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Red Velvet Cupcakes

27 May

Instead of spending a ton of money for Mother’s Day this year, I decided to try making a batch of Red Velvet Cupcakes. For the first time. It was definitely a learning experience.

I used this recipe for Red Velvet Cake from

Yields: 30 cupcakes


2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ounces red food coloring
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup shortening (I substituted with 1 cup canola oil)
1 1/2 cups white sugar (I used 2 cups sugar)
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon white vinegar

Make a paste with red food coloring and cocoa powder

  1. Grease two 9 inch round pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Make a paste of cocoa and food coloring. Set aside. (IJLF: BE Generous with the food coloring. My first batch had was brown on the outside, but red on the inside, indicating the cocoa hadn’t absorbed enough food coloring. If you finish a bottle or two of food coloring- it’s worth it. Trust me.)

    White batter + red cocoa = Red Velvet batter

  2. Combine the buttermilk, salt and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the oil and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the cocoa mixture. Beat in the buttermilk mixture alternately with the flour, mixing just until incorporated. Stir together baking soda and vinegar, then gently fold into the cake batter.Batter up!
  3. Pour batter into prepared pans (IJLF: don’t forget the baking cups!). Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes (IJLF: My cupcakes only took 15-20 minutes), or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

    Almost done!

Cream Cheese Frosting

For my frosting, I decided to use a Cream Cheese based recipe, which I thought would provide the perfect decadent topper to this rich, chocolate cupcake.

Taken from again:

(sorry for the lack of pictures- camera started malfunctioning on me here)


2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.


Once again, I’m sorry about the lack of pictures. I was in a rush to ice my cupcakes in time for Mother’s Day that I forgot to take a picture of the finished product. I know! I suck. But they pretty much looked like this:

So my first attempt had some flaws. I left it too long and it was a bit dry on the inside. The cupcake top was soft, but a bit too firm. Next time I make these, I’d add a bit more buttermilk and oil, and cut the baking time down to 15 minutes. Again, I’d add tons of red food coloring to make sure your red velvet cupcakes are REALLY READ. Of course, icing always helps and the icing really completed these cupcakes.

I got some rave reviews from the Mother’s..although being mom’s it may have been pity reviews..hmm. Haha! Well, I liked the cupcakes. Definitely edible, but I can do better next time 😉

Have you made a batch of your own before? What could you recommend I do differently for better cupcakes?