The only things I love more than cupcakes are bite-sized mini cupcakes! These mini red velvet cupcakes are topped with tangy cream cheese frosting and make the perfect bite-size treat for any occasion from birthdays to Valentine's Day!
What is Red Velvet?
So what makes red velvet so special? Apparently some people don't get the hype around red velvet cake because "it's just regular cake with red food coloring, right?" wrong. Red velvet cake usually contains both vinegar and buttermilk which react with the cocoa powder to create a deep maroon color which is how red velvet got its name. These days extra red food coloring is added to give us a much brighter red color (which actually began as a marketing ploy in the 1920's). Also, you can't forget the delightfully tangy cream cheese frosting.
You just need a few ingredients to make these mini red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting!
Cake Flour - I always use cake flour in my cupcakes because it makes them super soft and tender, but all purpose flour also works great!
Cocoa Powder - My absolute favorite cocoa powder to use in my baking is the King Arthur Flour Triple Cocoa Blend! It's a blend of natural, Dutch, and black cocoa and is perfect for any baking. But you can also use just regular natural cocoa powder!
Vegetable Oil - I use oil instead of butter in these cupcakes to help keep the cake super moist and delicious! You can also use canola oil or a neutral olive oil.
Milk - You typically use buttermilk in red velvet cake, but since there's such a small amount in these mini cupcakes I don't think it's worth it to buy buttermilk just for this. But if you happen to have some on hand you should use that instead!
White Vinegar - You can leave out the vinegar if you prefer, but it adds a little extra tang to the cupcakes and reacts with the cocoa powder!
Red Food Coloring - You can add as much or as little red food coloring as you prefer!
The complete list of ingredients and amounts is located in the recipe card below.
How to Make Mini Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 24 cup mini cupcake pan with mini cupcake liners.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, sugar, and vanilla extract. Then whisk in the egg until fully combined and smooth.
Then mix in the white vinegar and red food coloring.
Gently mix in half the dry ingredients. Then add in the milk and the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined. The batter will be thin.
Fill each cupcake liner about ¾ full (about 1 tablespoon of batter). Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack. Let the mini red velvet cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
Frost the mini red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and enjoy!
Tips for the Best Baked Goods
Use room temperature ingredients! Always make sure ingredients like butter, eggs, milk, yogurt, etc. are at room temperature before baking (unless the recipe indicates otherwise)! This ensures they'll incorporate into the batter more easily and leads to overall better texture. Remove all ingredients from the fridge 30 minutes to an hour before baking for best results.
Measure your flour correctly! It's most accurate to use a kitchen scale, but if you're measuring by volume you want to spoon and level! Fluff up the flour a bit with a spoon, and then spoon flour into the measuring cup. Once it's overflowing, use the back of a knife to level it off. Don't ever pack flour into the measuring cup or you'll end up with way too much! Improperly measured flour can lead to dry, dense baked goods. [Measure cocoa powder the same way!]
Use an oven thermometer! Just because your oven says it's 350, doesn't mean it is! If you oven hasn't been calibrated recently, it can be as much as 30 degrees off, which will negatively affect all baked goods from cakes to macarons! An oven thermometer is the easiest/cheapest way to ensure your oven is always at the proper temperature.
Make sure you baking powder is fresh! Baking powder is important for helping baked goods rise properly, but it has a relatively short shelf life once opened, so it's one of the few items I never buy in bulk! To test if your baking powder is still fresh, add a small amount to boiling water. If it bubbles it's still good to use, but if not it's time to toss it!
Mini Cupcake Decorating Tips
My favorite baking pan to use is the 24 cup USA Pan mini cupcake pan!
For mini cupcakes, you also need mini cupcake liners! My favorite are these white mini cupcake liners.
To frost these mini cupcakes I used a large round piping tip.
You could top these mini red velvet cupcakes with sprinkles or some leftover crumbs of red velvet cake!
The mini cupcakes are best eaten the same day, but will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days! However, they taste best when served at room temperature! I like to let them sit at room temperature for about an hour before serving.
Red velvet has a very mild chocolatey flavor that is usually complimented by tangy cream cheese frosting!
Tips for Success!
For best results I always recommend using weight measurements (especially when baking) because it's the most accurate. Kitchen scales are super affordable and also reduce the number of dishes you have to do! However, all my recipes also include US customary measurements for convince. Use this chart to convert measurements for common ingredients!
Substitutions: In all my recipes, I've included substitutions that I know will work, but I cannot guarantee results if you substitute ingredients that I have not recommended. [For example, granulated sugar and honey are indeed both sweeteners but they have very different properties so they can not always be swapped 1:1. Using honey in a cookie recipe that calls for granulated sugar will yield a giant mess.] In the recipe card you'll find links to the specific ingredients/brands that I use.
A note on salt: I almost exclusively use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt because it's the best all-purpose salt for cooking and baking. If you're not using kosher salt, consult this handy guide for a conversion chart! When in doubt, if you're using table salt just reduce the amount by half for baked goods. When cooking, I prefer to under-salt because you can always add more! If you've over-salted, adding a little bit of acid (like lemon juice) can help.
More Recipes You Might Like!
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Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1-2 teaspoons red food coloring
- ½ teaspoon white vinegar , optional
- ¾ cup cake flour, substitute all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup whole milk
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 24 cup mini cupcake pan with mini cupcake liners.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, sugar, and vanilla extract. Then whisk in the egg until fully combined and smooth.
- Then mix in the white vinegar and red food coloring.
- Gently mix in half the dry ingredients. Then add in the milk and the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined. The batter will be thin.
- Fill each cupcake liner about ¾ full (about 1 tablespoon of batter). Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack. Let the mini red velvet cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Make sure both your butter and cream cheese are fully at room temperature or else it won't combine smoothly and you'll end up with cream cheese lumps.
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
- Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt and beat on low speed until fully combined. Then increase the speed to high and whip for 2-3 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy. Add in 1-2 teaspoons of heavy cream as desired to reach your desired consistency.
- Frost the mini red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and enjoy!
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.