.

Nick Makrides February 17, 2023 - 11:12 pm

Hi Jenny!!! Love your comment, thanks for the sass-support! haha. Happy birthday to your daughter and son. This cupcake sounds ambitious. So if I was making this, this is what I would do. I wouldn’t fill them with ice cream, simply because frozen cupcakes aren’t very nice, especially my red velvet ones which I think are best served at room temperature. So I would try to find an alternative to ice cream that maybe tastes like ice cream. The other option is to add the ice cream right before frosting and serving, but for a party situation. I can imagine there are a thousand other things to do so time is of the essence. With the frosting, the chocolate pastry cream is definitely pipe able, but not in advance. It needs to be piped on fresh otherwise it will dry on the outside and not be very nice to eat. I would definitely go with chocolate buttercream. Either American buttercream, or Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I have recipes for both on the site. You can pipe this directly on the cupcakes, chill them really well and then paint them with gold. Again, the pastry cream wouldn’t be paintable. Although taste wise, it is my favourite. In terms of gluten free, unfortunately I don’t have a gluten free option for red velvet cupcakes yet. I hope that answers everything! It sounds like a lovely idea! I think if you’re willing to compromise I’d go with gold cupcake liners and maybe chocolate buttercream and some gold decorations on top. And apologise for the late reply! N x

Juliana June 1, 2023 - 1:53 am

First off I just want to say how absolutely AMAZING these cupcakes are! They are so moist and the cream cheese frosting is to die for! I made these for my sons 1st birthday and everyone kept saying how good they were . I still get compliments on them months later. I’m going to try your carrot cake cupcake recipe next and I’m sure it will be amazing! Thanks for the awesome recipes :).

Nick Makrides June 2, 2023 - 3:09 am

Awww, Juliana that’s so lovely to hear! I’m glad you’re the talk of the cake town! N x

Kim October 7, 2023 - 11:34 am

5 stars
Made these for the first time and it turned out the biggest hit! Paired with the cream cheese frosting was heavenly!

I made more than 20 cupcakes, more like 34 but it could just be the muffin liner size I used but that was no issues.

They were super moist. Will be adding this to my recipe book for when I need to make them again!

Nick Makrides October 8, 2023 - 6:16 am

Yay! That’s so wonderful to hear Kim! N x

Nick Makrides October 8, 2023 - 6:17 am

Yay! That’s so wonderful to hear Kim!! N x

Ani April 16, 2024 - 5:32 pm

5 stars
Hi nick! I intend to try this recipe tomorrow. But a lill confused on the DIY buttermilk; in your reply to Jessica on 27.7.21 it was 2tsp vinegar to 1C milk but in your recipe notes it was 1tsp vinegar to 1C milk. Help pls 🙁

Nick Makrides April 17, 2024 - 5:28 am

Hi Ani! It’s 2 tsp vinegar and one cup of milk 🙂


Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating