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red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Kyleigh Sage
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes 1x


These decadent red velvet cupcakes are extra moist and delicious! With tangy cream cheese icing that isn't too sweet, these are sure to be a crowd pleaser!



Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 teaspoons red gel food coloring (adjust as desired)
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour (substitute all purpose flour)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces (1 package) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 teaspoons heavy cream (as needed for desired consistency)



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. 
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and sugar until smooth. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and whisk until fully incorporated.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Mix half of the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, then add in the buttermilk and vinegar. Once incorporated, add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full (about 1/4 cup of batter). Don't overfill as the cupcakes will rise quite a bit.
  6. Bake for 18-22 minutes at 350 degrees or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting. 

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. 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.
  2. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  3. Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla 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.
  4. Frost cooled cupcakes. I used a Wilton 4B tip for these photos.


Store un-frosted cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Store cream cheese frosting in the fridge for up to a week.

  • Category: Dessert, Snack
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 cupcake
  • Calories: 349
  • Sugar: 25.2g
  • Sodium: 112mg
  • Fat: 21.1g
  • Saturated Fat: 12.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 35.2g
  • Fiber: 0.9g
  • Protein: 4.2g
  • Cholesterol: 84.2mg

Keywords: red velvet cupcakes, cream cheese frosting, red velvet cake, southern red velvet cupcakes

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