Intimidated by baking, assembling, and decorating a homemade red velvet cake for Valentine’s Day? Give cupcakes a try instead!
As you probably know, I have already written about my (now ex-) husband’s family recipe for a gorgeous Red Velvet Cake. But when I noticed that lots of readers were asking questions about how to turn the cake recipe into a cupcake recipe, I decided it was time to give it a try myself!
At first I was going to try a version using less red food coloring than the cake recipe, but at the last minute I decided to stay true to the original. These aren’t pink, they aren’t reddish-brown, they are a dramatic RED, perfect for Valentine’s Day! And in addition to the beautiful color, these little cakes are light, tender, and downright delicious!
There are several different types of red velvet cake. Some are heavier on the chocolate flavor than others, some use less food coloring, and some use beets instead of artificial coloring. This one does not taste like a chocolate cake, although there is a subtle hint of cocoa. The flavor is unique and delicious, and I prefer it to the red velvet cakes that contain more cocoa powder. And as I’ve already mentioned, this cake recipe does not shy away from the food coloring!
Although red velvet cake is definitely a Southern tradition, it’s popularity has never been limited to the South. The recipe I’m going to share today is also called Waldorf-Astoria Cake, and is supposedly based on a red velvet cake that was popular at the New York hotel in the 1920’s. For more on the history of red velvet cake, check out this great New York Times article.
But regardless of where the cake originated, red velvet cakes and cupcakes have become an American tradition that is holding on strong. Whether it’s Christmas, Valentine’s Day, a birthday, or even a wedding day, red velvet is a wonderful way to celebrate!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. In a small bowl, mix food coloring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps; set aside.
In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the buttermilk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda. Yes, it will fizz! Add vinegar mixture to the cake batter and stir well to combine. Using an ice cream scoop, fill cupcake cups with cake batter (they should be 2/3 - 3/4 full). You may not fill all the cups, I ended up with 20 cupcakes. Place muffin tins on the middle rack of a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for approximately 20-22 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Check early and don't overbake!
Cool the cupcakes in their tins on a wire rack for 10 minutes then remove and allow to cool completely before frosting. Frost cupcakes with cream cheese icing (recipe below) and decorate with red sprinkles if desired. The cupcakes above were decorated using the Wilton Cupcake Decorating Kit and Valentine's Sprinkles. They can usually be found at craft stores like Michaels or Joann.
Notes: *Sift cake flour once before measuring, then sift again with the other dry ingredients per recipe instructions. Wear an apron and be careful with the red food coloring-- no matter how hard I try, I always end up staining something! As you're mixing the cake batter, use a spatula to scrape down the bowl frequently throughout the entire process. Since the batter is fairly thick, I have found that an old-fashioned ice cream scoop works best for filling the cupcake wells (also great for muffin batter!). Since all ovens are different, make sure you check the cupcakes a little early. Mine were ready in just over 2o minutes, yours may be done sooner, or they may take a minute or two longer.
With an electric mixer, blend together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Turn mixer to low speed and blend in powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Turn mixer on high and beat until light and fluffy. Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, until ready to use. If refrigerated, the frosting will need to be brought to room temperature before using (after frosting softens up, beat with mixer unttil smooth).
Notes: If you prefer a sweeter and/or stiffer frosting, more powdered sugar can be added (up to four cups). But remember, the more sugar you add, the less you'll be able to taste the tangy cream cheese!
This is an awesome idea for Valentines day. Maybe I’ll make some to surprise the girlfriend. I tried a red velvet cake a few weeks ago and I found it helpful to measure the flour by weight instead of by volume, that way you only need to sift once and can be exact.
I’m planning to do a (gluten-free) red velvet cupcake for a valentines day post- this is great inspiration! I’ll probably do a beet version. It sounds good to me and I already have beets in my fridge, perfect for dye. I am reassured that these cupcakes don’t have to taste strongly of chocolate as I’m not that crazy about chocolate cake… Great post all around! 🙂
Jamie: Thanks! I say make them for Valentine’s Day breakfast 😉 Nick: You’re right, it’s always best to measure flour by weight when baking. But since most Americans are used to measuring only by volume, I’ve always written my recipes this way. 🙂 How’d your cake come out? Recipe Girl: I know, I ate way too many myself on Superbowl Sunday! Alyce: Yes, your 7-layer cake is absolutely beautiful! I made chocolate muffins with beet puree and they were really good (didn’t taste like beets at all)! 🙂 Seamaiden: I’m thinking about trying a new version of Red Velvet Cupcakes using beets, just because I’m curious about it. I made Beet Chocolate Muffins a couple years ago and they were great! The link for them is at the bottom of the post if you want to check them out. Ben: You’re not the only one! 🙂 Panini Kathy: There’s nothing wrong with making something special for yourself for Valentine’s Day (or any day for that matter)! And even better if your husband likes them too 😉
1:58 pm Feb 4th, 2009
This is hilarious: I was at the grocery store to get the ingredients to make your Chocolate Stout cupcakes when I suddenly remembered reading your Red Velvet cake recipe and I decided to make that instead. But I still wanted to do cupcakes, and when I got home and checked your website – voila! You’ve just put up a recipe for red velvet cupcakes! Amazing! I’m so excited to try these.
I think we’d have a lot of those empty wrappers in our house! I’d love to make this for my hubby on Valentine’s day. Just need to make sure I don’t spill any of that red food coloring…I’m a kitchen klutz.
Erin C Two eggs, at room temperature (it’s on the list) Sara: If you google “Waldorf-Astoria Cake” you’ll find lots of recipes with this amount of red food coloring. Many of the newer recipes have reduced the amount. I agree that it’s a lot, but we don’t eat these very often so I don’t worry too much about it. I just love the color of the finished cake/cupcakes! 🙂 Kristy: I hate refrigerated cakes/cupcakes so I don’t frost them until the day they will be eaten. You can make the cupcakes a day ahead of time and store them in an airtight container and then frost them the next day if necessary. I think they are fine left at room temperature for a day, but if you have leftover frosted cupcakes, you should probably refrigerate them. If you do have to refrigerate them, let them come back to room temperature before eating or the cake texture will seem terrible.
Yum! I think I might make some of these for Valentine’s Day. I actually tried the Sprinkles mix a few weeks ago. It’s not cheap at $14. and it basically just consists of the dry ingredients – you still have to add the butter, eggs and vinegar – and you have to make your own frosting. It was fun to try though, and they did come out just like the ones at the store!
I love red velvet cake, but I’ve never had it as a cupcake! What a sweet idea for Valentines!
7:33 pm Feb 6th, 2009
I’m about to make these right now, for tea time. It will be a welcome break from essay writing : ) AND I just got the Wilton Cupcake Decorating Kit for Christmas! Wahoo!
9:27 am Feb 7th, 2009
p.s. – so i just made them – don’t know what i did wrong but they were sort of dry & dense. i didn’t have buttermilk (they don’t sell it in the UK) – so i just mixed some plain yogurt and milk – maybe that’s why? but one thing’s certain – they look pretty and were still quite tasty! i wish there was a feature on this site so everyone could upload the pictures of the food they’re making!
Ahh, thank you for posting this! I’ll have to try this for Valentine’s day… Red Velvet cupcakes are just so delicious 😀
3:47 am Feb 9th, 2009
Wow!! Just finished making these and they are just divine. I didn’t have any red food colouring so I used double dose of pink. They came out a gorgeous crimson colour and they taste divine. Thanks for the recipe.
6:54 pm Feb 9th, 2009
I’ve tried your earlier recipe and I made red velvet cupcake with that recipe (with less time baking). It went find, although, I only used about 2 tsp. of food coloring. The cake was red and we can feel food coloring in our mouth (maybe it’s difference between Thai’s food coloring and US’, I have no clue on that)
I love the color but I’m stuck with the problem that nobody in my family will eat them. They’re all afraid of toxic. sob :'(
4:02 am Feb 10th, 2009
They look awesome! you used unsalted butter for both cupcakes and frosting ya? thanks alot!!
[…] Bonus Recipe: Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting – Nicole from Pinch My Salt shares the recipe for these bright red cupcakes perfect for baking for […]
11:05 am Feb 12th, 2009
I love Red Velvet and made these cupcakes for my Valentine but they turned out dry and dense. I baked another batch, doubling the butter and alternately folding instead of beating in the flour and buttermilk and they came out delicious! I also doubled the cocoa to suit my taste, and used only 2 tablespoons of red food coloring which worked out just fine. I’ve tried lots of red velvet recipes including the more natural beet versions which tasted deliciously earthy and were super moist but without the trademark artificial hue. I know a lot of Red Velvet recipes call for lard – has anyone tried it?
[…] reminded of my red velvet fascincation when I saw Nicole’s recipe for red velvet cupcakes on Pinch My Salt, and I decided to revisit this dessert. Terri’s recipe reviews were mixed; some thought the […]
Oh, quick one for the UK mention about lack of buttermilk. I have found it in the past in larger Tesco stores in the milk section. Alternatively I think you can use a combination of skimmed milk and natural yoghurt…
[…] recipe i used was from Pinch my salt. The only changes i made to the recipe was i added more cocoa and vanilla. This recipe made approx […]
10:47 pm Feb 13th, 2009
I made these today and they are delicious! I followed the recipe and ended up with 3 dozen cupcakes and they were done baking in 13-15 minutes. I think next time I’m going to add less food coloring, but overall they taste great!
[…] encountered it much. I’d seen recipes around online and was intrigued, but finally seeing Pinch my Salt’s beautiful red velvet cupcake decided it. I had to make a recipe for this Valentine’s Day. First I wanted to find out more […]
I made these today with great success! I halved the recipe since it’s just the two of us (although my 15 mo old did manage to score one as well :-)) and yielded 9 beautiful RED cupcakes. My husband especially enjoyed the frosting. This is definitely a keeper – thanks, Nicole!
Made these yesterday. I am NOT a baker but these turned out great. By the way, you can add the eggs and the vanilla after you put them in the oven to cook. I told you I wasn’t a baker. Totally forgot the eggs, had set them by the stove to get to room temp, and having such fun with red batter…completely forgot them. Put the cupcakes in the oven, shut the door, stood up and saw the eggs. So, opened the door, scraped all the batter back into bowl and beat the you know what out of the eggs in to the batter added the vanilla and put back in pan and back in oven. And the icing was divine as well! They were a huge hit!
Yum yum yum!! I love those multicolored sprinkles!
10:10 am Feb 17th, 2009
I thought these might be fun to make for my 8 year old son’s class Valentine party. He came home to tell me that he was the only one to eat them. I guess the other kids were a bit alarmed by the red color and most of the cupcakes ended up in the garbage although I guess the Dunkin’ Doughnut holes were a big hit! LOL what are we doing to our kids!
I’ve tried your Red Velvet Cupcake recipe – the cupcakes turned out wonderful! I did cut the recipe into half and that still yielded me 12 cupcakes! Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe, I will be back for more recipes to try!
that cupcake is almost real size. that is wrong…so very wrong! i almost hurt my hand trying to put it into the computer screen.
9:43 am Feb 22nd, 2009
This was delicious! I’m made these cupcakes a few times now and there is never any left overs. I did double the amount of coco powder since I perfer a more chocolate flavor. I did get food color on my fingers and if you wash your hands right away with hot water they will go away. If you wait to wash your hands, even 5 mins, they they are going to be red for a couple days. The second time I made a batch of these lovely cupcakes I wore gloves while mixing the food coloring with the coco powder.
[…] (and Mr Godfrey’s grandmother), are our extremely red velvet madeleines (based on a recipe by Pinch My Salt, except I converted her measurements into weights and used the batter to make about 40 […]
7:19 am Mar 13th, 2009
I made this recipe into one large cake for my husband to share with his unit. The marines LOVED it! I used only 1oz of food coloring, though, and it still came out red and beautiful. All of your recipes have been fabulous! I make your Creamy Guacamole all the time, and your Ultimate Manwich was a huge hit! You rock!
9:50 am Mar 25th, 2009
I have just made a batch of these and tried a red velvet cake for the first time. It tasted really good, and I haven’t got round to icing them yet! Thanks for the recipe and the pictures look fab-they’re the reason I tried making these in the first place!
[…] Red Velvet Cupcakes – Nicole, who runs one of my favorite blogs, has been on a bit of a hiatus lately, but came back with a bang with these guys. Beautiful and perfect for the upcoming lover’s day. (@ Pinch My Salt) […]
I posted a very similar recipe yesterday I saw Bobby Flay make recently…is your batter as thin as mine was? Yours look beautiful!
12:21 pm Apr 21st, 2009
I love it! Looks absolutely delicious! I will try your recipe this weekend so I can bake it perfectly for Mother’s Day! I do hope they will taste good on the first try, considering this will be my first “bake from scratch,” and not “Betty Crocker box.” Wish me luck!
12:14 pm Apr 28th, 2009
Perfection!! I’ve made these a handful of times and they’re always moist, really red and delicious! Great recipe:-) It’s really important to keep buttermilk and eggs at room temp. I learned that the hard way.
2:20 pm May 4th, 2009
wonderful! i’m new to baking and especially using food dyes, so i wasn’t sure what type to use (gel/liquid/soft gel). i didn’t have enough of the liquid or the gel, so i used 1/4 oz liquid + 1 3/4 oz water plus half of a container of gel food dye to get what i thought might give me red velvet cupcakes. i ended up with hot pink velvet cupcakes! they taste great, nonetheless, and in the future i will use 2 oz gel food dye. it just seemed like an awful lot of dye at the time! made them for my little sister’s 21st birthday 🙂 thanks for the recipe!
oh and for anyone who was wondering, ap flour is a fine substitute for cake flour if you can’t find it!
thanks so much for this recipe! i’m a real beginner baker but these cupcakes turned out perfectly! i especially love the creamcheese frosting 🙂
11:15 pm May 28th, 2009
oh my godddd. thank u so much for putting this up!!!!!!!!!!! i love baking……i had tried this at a local southern bbq restraunt and fell in love…so i made the cake using your recipe a few months ago. now everyone at work wants to try! so i decided cupcakes would be easier for transport. and sure enough!!! your recipe was the first one i clicked on! thank u so much!
9:05 am Jun 1st, 2009
I made a red velvet cake this weekend using this recipe http://www.howcast.com/videos/139827-How-To-Make-Red-Velvet-Cake and it turned out absolutely gorgeous. It was bright red and I used a combination of beet juice and food coloring. I think i’m going to try and make the cake into cup cakes the next time though and maybe make them for valentines day next year!!
1:52 pm Jun 9th, 2009
I made this recipe today for my kids’ birthday (they turned 1 and 2) party today. Those were the best muffins I have ever had! I had never had red velvet cake before, so I can’t compare, but these were seriously moist, delicious in flavor and I loved that as subtle the cocoa was, you could still taste it at the end of the bite, which made it completely decadent. The cream cheese frosting was perfect as is, just tangy enough and sweet enough.
Thank you so much for this recipe, that I will definately be keeping in my favorites for years to come!
[…] reminded of my red velvet fascincation when I saw Nicole’s recipe for red velvet cupcakes on Pinch My Salt, and I decided to revisit this dessert. Terri’s recipe reviews were mixed; some thought the […]
[…] buttercream frosting, I wanted to try something different with a cream cheese frosting adapted from Pinch My Salt. I’m pleased to say that the combination works well – the richness of the cake blends […]
[…] Cream Cheese Frosting Source: Pinch My Salt […]
10:07 pm Jun 29th, 2009
I’ve got to say these cupcakes are delicious. Thanks for sharing and I recommend everyone to try it.
2:48 pm Jul 4th, 2009
I made the red velvet cupcakes today because I always wanted to try this recipe. My husband said they were delicious but expected them to be moister … he said they were a bit spongey. I never had red velvet cake before (i’m Jamaican) so I didn’t know what to compare them too.. Did I do something wrong? Is that suppose to be he texture? Spongey or really moist?
Stacey: Some red velvet recipes are very very high in oil, which makes them very moist, but also heavy. This recipe is more traditional, and I guess it might be a bit spongy in texture. But the cupcakes are generally very tender without being heavy or oily. Perhaps they got baked just a few minutes too long, or it may be that your husband is used to a different type of recipe.
Thank you so much for inspiring me to make cupcakes for the first time! I made a big batch today to celebrate the season premier of Mad Men–I thought it was the most appropriate dessert for our 60s-themed party. Can’t wait to post about it!
I’m going to make a pull apart cake made of red velvet cupcakes!!! pull apart cakes are cupcakes iced together. for my 12 birthday this is what I’ll have red velvet pull apart cake and Vanilla Ice cream! sound good?? email me at email@example.com i sure hope this is a good recipe!!!!
2:59 pm Aug 18th, 2009
i just made this and they are ssoooo good thanks for this amazing cupcake recipe… am from dominican republic soo am pretty sure that am going to make an statement here because its that common a cupcake like this one!!! 🙂
1:06 pm Aug 19th, 2009
Hey, just a quick question. My cream cheese frostings ALWAYS turn out runny. How do I get them stiffer? I keep adding more powdered sugar and nothing happens…
[…] Since I got the red-velvet part down, next time I am going to make a cream-cheese frosting from scratch but I need an easy to follow, yet yummy recipe! I think I will try out this one from pinchmysalt.com: […]
3:17 pm Sep 29th, 2009
Thanks for the recipe! I have tried several but this one captured my attention due to excellant presentation skills!
I tried your recipe and followed it down to a T!!!! but my cupcakes came out concave and although I put in the whole 2oz of food colouring it came out burgunday rather than red?? :0( is there a reason for that??? what am I doing wrong??
P.S: for those in the UK, Sainsburys and Waitrose sell buttermilk-even their small stores!
7:12 am Oct 9th, 2009
I just made a half batch of these for the first time with your recipe using regular cupcake size instead of muffin size and they came out really well! It has a dense semi-sweet consistency that I really like and because the cupcake by itself it not too sweet, it should be perfect with the frosting (haven’t tried the frosting yet)
I also folded the flour and buttermilk together as someone else as suggested and I think this helped. But I would like the center to be somewhat more moist. Anyone have suggestions for how to do this? I don’t want to undercook it. There seems to be a fine line between gookiness and being overcooked. Will more butter help?
2:09 am Nov 10th, 2009
Dear christna.. Recipes that calls for vegtable oil and water turns out to be more moist!
2:17 am Nov 10th, 2009
I just made these, following the recipe exactly, and they came out perfectly – fluffy and moist. I made the frosting as well, using just 2 cups of the sugar since I tend to like it a little less sweet.
6:11 pm Nov 10th, 2009
Oh my goodness! These cupcakes are to die for! Perfect cake and icing recipe!
I love your Red Velvet posts and I’m going to try one of them this Valentine. This may not be essential to the recipe but may I know the size of your muffin cups? I have 3 muffin trays and each one is a different size! Thanks!
[…] a vanilla flavor, so my palate was constantly searching for some kind of familiarity. So, using a highly recommended recipe I found from Pinch My Salt, I followed the instructions exactly except for adding to the already […]
10:25 pm Jan 25th, 2010
I have tried several red velvet cupcake recipes on the internet and this one is the BEST. I only used 1oz (1 container) food coloring and the cakes still came out as red as the photo. Also, the cakes were extremely moist…I even ‘overcooked’ one pan by 3 or so minutes but they were still super moist compared to other recipes.
[…] are relatively easy to make and have a cheery, apropos color scheme. You can find a good recipe at Pinch My Salt. If you want to make her squeal, try rummaging around for a mini-muffin baking pan. Girls love […]
1:49 pm Jan 28th, 2010
Just made these cupcakes, and they were delicious! I definitely recommend the cream cheese frosting. I also added some chocolate curls on top for show. Thanks for the recipe!
7:20 pm Feb 1st, 2010
Thanks for your very scrumptious site! Silver Bells are ringing, Do you hear what I hear? What is it all about without sweet love? redicecreations.com/winterwonderland/meroveredragon.html Worth several very careful listens; also you may wish to look to his photo at end of page; you know him don’t you?
[…] scouring the internet, I found a seemingly delicious recipe for red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. While I may not be a cake fan, I do like some good frosting and this seemed like a winner. If […]
9:05 am Feb 9th, 2010
Thanks for the recipe, they turned out great. I’m not sure why some fellow UK residents are having trouble finding buttermilk. Every supermarket I know stocks it. As do most small local shops..
[…] Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe: At first I was going to try a version using less red food coloring than the cake recipe, but at the last minute I decided to stay true to the original. These aren’t pink, they aren’t reddish-brown, they are a dramatic RED, perfect for Valentine’s Day! And in addition to the beautiful color, these little cakes are light, tender, and downright delicious! Recipe from Pinch My Salt. […]
11:39 am Feb 11th, 2010
I tried a red velvet recipe earlier this week that was ok but not quite what I was looking for and definitely not spectacular enough to share with others! This recipe, however, turned out fantastic. The only change I made was halving the food coloring. I didn’t have (and didn’t want to spend the money) for two bottles of the stuff. They’re still a vibrant red color. Thank you for making me look like a pro!
[…] The recipe I used is one that comes highly recommended from a co-worker and can be found here. […]
9:51 pm Feb 15th, 2010
I have made your red velvet cake multiple times and it has turned out great (and delish!). Just this past week, I doubled the recipe to make both a cake and cupcakes. Once again the cake came out great, but the cupcakes fell flat in the middle. What did I do wrong? I googled why cupcakes fall and one possibility is that I over mixed. I did let the mixer run while I got the cupcake liners in the pan, but considering that the cake came out ok, I don’t really think that this would be the problem. I also filled the cupcakes 3/4 full (maybe that is too much?). Also, my 6 year old did open the oven when they were first put in, but like I have said before, the cake still came out ok. The cupcakes were put on the center rack (and only cooked for 20 min), while the cakes were on the bottom. The cupcakes still came out moist and tasted great, but were a little embarrasing when I brought them into work and it looked like someone sat on them! Anyone have any ideas of what I need to do next time to make them look like the pictures that are posted?
11:31 am Feb 28th, 2010
What if I don’t have cake flour, do I still have to put 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour? Does it mean a different to add a vegatable oil into the cupcake?
8:43 am Mar 10th, 2010
I just made a green version of this for St. Patrick’s Day! Can’t wait to eat them!!
11:40 am Mar 17th, 2010
Just made these tonight. I was a little skeptical about making the red velvet but so glad I gave it a whirl. It is wonderful and they are just so beautiful! The cream cheese frosting os perfect. While in the baking aisle I came across a powdered buttermilk product. I decided to give it a try since I always end up having so much buttermilk leftover.It worked wonderful and now it will have a much longer shelf life!I made these for my Mom’s birthday and I think she’ll just love them! Thanks for sharing your recipe.
12:03 am Mar 21st, 2010
ahhhhh im going to try your recipe during my spring breakkk i love baking cupcakes….and red velvet i cant wait to try it!
9:42 pm Mar 21st, 2010
Had the same problem as Joni, they turned out pretty flat, almost sunken in the middle. I also can never easily remove cupcakes (or muffins) from the paper liners. They always seem to stick and leave some of the cupcake stuck to it. Anyone have any ideas. The cupcakes did taste great other wise.
[…] Recipe is from, well, the sticky piece of paper on my counter. Cobbled together from a variety of internet sources, mostly Pinch My Salt. […]
9:19 pm May 4th, 2010
This recipe worked out fantastically. I compared this to two other recipes online, and this appealed to me the most with photographs and excellent directions. I didn’t run into a problem at all; the ingredients’ portions worked out well, and so the batter+frostings’ consistency came out perfectly (even w/o an electric mixer on me, haha).
Here’s a photo of how my red velvet cupcakes turned out. I took a slightly different approach (1) by adding a chocolate drizzle, (2) by rimming the circumference w/ crushed walnuts, (3) by garnishing w/ sliced strawberry, and (4) by filling the cupcake a bit w/ the cream cheese frosting.
T_T I tried making these. but they turn out SOUR!!!
2:51 pm May 28th, 2010
the frosting recipe is awesome! its the best! but paula deens is really good too!!!!!!!!!! who ever made this website or the recipe for the cream cheese frosting is awesome and amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!
5:41 pm Jun 16th, 2010
tried these cupcakes twice already, and i absolutely love them! my people at work and my family love them as well! but still, the frosting didn’t come out right! it was to runny (is that the right word? my english isn’t that good…)! i didn’t want to add more sugar, cause it’s sweet enough as it is! so does any of you guys have an idea to make the frosting stiffer???
[…] Red Velvet Cupcakes recipe adapted from Pinch My Salt […]
5:30 am Jul 5th, 2010
i found buttermilk at Tesco’s (but not Sainbury’s), so it is available in the UK…just have to do a little searching. Must admit the employee had no idea what I was talking about until we actually found it (in with the cream).
3:29 am Jul 18th, 2010
I’ve used this recipe several times, but for some reason my frosting doesn’t come out as fluffy as yours! It’s very runny. I’ve added more powedered sugar but it just all became a mess. I tried using an electric mixer to speed up the beating process and it just didn’t work!
11:34 am Jul 22nd, 2010
Just use Duncan Hines red cake mix, it’s so much easier and NEVER comes out of the oven anything other than perfect.
These are the best… First time I made it, I did not use cake flour, also, I did not measure the flour after sifting. So it was little dry. Next time I corrected all this and it came out just perfect. I have made it for large gathering and always get rave reviews.
I made these and they were absolutely vile. i followed the recipe and they’re disgusting they taste like bread with the consistency of cake, what a waste of money? im in the uk, found all the ingredients and i even put in more cocoa, they taste like 5h*t. what went wrong? why do they taste like theyve come out the rear end of my ugly brother?
10:54 am Aug 14th, 2010
@janice, if you had followed the recipe, if you had found all the ingredients and even put in more cocoa, if almost everyone who attempted this recipe found success, then i think the answer to your question lies in the mirror.
While I was posting my last comment here, I read Ben’s comment on using Duncan Hines red cake mix. I wanted to write back there and then that box mixed can never match to ‘made from scratch’ cakes, but wanted to try first. So yesterday I got Duncan Hines red velvet cake mix and made it. It tasted like a regular yellow cake with red color in it. It had no other flavor to it. So I can say very confidently now, that this is indeed a great recipe and no, it cannot be replaced with a box recipe.
12:36 pm Aug 20th, 2010
I made these today and for the most part I really like the recipe. They didn’t come out perfectly but I think it is my baking that caused this, not the recipe. First I would like to say the flavor is awesome…however I did double the vanilla extract. They are very tender but a little bit dry, I think this is because the first time I checked them in the oven (they had cooked for 19 minutes) the toothpick came out perfectly clean and I think maybe they may have actually been ready at 17 minutes or so. I’m told that Red Velvet cake is touchy to cook and even a few extra minutes will dry it out so I’m guess that’s what the problem is. The tender consistency is very nice though. My other problem is that I didn’t get the nice deep red color but I only had 1 bottle of food coloring and I went to 2 grocery stores and neither carried the liquid, only the gel so I used one bottle of liquid coloring and one tube of gel. Based on previous reviews people who used the gel didn’t get good results so I’m assuming that’s what it is. All in all based on the flavor and tenderness of these cupcakes I will certainly be keeping this recipe and using it again! I can’t attest to the cream cheese frosting as I’m using my own recipe for that. Thanks for posting Nicole!
7:28 am Aug 25th, 2010
Just a quick note to add to my above post: on closer inspection of the frosting recipe mine is almost exactly the same with the addition of 2 tablespoons of sour cream and an additional teaspoon of vanilla (totally 2 teaspoons vanilla) but about 1/2 cup less sugar. The cupcake recipe made an even 24 cupcakes however the frosting recipe gave me A LOT of extra frosting (and I’m pretty generous when I’m heaping it on) so that’s something to keep in mind.
8:19 am Aug 25th, 2010
DELICIOUS! The butter substitution worked wonderfully. I substituted white wine vinegar for the white vinegar and it was perfect. Love your website so much!
[…] I seem to be making a habit of baking red velvet cupcakes for Valentine’s Day. Last year, I used this recipe from Throwdown. The cakes were tasty, but I wanted to try something new this year, so I turned to a recipe I saw last year on Pinch My Salt. […]
1:57 pm Nov 5th, 2010
i am trying to make these cupcakes can you give me the recipe in measurable measurements grams or mls please i am new to baking and am trying to figure out how big a cup would be.
I tried your recipe for a coworker’s going away luncheon and they were a huge hit! The frosting was delicious! I always wanted to try the classic “must try” for any level baker and wanted to find the right recipe. Definitely will keep this one in my recipe collection for Christmas and tweak it for blue velvet cupcakes for Hannukah celebrating friends. Thank you for sharing. :o)
7:01 am Nov 29th, 2010
I have made this recipe at least ten times over the past year and each time have received rave reviews from everyone. It is absolutely the best red velvet cupcake recipe I’ve found. I highly recommend it! Be sure to follow the steps exactly how they are given and don’t overcook your cupcakes. If you do all of this, they are bound to come out perfect!
[…] is every bit as bright as the pre-baked version. I’m aiming for a color similar to the one Pinch My Salt’s version achieves with a whopping two bottles of red food coloring! I used a tablespoon which seems very […]
10:33 pm Feb 16th, 2011
I’m recent to the baking of Red Velvet cake/cup cakes, but yours was the first I tried – my daughter wanted RVCC for her birthday, so I ended up making a double batch, and a half batch a few days later. They all came out great. One thing I did try when I did the half batch was to sift the cocoa in with the flour as I wanted to try using concentrated gel coloring instead of the liquid. Seemed to work fine, although I could have used a touch more of the gel, as the color didn’t pop quite as well as with the liquid color.
I’ve also tried an oil based recipe, which I didn’t like as much. The cake was moister, but it didn’t have tang like yours does.
Thanks for the great recipe!
6:58 pm Feb 25th, 2011
The last batch just came out of the oven…PERFECTION! Follow the recipe to a T and you will not have issues. It’s my 6th time to make this, birthdays, baptism, farewell–compliments non-stop. If you are undecided about which recipe to make, stop now coz you’ve found it. Thanks for sharing this great recipe.
6:12 pm Mar 11th, 2011
i’ve made RV cupcakes many times, each time a tremendous hit. though i have this huge ongoing issue with frosting. i make these cupcakes and package them as gifts in cellophane bags and they get hopelessly smashed, its so disheartening! i tried putting in more powdered sugar but that just makes it sweeter and less cream cheesy. any sage advice for a baker in need?
11:35 pm Mar 17th, 2011
I just made these 2 days ago, and I’m sorry to say that they were terrible! I’ve been struggling to find a go-to RVCC recipe and was so happy when I friend suggested this one. I made them for a client who was to pick them up that same night, fortunately for me she never showed up because these were just nasty. I think it may have been because I used the Wilton food colouring, though I did use 1 oz no-taste red, and 1 oz christmas-red. I’m thinking that you use the red folouring found at the grocery store that comes in those squeezy bottles, yes?
6:02 am Mar 18th, 2011
@Esther – try reducing the cream cheese by an ounce or two. That should yield a slightly stiffer frosting. Not sure how it will affect the sweetness. You could also try refrigerating them first to get the frosting to set up a bit before putting them in the celophane bags.
@Wendy – The point of using the Wilton concentrated coloring is that you will need to use much less of it to color the cake. I haven’t yet hit on the right amount to get the same result as the liquid food coloring, but have been trying between 1 and 2 tsp dissolved in warm water to make up the liquid volume difference. I’d had very good results using that technique flavor wise as well as using the specified amount of liquid color.
6:15 am Mar 18th, 2011
I just had my first ever taste of red velvet in the form a cupcake. It was pretty tasty except I found the frosting a little too sweet. Now I want to make some and am wondering how to make sure the frosting isnt too sweet?
3:05 pm Mar 24th, 2011
I have just finished making these and they are my first cupcakes! a very successful first try for me, they came out delicious and just how I wanted them to be. thank you, thank you, thank you 🙂
5:38 am Apr 2nd, 2011
Wow, I just made these, they look good in the bowl and now in the even, hope they taste good. I forgot the vanilla even though I had it out on the bench, doh!!! I just put a drop in a couple once they were in there muffin tins. Hope it doesn’t matter much taste wise.Exciting:)
[…] I made the cupcakes exactly by the recipe, so I am sending you over to Nicole’s blog for her recipe for red velvet cupcakes. These are the perfect cupcakes for any celebration and the end of another school year is […]
[…] Leu, releu, colecionou dezenas de posts, comprou assim que saiu “cupcakes“, editado pela Larousse, e enveredou por sua cozinha. Sabia que seu clássico bolo de chocolate, que já ganhou sofisticações depois de várias leituras para aprender a deixá-lo mais macio e leve, era infalível. Comprou corante para chocolate e após outras leituras das cozinheiras gringas, tomou coragem e aceitou o desafio de misturar cream cheese com açúcar e chocolate branco para obter a cobertura dos famosos red velvet cupcakes. […]
9:30 pm Jun 7th, 2011
This recipe is PHENOMENAL. The taste of the cake is perfect- light and delicious! And it is so moist too! The frosting is perfectly balanced as well. I will definitely be using this again in the near future!
[…] donuts, ice cream, and cakes. Everybody likes sprinkles. These little red bundles of joy are from Pinch My Salt, the same blog that gave me the red velvet cake recipe. So don’t compare my photos with hers, […]
[…] of the festivities to us! The recipes for the cupcakes and the cream cheese icing came from Pinch My Salt. Previously, the only red velvet cake I had ever eaten was from a box, and these definitely taste […]
Can I make pink velvet cupcakes with this recipe? My sister in law asked me to make some for my nieces 1st birthday but I wasn’t sure if I should use pink gel or just less red food coloring. Please help.
8:41 am Sep 12th, 2011
So I just baked these today. I only used one bottle of coloring (1 oz) and they still came out RED! I was shocked, can’t imagine what they’d look like with both ounces. I also used AP flour, cause the closest store is 45 minutes away. I didn’t know if you should cut back on the amount of flour since it called for Cake flour, but I used the amount it called for. They were a smidge dry, but moist at the same time, it was odd lol.
However, I think it was my pan, but my pans are the exact same color, and one pan burnt and the other didn’t. There were about 4 salvagable from the burnt pan but who knows. Any ideas?
It didn’t work our for me. The cupcakes fell through possibly because of the baking soda and vinegar…. I don’t really like these two ingredients for cupcakes. It was a nice try though.
11:01 pm Jan 24th, 2012
The vinegar and soda are essential, as they provide additional leavening in addition to the baking powder. I’ve left them out before by mistake, and the cupcakes are more akin to red velvet hockey pucks. FYI, baking powder is simply baking soda with a an acid already mixed in in order to create the chemical reaction to produce carbon dioxide. You can make your own baking powder by mixing one part baking soda with two parts cream of tartar provided you use it immediately. Otherwise add one part corn starch. If you wanted to leave out the soda + vinegar, you could try adding two extra teaspoons baking powder and see what happens. This might properly offset the omission of the soda + vinegar, or the cake might rise too much or not enough.
8:04 am Jan 25th, 2012
I once baked them exactly to the recipe, and they turned out well, just a teensy bit dry for me. I baked them again, realising I didn’t have baking powder, cocoa powder and vinegar, I instead used buttermilk + baking soda for baking powder, hot cocoa mix for the cocoa powder and lemon + baking soda, and everyone raved about it! I now make it that same way every time!
[…] already begun looking up delicious red velvet cupcake recipes to make for the big day! (Check out this one from Pinch My Salt, mmmmm). While drooling over pictures of cupcakes, I was suddenly inspired: What […]
5:14 pm Feb 1st, 2012
These cupcakes are fantastic!! Thanks for a great recipe! 😀
3:05 am Feb 12th, 2012
I loved this recipe. However it didn’t quite make 24 cupcakes, which didn’t harm me any but just in case you absolutely need 24 cupcakes, double the recipe. The frosting, however, wouldn’t set up.
DD – This recipe isn’t supposed to make 24 cupcakes. As I explained in the directions, I only ended up with about 20 cupcakes. As for the frosting recipe, it won’t stiffen up like buttercream. If you want a stiffer frosting, you need to add much more powdered sugar, but you will lose the flavor of cream cheese frosting. Refrigerating the frosting for a little bit will also help, but this type of cream cheese frosting will never have the consistency of other types.
Can someone please help me?? Mine are not turning like this! 🙁 I’ve tried to make them twice and still my cupcakes turn flat!! They are not fluffy when they come out of the oven! I’ve always love to cook and I’m very good in making cupcakes but this recepie is not working for me! Can someone tell me what I’m doing wrong?? The only thing I did not do is stiff the cake flour! And the flour I bought was from vanilla cake mix, is that wrong?
Great recipe! Perfect for my sister’s baby shower. Followed the recipe almost exactly as written, except I substituted all purpose flour for cake flour (per baking bites.com “The general rule of substitution is 1 cup of all purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons (1c – 2tbsp) is equivalent to 1 cup of cake flour. “) and also used 3 cups of powdered sugar for the frosting. My family loved them! Thanks!
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Thank you for the wonderful recipe! I have used it for cakes and cupcakes many times. Everyone says they were the best red velvet they have ever had in their life. I just read all of these Posts and see nothing about how much to fill up the cupcake liners. Can u share, if not I will make them this weekend and will let you know so you can pass on. Thankful, Paula
5:35 pm May 16th, 2012
Just want to find out when u r beating the cream cheese topping, do u use the whisk or k beater?
7:32 pm May 16th, 2012
Hi Nicole. I am from Australia and a girlfriend of mine wants me to make some red velvet cupcakes. I looked up a few recipes and came across yours. Just a question. I can never figure out how much is half a cup of butter as we use the metric system here. So do I soften the butter to fill half a cup or would it be 125gms of butter since one cup is about 250gms? Sorry I know this sounds like a dumb question but there is nothing worse than getting your ingredients wrong. If I were to use a colour gel or paste, do you know how much is required to be equivalent to 2 bottles of liquid coloring? I assume cake flour means plain flour but sifted twice? Many thanks.
8:09 pm May 27th, 2012
hi, I made your cupcake recipe it was delicious but I found that the cupcakes were a little dry at the bottom. Is there a reason for this? What can I do to prevent this from happening?
ohh these look nice, and the recipe isn’t as unhealthy as the others
9:09 pm Jun 14th, 2012
My first red velvet I ever baked and it was perfeeectt!….I just used 2 cups powdered sugar instead of 2.5 cups for icing, besides that followed the recipe. I am proud to say that the cupcakes I baked were wayyy better than magnolia red velvet cupcakes!! Thanks for such a wonderful recipe!
9:16 am Jul 9th, 2012
If I add more cocoa, should I add more buttermilk to compensate for moisture?
[…] colors stay clear. Bake the cakes for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. I love the recipe from Pinch My Salt for cream cheese icing and I use it almost exclusively. I made a full batch and stirred in the melted chocolate chips. (I […]
[…] use less food coloring. A deep red is great for Valentine’s Day, a light pink for Easter. Source Pinch My Salt Share : Pin ItTweet Posted by Miss Cupcake in Red Velvet Cupcakes, Valentine's Day Cupcakes […]
[…] Red Velvet Cupcakes are commonly heavy on the chocolate flavor but this recipe is uncommon and offers only a hint of cocoa. The rich butter, buttermilk, and vanilla create a full flavored cake that is moist and dense. The cream cheese frosting is the rich and tangy buttercream that usually accompanies red velvet cake. For a lighter colored cupcake, use less food coloring. A deep red is great for Valentine’s Day, a light pink for Easter.. Source Pinch My Salt […]
[…] Red Velvet Cupcakes are commonly heavy on the chocolate flavor but this recipe is uncommon and offers only a hint of cocoa. The rich butter, buttermilk, and vanilla create a full flavored cake that is moist and dense. The cream cheese frosting is the rich and tangy buttercream that usually accompanies red velvet cake. For a lighter colored cupcake, use less food coloring. A deep red is great for Valentine’s Day, a light pink for Easter. Source Pinch My Salt […]
[…] are some pretty big shoes to fill. Slightly daunted, I adapted a red velvet cupcake recipe from Pinch My Salt. My family is obsessed with mini cupcakes, so I made them tiny. They turned out really well! I […]
11:13 am Apr 15th, 2013
Just made these delicious cupcakes with my great grandchild. She loves them and so do I. Quick and easy. Waiting to frost them when she finishes her homework. Quick tip: If you have one of those new toys (I call them), for baking cupcakes, it works great with this recipe.
A few years ago, my husband and I decided that we’d make our Christmas gifts. Instead, she might appreciate a $5 gift card to the local coffee shop inside a refillable coffee mug – something she will enjoy on cold winter mornings driving a bus full of children around town. The choice of materials would depend on your chosen design.
I made these into minis, and they turned out great. So moist, and so red! It yielded about 6 dozen mini cupcakes.
9:37 am Mar 8th, 2014
Nicole – I tried this recipe in a half sheet pan before and while it tasted GREAT, the texture in the middle was overly moist. I want to make this again for a large birthday party, where I will make 50 individual mini layered cakes – but easiest for me would be to have the half sheet pan layers (sort of like sponge cake layers). Do you have a recommendation as to whether I should be able to use the recipe as is (but maybe adjust baking time or temp of oven) or otherwise, how I might need to adjust the cake? Thanks much!
[…] and arranging the cakes into the shape of an American flag! I settled on baking the classic Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe courtesy of “Pinch my Salt”) as well as some Zingy Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes […]
[…] An oldie but a goodie, this classic red velvet cupcake is everything that you want plus a pair of cargo pants, a baguette-shaped clutch, and a cell phone bedazzled with pink rhinestones. Get the recipe here. […]