Best Ever Red Velvet Cupcakes

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So, these are ridiculously delicious.

Not to mention, easy on the eyes.

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These cupcakes are classic red velvet.

Blood red cake that’s delicately scented with chocolate.

Rich, butter-infused, vanilla cream cheese frosting.

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Bake. Frost. Inhale.

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So, what makes them red?

Historically, bakers used boiled beet root juice to color their cakes.

Modern cupcakes generally get their sanguine hue from red food coloring.

And lots of it.

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For this recipe, you’ll use 2 bottles of food coloring.

Be careful when you add it to the batter.

It’ll stain your counters and paws like nobody’s business.

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Ready to make some magic? To the ovens!

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Red Velvet Cupcakes

For the cupcakes
12 Tablespoons butter, room temp
1 3/4 cups white sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
4 Tablespoons unflavored red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
3 1/4 cups flour

For the frosting
12 ounces full-fat cream cheese
8 Tablespoons butter (that’s one stick), room temp
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or good Scotch, if you want to switch up the flavors)
red and/or silver sanding sugar, optional for a garnish

Yields about 16 cupcakes

Do a little prep

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Line 2 muffin pans with paper baking cups and set aside.

Yank the butter (for the cupcakes AND for the frosting, if you’re going to frost them immediately) out of the fridge about 20 minutes before you want to make the batter, to let it come up to room temperature.

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Make the red velvet cupcake batter

Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer (or in a large mixing bowl, if you’re mixing by hand).

Beat together until well creamed and uniform.

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Add the eggs, cocoa powder, red food coloring, vanilla extract, salt, and baking soda.

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Beat until uniform and fluffy.

(Keep your mixer speed very low at the beginning, until the food coloring is incorporated into the mixture. If you start too fast, the red food coloring can splatter all over, and trust me, that’s NO FUN to clean up.)

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Add in the milk.

Beat to incorporate.

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Then, add the vinegar, and beat to incorporate.

The vinegar is going to react with the baking soda, so you’ll see some science-experiment fizzing, which is totally fine.

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Now that you’ve got your liquids and the small dry ingredients mixed up, add the flour.

Beat to just incorporate, until the batter comes together and is uniform.

(Don’t overbeat, which will develop gluten in the flour…which will make your cupcakes tough.)

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Your finished batter should be thick, fluid, and ridiculously red.

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Bake + cool your red velvet cupcakes

Spoon the batter into your prepared pans, filling each paper baking cup about 3/4 of the way up.

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Pop the pans into your preheated, 350-degree F oven.

Bake for about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
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When the cupcakes are done, remove the pans from the oven.

Set on racks to cool for about 5 minutes.

Then, remove the cupcakes from the pans and place them on a rack to finish cooling completely.

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Make the frosting

While your cupcakes are cooling, whip up the frosting.

A note on timing: Wait to frost these babies until they are completely cool.

Otherwise: hot cupcake + cool, buttery frosting = a melty, runny disaster. Trust me on that one.

Beat the butter and cream cheese together in your stand mixer (or in a large mixing bowl if you’re mixing by hand) until well combined and fluffy.

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Add about half of the the powdered sugar, beat to combine.

Once that’s incorporated, add the rest of the sugar and the vanilla extract and beat to combine.

For thicker frosting, add more sugar until you’re happy with the consistency.

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Frost the red velvet cupcakes

When your cupcakes are cool, it’s time to frost them! Fill a pastry bag with frosting, and go to town.

If you don’t have a pastry bag, it’s easy enough to improvise one. Put some frosting into a gallon-sized zip-top bag.

Nip off a small corner, then gather the bag up and squeeze the frosting out just like you would with a regular pastry bag.

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If you’re feeling particularly festive, give your frosted cupcakes a little sprinkle with red and/or silver sanding sugar.

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Serve and enjoy!

Not so hard, right?

These cupcakes are best served within a day of baking, but they’ll keep decently if you wrap them well and stick them in the fridge for 2-3 days.

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Enjoy!

Best Ever Red Velvet Cupcakes

Yields About 16 cupcakes

These cupcakes are classic American red velvet. Blood red cake that’s delicately scented with chocolate. Rich, butter-infused, vanilla cream cheese frosting. Bake. Frost. Inhale.

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

For the cupcakes
12 Tablespoons butter, room temp
1 3/4 cups white sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
4 Tablespoons unflavored red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
3 1/4 cups flour
For the frosting
12 ounces full-fat cream cheese
8 Tablespoons butter (that’s one stick), room temp
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or good Scotch, if you want to switch up the flavors)
red and/or silver sanding sugar, optional for a garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin pans with paper baking cups and set aside.
  2. Yank the butter (for the cupcakes AND for the frosting, if you’re going to frost them immediately) out of the fridge about 20 minutes before you want to make the batter, to let it come up to room temperature.
  3. Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer (or in a large mixing bowl, if you’re mixing by hand). Beat together until well creamed and uniform.
  4. Add the eggs, cocoa powder, red food coloring, vanilla extract, salt, and baking soda.
  5. Beat until uniform and fluffy.
  6. Add in the milk. Beat to incorporate.
  7. Add the vinegar, and beat to incorporate.
  8. Add the flour. Beat to just incorporate, until the batter comes together and is uniform.
  9. Spoon the batter into your prepared pans, filling each paper baking cup about 3/4 of the way up.
  10. Pop the pans into your preheated, 350-degree F oven. Bake for about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Remove the pans from the oven. Cool on racks for about 5 minutes. Then remove to a rack to finish cooling completely.
  12. Make the frosting: Beat the butter and cream cheese together in your stand mixer until well combined and fluffy. Add about half of the the powdered sugar, beat to combine. Once that’s incorporated, add the rest of the sugar and the vanilla extract and beat to combine. For thicker frosting, add more sugar until you’re happy with the consistency.
  13. Frost the cupcakes: When they're completely cool, fill a pastry bag with frosting, and go to town.
  14. These cupcakes are best served within a day of baking, but they’ll keep decently if you wrap them well and stick them in the fridge for 2-3 days.
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http://www.thehungrymouse.com/2016/01/29/best-ever-red-velvet-cupcakes/


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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

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