Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

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Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting — If you’ve ever wanted to make red velvet cupcakes from scratch that are as good as those you’d find in a bakery, try this hassle-free recipe!

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting — If you’ve ever wanted to make red velvet cupcakes from scratch that are as good as those you’d find in a bakery, try this hassle-free recipe!

Homemade Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red velvet cake and cupcakes are so popular, but so many problems tend to plague them. They’re either from a box, which feels like cheating, or they’re from scratch but are horribly dry, and you need a mixer and will dirty every bowl in your kitchen in the process.

These are the best red velvet cupcakes I’ve ever had, and the easiest recipe you’ll ever find. If you’ve ever wanted to make red velvet cupcakes from scratch that are as good as those you’d find in a bakery, try this hassle-free recipe. You’ll come out looking like a superhero baker to anyone you serve them to.

They’re made in one bowl, no mixer, no creaming ingredients, and it’s a cupcake batter that’s more like a muffin batter. Whisk together wet ingredients, fold in the dry, pour into liners, and bake. Five minutes of active work never tasted so good.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting — If you’ve ever wanted to make red velvet cupcakes from scratch that are as good as those you’d find in a bakery, try this hassle-free recipe!

My issue with most red velvet cakes and cupcakes is that they’re dry, and dry anything just isn’t worth the calories. Why bother?

These are incredibly moist from the trifecta of moistening and tenderizing ingredients: oil, buttermilk, and Greek yogurt. I stopped at nothing to make sure they weren’t dry.

It took me quite a few batches of cupcakes to perfect this recipe. When people think that recipe development isn’t a big deal and you just throw things in a pan and it’ll work out, well, sometimes you get lucky, but most times it’s not that easy, especially for a recipe like this.

The same can be said for questions I get along the lines of, “Can I substitute coconut sugar for granulated sugar,” or “Can I use whole wheat pastry flour for all-purpose?” Well, maybe you can, and please let me know how that works for you.

Determining if I should use 1 egg, one egg plus yolk, or two eggs; butter or oil and if butter, should it be melted or creamed; buttermilk or just regular milk/cream; to include Greek yogurt or sour cream and if so, how much; how much cocoa powder gives enough pop of chocolate; what kind of leavener to use (baking soda or powder); one of each, or only one or the other, and which one; cake flour or all-purpose.

The choices can be overwhelming, but I’ve done the legwork, and the cupcakes and red velvet cake frosting are total keepers.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting — If you’ve ever wanted to make red velvet cupcakes from scratch that are as good as those you’d find in a bakery, try this hassle-free recipe!

For baked goods that I want to soft, springy, and bouncy, like cakes, cupcakes, and muffins, I generally prefer using oil to butter because oil does a better job keeping things soft and moist.

The same can be said for buttermilk. It does a fabulous job of tenderizing and softening the texture and crumb of breads and cakes, and when in doubt, I always opt for buttermilk over plain milk or cream.

I added a couple hearty dollops of vanilla Greek yogurt. You could probably use a bit more buttermilk if you don’t keep Greek yogurt on hand, but yogurt is thicker and sweeter than buttermilk, so it makes the batter a little thicker and sweeter, and helps the cupcakes stay sweet and soft.

Many recipes for red velvet aren’t chocolaty enough. While these aren’t as chocolaty as chocolate cupcakes, the chocolate flavor is pleasantly noticeable.

They rise beautifully to the point I was worried they were rising a little too well. I filled my liners to a solid three-quarters full (this is a non-issue if you only fill to 2/3-full), but thankfully they stay contained, and the resulting cupcakes and hearty and full, not skimpy, wimpy, little cupcakes that no one reaches for.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting — If you’ve ever wanted to make red velvet cupcakes from scratch that are as good as those you’d find in a bakery, try this hassle-free recipe!

I also made a one-bowl, no-mixer vanilla cream cheese frosting for the red velvet cake cupcakes that I simply spread on. 

These homemade red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are soft, tender, springy, and moist. There’s just enough chocolate flavor to satisfy your chocolate cravings, without being overdone.

The smooth, rich homemade cream cheese frosting is the perfect complement to the cupcakes, and adds the right amount of zip and tang.

So good, so easy, so soft, fluffy, and moist. Perfect for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or any old Tuesday.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting — If you’ve ever wanted to make red velvet cupcakes from scratch that are as good as those you’d find in a bakery, try this hassle-free recipe!

What’s in Red Velvet Cupcakes? 

To make the red velvet cupcakes, you’ll need: 

  • Egg
  • Granulated sugar
  • Buttermilk
  • Canola oil
  • Vanilla Greek yogurt
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Red food coloring

And to make the red velvet cake frosting, you’ll need:

  • Cream cheese
  • Unsalted butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Milk

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting — If you’ve ever wanted to make red velvet cupcakes from scratch that are as good as those you’d find in a bakery, try this hassle-free recipe!

How to Make Red Velvet Cupcakes

Simply whisk together the wet ingredients, then stir in the dry ingredients. Add in just enough food coloring to turn the batter red. 

Fill your muffin cups 3/4 full, then bake the red velvet cupcakes until risen and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

While the red velvet cupcakes cool, make the homemade cream cheese frosting. If your frosting is too thick, add a splash of cream or milk to gradually thin it out. 

Frost the cooled cupcakes with the red velvet cake frosting and optionally garnish with sanding sugar. 

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting — If you’ve ever wanted to make red velvet cupcakes from scratch that are as good as those you’d find in a bakery, try this hassle-free recipe!

Is There a Buttermilk Substitute I Can Use? 

If you’re the type of person who doesn’t tend to keep buttermilk on hand, you can make your own by adding about 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup regular milk, letting it stand 10 minutes to curdle, and then use as indicated.

Or, you can buy a tub of Powdered Buttermilk and it’s shelf stable for years. It’s the perfect solution for that once-in-a-blue moon recipe you make that calls for buttermilk. 

Can I Make a Red Velvet Cake Instead of Cupcakes? 

Although I haven’t tried it, I surmise this cupcake batter could be used as cake batter. I’m guessing a 9-inch square cake (not a 9-inch round pan because they’re smaller and it could overflow) would be about right.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting — If you’ve ever wanted to make red velvet cupcakes from scratch that are as good as those you’d find in a bakery, try this hassle-free recipe!

Can I Freeze Cupcakes? 

Yes, you can bake these red velvet cupcakes and freeze them for later. I recommend freezing just the cupcakes and making a fresh batch of cream cheese frosting when you’re ready to thaw and enjoy them. 

How to Store Red Velvet Cupcakes

The homemade red velvet cupcakes will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days. I personally am comfortable storing cream cheese-frosted items at room temperature, but if you prefer to store in the fridge, that’s fine. Just note that the fridge will dry the cupcakes out much more quickly. 

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting — If you’ve ever wanted to make red velvet cupcakes from scratch that are as good as those you’d find in a bakery, try this hassle-free recipe!

Tips for Making Red Velvet Cupcakes

The batter makes enough for about 14 cupcakes, but because I have a small oven, I can only fit one 12-cup muffin pan in my oven at a time. The remedy is to either lick the bowl (I’m still alive after a lifetime of raw dough and batter eating); discard the batter (that’s criminal), or bake an adorable mini loaf in a mini loaf pan that fits on the same oven rack as the muffin pan (score!).

I use my mini pans all the time for a 13th or 14th cupcake, extra muffin batter, or for mini cakes. Best money you’ll spend this year and you get 4 mini pans for $10 bucks.

I used light cream cheese, which makes frosting softer and runnier. If you want to pipe your frosting on, use full-fat. However, given that this is an easy, breezy, one-bowl, no-mixer cupcake batter, to break out a piping bag seems like a cruel trick.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting — If you’ve ever wanted to make red velvet cupcakes from scratch that are as good as those you’d find in a bakery, try this hassle-free recipe!

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting — If you’ve ever wanted to make red velvet cupcakes from scratch that are as good as those you’d find in a bakery, try this hassle-free recipe!!

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting — If you’ve ever wanted to make red velvet cupcakes from scratch that are as good as those you’d find in a bakery, try this hassle-free recipe!

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting — If you’ve ever wanted to make red velvet cupcakes from scratch that are as good as those you’d find in a bakery, try this hassle-free recipe!

Pin This Recipe

Yield: 14

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

If you’ve ever wanted to make red velvet cupcakes from scratch that are as good as those you’d find in a bakery, try this hassle-free recipe!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cooling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk (or Powdered Buttermilk, use 2 1/2 tablespoons + 2/3 cup water)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla Greek yogurt (plain Greek yogurt or sour cream may be substituted)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons red food coloring, or as needed

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened (I used Trader Joe’s soft spreadable light)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, or as necessary
  • splash cream or milk, only if necessary
  • sanding sugar or sprinkles, optional for garnishing

Instructions

Make the Cupcakes

    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a Non-Stick 12-Cup Regular Muffin Pan with paper liners; set aside. You will likely have batter for a 13th or 14th cupcake, and I baked it in this cooking-sprayed mini loaf pan because my oven is small and that setup works; discard extra batter if that’s easier.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the first 6 ingredients, through vanilla, until smooth.
    3. Add the flour, cocoa, baking soda, optional salt, and whisk until just combined; don’t overmix.
    4. Carefully whisk in the food coloring, making sure to add only as much as necessary to color the batter a deep shade of red; adding more than necessary can leave an aftertaste.
    5. Using a medium 2-inch cookie scoop, place about 2 heaping tablespoons of batter per cupcake into each of the 12 cavities so they’re solidly 3/4-full. I poured the excess batter into a mini loaf pan.
    6. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until domed, set, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter; don’t overbake. My cupcakes were on the large side of normal because I generously filled liners to 3/4-full, and they took exactly 20 minutes. If yours are filled more shallow, start checking at 18 minutes.
    7. Allow cupcakes to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before removing. I baked the mini loaf for 20 minutes. While cupcakes cool, make the frosting.

    Make the Cream Cheese Frosting

    1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a large mixing bowl, add about 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, and whisk to combine or beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
    2. Continue adding sugar until desired frosting consistency is reached. If you add too much sugar and need to thin frosting out, add a splash of cream. Because I used light cream cheese, the frosting stayed on the runnier side. If you want frosting thick enough to pipe, do not use light cream cheese.
    3. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons frosting to the top of each cupcake and smooth with a knife. Optionally transfer frosting to a piping bag and frost the cooled cupcakes. I like the Wilton 1M tip for cupcakes.
    4. Optionally, garnish each cupcake with a sprinkle of sanding sugar or pinch of sprinkles.

Notes

  • You may have a small amount of frosting left over. It will keep airtight in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
  • Cupcakes will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days. I personally am comfortable storing cream cheese-frosted items at room temp, but if you prefer to store in the fridge, that’s fine, but note the fridge will dry cupcakes out much more quickly.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

14

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 404Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 142mgCarbohydrates: 67gFiber: 1gSugar: 54gProtein: 4g

More Valentine’s Day Recipes:

Red Velvet Chocolate-Swirled Brownie Bars — These easy, no-mixer brownie bars are in between a bar and a brownie. Not supremely fudgy to give them true brownie status, but much fudgier and richer than your typical bar, and not cakey! 

Red Velvet Chocolate-Swirled Brownie Bars 

Easy Chocolate Pots de Creme – No-bake, no-cook, and made in a blender in 5 minutes!! The PERFECT dessert! Rich, decadent, a chocolate lover’s dream, perfect for special occasions, and guaranteed to impress!!

Easy Chocolate Pots de Creme

Red Velvet Poke Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting — The cake is fast, easy, and it’s a poke cake so it’s automatically super soft and moist.

Red Velvet Poke Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Soft Frosted Valentine’s Heart Cookies — These easy cookies are soft, chewy, dense, made in one bowl, and you don’t have to roll them out.

Soft Frosted Valentine's Heart Cookies 

Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies — These chocolate chip red velvet cookies have a secret ingredient — cake mix! These cookies are super ooey gooey and ultra rich! 

Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies

Valentine’s Day Vanilla Pudding Sugar Cookie Bars – A sugar cookie crust topped with creamy vanilla pudding, whipped topping, and sprinkles!! A luscious and EASY Valentine’s Day dessert that will put everyone in festive spirits!!

Valentine’s Day Vanilla Pudding Sugar Cookie Bars

The Best and Easiest Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes — One bowl, no mixer, so easy! The warm, gooey, fudgy chocolate lava cake center is heavenly! Better than any restaurant versions! Best chocolate cake EVER!!

The Best and Easiest Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes

Valentine’s Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars – Sugar cookie bars are so much FASTER AND EASIER than making sugar cookies!! The sprinkles and tangy cream cheese frosting help to make the bars a PERFECT Valentine’s Day treat!!

Valentine’s Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars

Recipe originally published November 18, 2013 and republished January 29, 2020 with updated text.

About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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Comments

  1. I love this recipe, i attempted it over the weekend and it turned out perfect. Have you ever tried this trying to make it dairy free? Would love to bake it for friends who are lactose intolerant. – Mert

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad they were perfect!

      I’ve never attempted the recipe dairy-free so you’d have to do a bit of research on that one since I don’t know.

  2. Excellent cake. I’m a long time fan! I’ve made about 10 of your recipes and I must start reviewing them as you have not disappointed.I was looking for a moist and dense cake (almost chewy but not quite). Batch one I made exactly as written except using sour cream rather than Greek yogurt. It was very good. Batch two I continued with sour cream, and this time added about 2  heaping tablespoons of applesauce. They were perfectly moist, dense, yet fluffy. Pre-Covid I baked your recipes  regularly for the last 3 years. I have shared them with many students and coworkers all over California. We are all so grateful for your recipe testing efforts!! Thank you Averie!KM

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and for the review and it sounds like you’ve been making my recipes for years which I appreciate!

  3. This is an amazing recipe and I’ve made these a few times with numerous compliments and requests for the recipe.  I’ve yet to use the recipe to bake a large cake as opposed to cupcakes but will try it very soon. 😋

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad that these are always a hit and you get asked for the recipe!

  4. Thank you and I am making this recipe for christmas today but even though the batter does not taste good the ccupcakes stilll do so thank you and Merry Xmas

    Rating: 5
  5. Hey Averie just a quick questionm do you check your blog every day because all the replys were on the same day and what do you dp if your batter is sticky and the batter doesnt taste good?

    1. Sometimes replies all come the same day because it’s a seasonal recipe and everyone has questions around the same time of year, i.e. red velvet for xmas or Valentines.

      I am on my own blog behind the scenes about 8 hours a day, 7 days a week.

      If you batter doesn’t taste good, I think you probably mis measured something, something was old, i.e. a bad egg, not sure.

  6. Averie,I’m soooo happy to have come upon your website as it’s now my dessert bible. These cupcakes were perfection. I baked for exactly 18 minutes. I doubled the icing recipe as we like lots. Everyone at the table agreed they were superb.

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and for the lovely compliments! I am so glad these were a hit with everyone!

  7. Thank you for a lovely recipe! I made these for an event 2 days in advance and they were still beautifully soft and moist on the day. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

  8. You’re recipes are just the best! Easy, quick and perfect. i definitely trust your blog! though instead of greek yogurt i used natural yogurt. still came out perfect. Love from Kenya.

    1. Fresh is always best so make as close to serving as possible is my recommendation. I mean you could probably make them a week out…I just don’t think they would taste at their prime.

  9. Hi Averie

    I don’t know if you saw my comment, but haven’t received a reply from you yet as regards to what one does if you don’t have Greek yogurt? How to substitute it.. hope to hear from you soon thanks?

  10. Hi averie

    What do I do if I don’t have Greek yogurt??what to substitute it with? Will they still come out good if I don’t use it? Would really like to try your recipe, but unfortunately don’t have Greek yogurt

  11. I am amazed that Averie Cooks has a tiny oven!!! You are constantly whipping things up to bake. I imagined you’d have a state-of-the-art stove and oven! ;) well at least we know your camera is good…I love your pictures as much as your recipes!!

  12. I’ve made these cupcakes 4 times and they always turn out perfect! They’re simply the best. I don’t feel the need to search for any other red velvet recipe, I’m sure no other can be this easy and delicious. Thank you so much :)

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! And that you’ll never search for another red velvet recipe!

  13. I made these today for my sons birthday. Not only did he love them, but so did everyone else. Thank you, Averie!

    By the way, I used Philadelphia Whipped Original for the frosting, and I never had issues with runny frosting. Also, the link to the Wilton 1m tip, is no longer valid. It will take you to their website but not the item. Thought you might care to know. I used a baby knife to spread the frosting and it worked great…but it would have been more professional looking if I had a tip to use. Would love to invest in one. Any recommendations?

    1. You can still get the 1M, just google or amazon it, and it’ll pop right up.

      So glad the cupcakes were a bit hit with everyone and what a lovely bday present for your son!

  14. Thank you for this incredible recipe! This is my “go-to” for red velvet cupcakes (and I love that people think they’re difficult to make)! Easy enough to make with my four year old niece, but so delicious and pretty that I’m always being asked to make them when it’s someone’s birthday at work!

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and so glad it’s your go-to and what a compliment that you’re always being asked to make them for bdays! And you’re right, people think red velvet is difficult but not this recipe!

  15. Hi Averie, thank you for the response. I am using mobile and I tried using a different browser and it works. By the way I just finished baking the lemon loaf (Starbucks copycat) that you have posted. It is now cooling :) I would try this recipe next.

  16. Hi Averie, I just came across your blog and been enjoying the variety of recipes you provide. Thank you for sharing these recipes :) by the way I was wondering why some of the recipes have a print version while some do not. The lemon bars recipe have it and this and the other lemon recipes and cupcakes don’t have it. I would really appreciate it to have the recipe in the print version. Thanks. Also, I read your about page and was happy to know that I am reading a food blog from a fellow San diegan :) well actually I live in chula vista but close enough he he….

    1. If you look in the recipe card section of the recipe in the right hand corner, there’s a large PRINT RECIPE button that you can print directly from for all recipes from about mid 2011 and newer. Anything older than 5+ years ago, it’s a little iffy if they are printable, but you can always copy/paste the recipe in an email to yourself. Glad you’re enjoying the recipes.

  17. Hello. Since here, South Italy, finding buttermilk is more difficult than spotting a ufo, I’m wondering: you wrote 1 cup of milk and 2tbs of lemon or vinegar. But the recipe calls for 2/3 cups of buttermilk…should I adjust the 2tbs vinegar to the 2/3 cups or should I just use the 1 cup you mentioned? Thank you

    1. You should make 1 cup’s worth of buttermilk using the vinegar method. Then you should take 2/3 of that and use it for the recipe. It’s too hard to try to measure liquids in such small amounts when doing fractions of a cup which is why I wrote it the way I did.

  18. Hi Averie :)
    Love ur blog so much, ive made so many recipes of it i cant even count! i check out ur blog almost on a daily basis, its one of my favorite blogs ever <3
    Im sorry if u have already been asked this but theres just too many comments to read through, will this recipe work as a layer cake when doubled?

    Thanks so much for all ur recipes <3

    1. Thanks for all your compliments and support! I really appreciate it all :)

      As for a layer cake when doubled, I do believe someone has tried successfully but like you, there are so many comments to read :) I know on many of my cupcake recipes people have made cakes and on my cake recipes, people make cupcakes, so as long as the pans seem to be filled appropriately and not too much or too little batter, and you bake til the cake is set, you should be good to go. LMK how it works if you try it!

  19. I have a hard time finding scratch cupcake recipes that come out moist and not dry.  Red velvet is also not my favorite, but I was asked to make some.  Thank goodness for your recipe!  This is going in my recipe book for sure.  I also plan on trying any other cupcake recipe you have!  

  20. This is my second time using this recipe. This time I omitted the cocoa powder and replaced the vanilla extract with strawberry essence. I also only used two drops of red food coloring for a barely pink cupcake. They are still delicious!

  21. Great recipe, used butter instead oil and doubled the amount of cream cheese. Baked in a heart shaped tin and worked perfectly. Yummm!!

    1. It will have a much more distinct taste and your cupcakes likely won’t have the true, classic red velvet taste you’re looking for. Use canola/veg oil.

  22. Hi Averie,

    This recipe is AMAZING and so super duper easy !! I have been using the same ol’ recipe for ages now, and came across your page and wanted to give these a try.. So glad i did they are so soooo moist and perfect!! Just made these for a birthday. Im kicking my old recipe to the curb LOL this will be my new “go to” recipe! However i do wanna add next time i will add 1/2 teaspoon salt, i found them a little too bland for my tastebuds to just add a pinch ;-) i just sprinkled a little sea salt very lightly over them and they were perfect!

    Thank you!

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you and that you’re kicking your old recipe to the curb! And yes, always salt to taste – your sea salt on top sounds perfect!

  23. to be honest, my cream cheese frosting is runny. How to make it thick, sweet with a hint of sourness? Thank you! I love your blog. 

    1. Add more sugar to thicken it up! And make sure you’re using full-fat, cold, cream cheese (not lite or reduced fat, or overly warm)

  24. Hi Averie. I wrote you a while back asking if this recipe would work as a cake. Well I finally got around to trying it. I used the recipe and a half and it was PERFECT for two nine inch rounds. I used 2 eggs, 3 tablespoons of red coloring and 5 tablespoons of the cocoa powder. The rest of the ingredients half again. Believe it or not I could not find full fat yogurt, so I had to settle for 2% and I had to buy a giant container at that, but it was so worth it. I guess I’ll just have to keep making these cakes until it’s gone! I butter and flour the pans and cooked it at 350 for 30 minutes(toothpick test). I’ve been trying out different red velvet recipes for a while now, maybe 5 and yours is without a doubt THE WINNER!!! It got RAVE reviews from family and friends. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! And that my cake gets the top nod of all the ones you’ve tried!

      Sounds like your tweaks with using 1.5x of the recipe, and then all the amounts you listed (will be very helpful to someone one day, thanks for sharing what you did) and glad it all came out just beautifully! Finding full-fat yogurt can be tricky sometimes in this lowfat culture we live in; 2% is fine though in general, I’ve even used fat-free Greek and been okay but I don’t tend to recommend it to people because sometimes fat-free stuff just don’t set up nicely.

  25. Hi! This recipe looks delicious, and I would love to bake them! However since my mother does not eat eggs (she’s a lacto-vegetarian), I was wondering if you could suggest an alternative ingredient? I know that there are many egg alternatives but I have no idea which one to use and whether it will just ruin the recipe. I would love to know what which replacement would produce the most similar effect that the egg does in this recipe, so which what you would recommend?

    Thanks!

    1. Baking without eggs is very tricky in things like cupcakes and based on your email address, it doesn’t appear you live in the US which can complicate things because your products and grocery availability won’t be the same as mine. The best thing you can do it trial and error with egg replacers you have available to you.

  26. Oh lord , im excited to make these , ive been having a very hard time with the dryness of the red velvet .. and its only with that cake that I have that problem with… Although instead of pairing it with a regular cream cheese I think I may pair it with a Creole Cream Cheese frosting … yummm this is exciting

  27. I haven’t tried baking red velvets before. But am wondering why your recipe doesn’t use distilled vinegar? Is it because of the greek yogurt/sour cream?

  28. Hi! If I bake this in a 9×9 or 8×8 square pan, how long should I bake it? I have a small oven so it’s easier for me to just put it in a big pan.

    1. I haven’t tried it that way so not sure. I would guess 20-30 minutes in that range, but that’s a big range, so just bake until done.

  29. I really have no idea what happened, but these were terrible. They tasted tangy and bad. I have never had or made a bad cupcake before, so I was really taken aback by this. I followed the instructions exactly–they were moist, but had a very strange flavor. Not sure if this was because of the small amount of cocoa (other chocolate recipes I use usually call for 1/3 c. of cocoa) or what, but I was disappointed. The frosting, however, was delicious.

    1. There’s really not tons of difference between 1/3 cup and 3 tablespoons cocoa in an entire batch of cupcakes, it’s about 3 tablespoons worth. I don’t really think that was it.

      I’m almost wondering if your buttermilk or Greek yogurt/sour cream were a little past their prime, which could contribute to the tangy taste and tasting bad. The more I think about it, I would almost bet this is where the culprit is.

  30. Hi!

    This recipe looks amazing, and since it’s my friend’s birthday in two days, I want to surprise her with delicious cupcakes, but I have one question – is your food coloring in liquid form, or is it powdered? I know that powdered food coloring usually gives a more intense color than liquid food coloring, but the latter is the only one that’s available to me at the moment, so I guess my question is: should I keep the two tablespoons you mentioned in the recipe because it was already written with liquid food coloring in mind, or should I increase the amount?

    Thanks!

    1. I used gel (liquid) food coloring. I would use any type or brand you have that’s red, red, red. Unlike other recipes where a couple drops can really make a difference, with this, literally tablespoons of it don’t even do that much. In order to color dark chocolate brownies red, you have to add tons!

  31. Hi! Your recipes and photos are outstanding …just a quick question. I’m in South Africa and all purpose flour isn’t available at stores. Instead cake flour is the popular thing here… so pls tell me if using cake flour instead of all purpose flour is okay…thanks!

    1. Cake flour and AP flour are NOT the same thing. In this particular recipe, cake flour wouldn’t be the worst thing because after all you’re making ‘cake’. It has less gluten so things rise a bit less and are more light, delicate. You may need to increase the amount by up to 1/2 cup or so, but this is just guesswork on my part. If you have any other flour options, I would research those and then use cake flour as a last resort since the recipe wasn’t written for it.

  32. Hi there, these look amazing. Was just wondering if you think it would be ok to substitute the canola oil for macadamia oil to make a little healthier? And also, would you think it’s ok to use beet juice instead of food colouring? Thanks! Cannot wait to make them! :)

    1. Honestly, I would really just make this recipe as written. They’re totally perfect and it’s a cupcake so it’s not meant to be healthy per se. I would do extra cardio this week :)

      And definitely no on the beet juice. It would take cups worth to get the color you need, obviously rendering the batter beet soup at that point!

      1. No worries, thought I’d give healthy cup cakes a shot but I should prob just stick to the recipe! Thanks for getting back to me :)

  33. Hi Averie!
    Not the first time I’m doing one of your recipes (my kids and even the hubby are addicted to the no-boiler fudge of yours!) but this is the first time I am taking the plunge to comment. :)
    I made these cupcakes today and they were absolutely delicious! I swapped melted butter for the oil, though, as all the guys here are very picky about the taste of something not-butter in their cakes. Still turned out like a dream, though! And yeah, I also used cake flour, and that worked, too (been trying to go less-gluten/gluten-free where possible). Just thought I’d point out that I made those swaps and your recipe still worked like a charm. Best ever red velvet cupcakes I tasted – this one’s definitely a keeper!
    Thanks for all your recipes – I always fall back on your website because you give such detailed descriptions and instructions, it’s like having a baking chef right next to you to direct you through the recipe! xoxo

    1. Glad to hear cake flour and butter worked great, thanks for sharing!

      And so glad they’re the best red velvet cupcakes you’ve ever had – that’s what I think, that they’re bakery-worthy (okay, better than a bakery if I do say so!)

      I am so glad to hear you like all my details and feel like it’s like having a baking chef right next to you to direct you :) That’s great!

  34. These were great. My toddler had them for her school party and then begged to have them (frosting-free) for breakfast the next day (of course my ego could not tell her no). Thank you

    1. Glad they were great for you and cupcakes for breakfast (hey there’s a muffin at that point, right!) sounds perfect :)

  35. I would like to make a cake with your recipe. Is it enough batter for that or should I double it? Can’t wait to try it! Also, what are your thoughts about using a regular sized bundt pan? (PS, Despite the name I am a woman)

    1. Hmmm, haven’t tried any of the above so sure, go ahead double it, bake in a Bundt, and see what happens! I’m sure it will be fine but I haven’t personally tried it.

  36. I always make dry red velvet cupcakes.Just made these cupcakes and is the best red velvet cupcake I tasted. It’s super moist and very easy to make. I’m from the Phippines and buttermilk and greek yoghurt is not readily available in regular supermarkets. Substituted milk with vinegar and sour cream. Thank you for sharing this excellent recipe. And your tips are so helpful!

    1. Glad these are the best rede velvet cupcakes you’ve ever tasted! Great call to sub the buttermilk with vinegar and sour cream. Perfect! Glad they came out great for you!

  37. Hi Averie, the recipe calls for Greek yogurt, but they don’t sell those in my local grocery. Is it okay to use plain yoghurt? Thanks. -Marie

    1. You definitely want the yogurt to be THICK. If it’s thinner or more watery yogurt, then use sour cream. I’m not suer how thick what you call ‘plain yoghurt’ is but thicker is preferred or the batter will be too soupy.

  38. hi……Averie…iam totally going to try this recipe…..all i want to know is can i half the recipe………..n make a batch………of 6 or something.

  39. Hi, Averie, I bought the greek yogurt with fruit flavour, can it be done if i did not use plain yogurt instead? Pls reply me asap as I’m planning to do now.

    1. I mean plain would probably be better but it depends on how fruity the yogurt is…if it’s a super strong banana, I’d say no. If it’s something fairly ‘mild’, sure. I mean they’re YOUR cupcakes. You have to do what you think you’ll like.

  40. I just made these today for my boyfriend’s mom. It’s her birthday today so we dropped in while she was at work, the two of us armed with a batch of these cupcakes. She was surprised and looked very happy.

    These turned out great with a gluten-free flour mix substituted for regular flour. I didn’t have any buttermilk, only Greek yogurt, so I added a bit of water as suggested.

    I did find that mind did not dome at the top; they were slightly sunken in the centers even though they were definitely done. The cream cheese frosting hid any sunken centers. Any idea what happened? Baking soda too old?

    Delicious, thanks for developing this!

    1. did not dome at the top; they were slightly sunken in the centers even though they were definitely done. <--- that is a direct function of using GF flour. There is no gluten. Gluten makes things rise. So no gluten, and it's normal to have things sink. You have to find another way to compensate for it, probably would add more baking powder AND also add 1/4 more flour to thicken up the batter, but it's a delicate process you'd have to play around with. The fact that they even worked, at all, with GF is great :)

      1. Thanks. That makes perfect sense. I guess I thought the gluten free “all purpose mix” had some level of compensation for that.

        Sorry for the duplicate post.

      2. They do have SOME level of compensation but this is the reason people tend to gripe about GF baking and GF mixes – because no matter what you do, it’s never just as easy as using flour with gluten in it. There’s always lots and lots of tweaking and research and experimentation needed to closely duplicate gluten-based recipes.

  41. I just made these today for my boyfriend’s mom. It’s her birthday today so we dropped in while she was at work, the two of us armed with a batch of these cupcakes. She was surprised and looked very happy.

    These turned out great with a gluten-free flour mix substituted for regular flour. I didn’t have any buttermilk, only Greek yogurt, so I added a bit of water as suggested.

    I did find that mind did not dome at the top; they were slightly sunken in the centers, though they were definitely done. The cream cheese frosting hid any sunken centers. Any idea what happened? Baking soda too old?

    Delicious, thanks for developing this!

  42. I just make this red velvet cupcakes today, they are absolutely delicious. I highly recommend this recipe, my family was happy, Thank you so much.

    1. I just looked at that recipe and hers has 2 eggs, sour cream, double the sugar, not as much vanilla, no greek yogurt or buttermilk like mine…so the cupcakes are probably different in terms of final taste but that’s the beauty of baking. Lots of times different ingredients/ratios CAN get you to a very similar outcome. Hope you enjoy these!

  43. Hey there! I am a huge fan of red velvets. . And have just made my first batch of these with your recipe. They are so moist and fluffy. . Only thing is the taste. Think it’s due to the 2 tablespoons of red food colouring that I put in.. gonna use juz 1 tbsp n see how it goes. .. *from Singapore*

  44. Your pictures are stunning! Your photos are the best I have seen on any food blog! I’ve never been a fan of red velvet cupcakes because they have always been dry. I cannot wait to try these!

  45. u havent used any butter..though its required in every reciepe..is it normal??
    im gonna try this soon :)

  46. Hi Averie!
    You make special note about not needing to use a mixer, but I am not sure if I need to AVOID using a mixer? Is it okay to use my KitchenAid or does that make it dry somehow?

    Thanks!!!

    Willow

    1. It’s easy to overmix and thereby create tough cupcakes in mixers. Personally just do it by hand. It’ll take you longer to wash out your KA than it will to just whip this batter up!

  47. I have these cooling now. I pulled them from the cupcake tin to cool and noticed the cipcake liner is very oily. Is this normal?

  48. Hello! how many grams is a 1/2 heaping cup of cream cheese? And how much buttermilk will i have to add if i do not have any greek yoghurt on hand? Please reply as i am baking them for a friend’s birthday soon!! :(

    1. Use slightly less buttermilk than the amount of Greek yog indicated; although since I haven’t tried this, it’s very hard to say how this will work.

      Use an online gram/cup conversion site (google it) to figure out what you need for the cream cheese in the measurements you’re familiar with.

      1. Will the cupcakes still be moist if I bake it a day before hand? Will the cupcake s ‘shrink’ ? Thank you so much again!!!!

    1. You’d need to adjust the baking time (reduced) but not sure by how much as it will depend on your pan size.

    2. Hey! I tried these as mini cupcakes (with the extra batter) and they worked really well, I just popped the big ones in and added the little ones with 8 minutes to go. I think the little ones actually needed 10 minutes in total, but just keep an eye on them and they will be fine! I ended up with 12 big cupcakes and 12 little ones. :)

      1. Thanks for sharing what you did because I’m sure it will help someone else who sees this. Glad they came out great for you!

  49. I made these for V-Day to bring into work. Baked them in the cutest heart muffin pan but didn’t follow your advice and overfilled them. The heart shape was lost when they crowned in the oven. You had to turn them over to know they were hearts. It was the thought that counts, right? I wanted a frosting that was a little more firm so I used one I found on this blog, http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2014/02/10/red-velvet-roll-cake-with-white-chocolate-cream-cheese-filling. The combination was a big hit. Everyone loved them! Your red velvet recipe could not have been easier, they were so delicious, I looked like a hero! You are now 3 for 3 on the recipes I’ve tried! Thanks for postimg

    1. So glad you loved the cupcake recipe and yes, overfilling is a killer. I have been there, so much. I completely understand! But hey, they tasted great. Glad that I’m 3/3 :)

  50. Sorry to say I’ve just tried these red velvet cupcakes and followed the recipe exactly. They have turned out way too heavy. Is the batter mixture not too liquid? – preventing them from rising?

  51. So I made these red velvet cupcakes sans the red. Some might say that defeats the purpose, but I think the flavor and texture are much more important than color. And, boy, were the flavor and texture of these cupcakes great!

    I did something weird with the yogurt and buttermilk for this recipe. I only had plain non-Greek yogurt, so I squeezed out the whey through a paper towel until it seemed about Greek-yogurt consistency and used that for the yogurt. Then I used the squeezed-out whey + homemade buttermilk (milk + lemon juice) for the buttermilk because some people on the Internet said that whey could be used as a buttermilk substitute. Well, it was a little backwards, squeezing out the whey only to use it anyway, but it worked! The cupcakes were moist, fluffy, and delicious!

    I also used a simpler frosting of just squeezed yogurt (it’s always squeezed yogurt by me!) and confectioner’s sugar, and I found that it complemented your cupcakes very nicely. I left some cupcakes unfrosted so that I could appreciate their flavor on their own, and they tasted amazing and moist even without frosting.

    Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe.

    1. Glad that you loved these and were able to makeshift your way into the buttermilk via Greek yogurt. Honestly, you could have probably just used the Greek yog, as is, no monkey business or extra work. If the batter would have been too thick, a splash of water would have taken care of it. All you’re looking for is something cultured in this situation, and something thick-ish, so while I tested them using buttermilk, thinning about a little greek yog with water will probably yield very similar results. One of those baking shortcuts I’ve been known to use in banana bread, quickbreads, muffins, etc :)

      1. It was plain yogurt, not Greek. But yes, I agree that it would have been much simpler just to use the yogurt and nothing else! But I couldn’t be sure of the measurements and if it would have worked, and I didn’t want to experiment too much. Perhaps next time I might be braver! ;)

  52. Hi, not easy to find all the ingredients when you are living in the African bush but we made it and delicious! i just added a zest of lemon in the icing and it’s giving a little “Fresh” taste

    1. That is amazing that you live in the African bush and you just made these!!!! I AM SO IMPRESSED! Thanks for trying the recipe, reading my blog all the way from Africa, and coming back to tell me you tried them! Thanks! :)

  53. Hi, not easy to find all the ingredients when you are living in the African bush but we made it and delicious! i just added a zest of lemon in the icing and it’s giving a little “Fresh” test.

  54. I tried your red velvet cup rec. it was a BIG let down, cupcakes came out dense and there is way too much chocolate, it came out as a dense chocolate cake….good thing I had plenty of left over ingredients. I search for another cupcake rec. that required only one tablespoon of cocoa powder…they came out perfect…Just wanted to give my honest opinion. (I followed the rec as written)

    1. I’m sorry you found them to be too chocolaty. That’s never a ‘problem’ for me :) You’re the only person in all the comments I’ve received who has not raved about them. I like my red velvet on the chocolaty side and I guess you don’t since the other recipe with less cocoa suited your needs better. To each her own.

  55. this are amazing i bake a lot work and private and this is definatly a fav recipe now and so easy to adapt, made margarita cupcakes by taking out cocoa and food colouring and adding tequila and lime juice and zest very light and fluffy and moist :) thanks so much from austria

    1. adding tequila and lime juice = I love the way you think!! :)

      I think I need to make those! Thanks for the praise and from reading all the way from Austria. Nice to know that as a professional baker you still appreciate my recipe!

  56. Extreme kudos to you, Averie… I happened upon your page googling on a good red velvet recipe..I made about 140 mini cuppies yesterday for a birthday party and a wedding reception earlier today… I’m left with just empty cases and the dirty containers they were carried in originally.. all my family and friends raved about them saying they were indeed flavourful, moist and the cream cheese were a great pairing to the cupcakes… They demanded jumbo-sized cupcakes for next gathering… Uh oh, what have you got me into??

    1. I can’t believe you made 140 of these yesterday! Mini food is so fussy and putzy…takes forever. You’re a SAINT! Glad the recipe was a big hit with everyone you shared the cupcakes with!

  57. Hi.. is it ok if I substitute the buttermilk with plain yoghurt instead? or the changes will affect the texture of the cake?
    by the way the cupcakes looks wonderful:)

    1. I haven’t tried deviating from the recipe after getting it just the way I want it (perfect!) so if you start changing things, I don’t know exactly what will happen. LMK how it goes!

  58. Thank you for the recipe. I have been baking for a while now and I NEVER get the correct red velvet cupcakes! I am baking some red velvet cakes next week and I am already a nervous wreck. Thank you for explaining your recipe properly; I know it must have taken ages!!! I have already bookmarked this page ready to go for this recipe next week. Will surely let you know how it goes. Just a quick question? For the red food colouring, is it okay to use gel food colouring? PS: I also bookmarked your yellow cupcake recipe. It looked so gorgeous! That’s another recipe I am going to try soon. You are a fantastic baker and photographer! Keep it up.
    Much love from England

    1. Yes you can use any red food coloring that you know gives you good results, just keep adding it until you get the perfect shade that you like.

      And thanks for wanting to try these – LMK how it goes (and yes, it did take a long time to nail these!)

      1. OMG!!! I just tried the recipe now! it was AMAZING!!!!! Thank you so much. I am actually not a fan of cakes but I didn’t realise when I ate 5 cupcakes at a go!!! They were just too delicious. The gel food colouring worked as well. I used Sugar flair gel concentrated paste and I used just a teaspoon. It came out perfect. Thank you Thank you Thank you and Thank you. I just needed some advice on how to properly measure out 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda. I had a bit of trouble there. Should I just use 1/2 teaspoon? Thank you once again.

      2. Glad you love them! 3/4 teaspoon – I just fill a 1 tsp measure on the skimpy side. Easy! (and no, you don’t want to just use 1/2 tsp; the results won’t be the same)

  59. Averie, my twins are turning nine. Two questions – how is red velvet different from chocolate cake? Not sure if they like red or the taste. Second, could I make as a cake instead of cupcakes? Thanks, we just had vegan pumpkin muffins yesterday (again)!

    1. It’s not as chocolaty as chocolate cake. I’m sure you could bake it as a cake, although I haven’t done it that way so cannot off the top of my head suggest a pan size or baking time. Good luck!

  60. Thanks for sharing this delicious receipe. My grandson will be 11 on 1/1/14 and he requested red velvet cupcakes for His birthday. I searched the web and decided on your beautiful receipe. So glad I did. I sampled one and they are really great. Thanks for your hard work.

    1. Thanks for trying these, Sylvia! Happy bday to your grandson and what an amazing grandma you are to bake cupcakes for him and so happy you’re pleased with these!

  61. Hi. I was looking to try these as they sound like they’re popular but I was just wondering is the recipe in metric or imperial? No good if its imperial. Thanks

  62. I baked them in an 8inch round pan yesterday! It was so moist and fluffy. Thankyou for the recipe <3 love from Brunei Darussalam! (Google it ) hehe

    1. Oh I’m so glad to hear it worked out as an 8-inch round cake and that it was so moist & fluffy! Thanks for LMK!

  63. Averie, these look crazy good, like the best cupcakes I have ever seen good! gotta have them now good

  64. This is stunning, Averie! And you tell em like it is on the recipe development — it is NO JOKE!! I love how thorough you are with your recipes, you’ve got baking down to a true art. And the discussions of oil v. butter, milk v. buttermilk, low-fat cream cheese etc are spectacular. Funny that you mention low-fat cream cheese makes frosting runnier — I had a comment on Food 52 about how my lime cream cheese frosting was too stiff and they had to add more lime juice, and I realized it was because I’d written the recipe using low-fat! Things like that are so important. I never get tired of hearing how they make a difference. Thanks so much for all the thought and effort you put into sharing these lovely recipes with us!

    1. I’m glad you like my discussions and info. Finally getting to the point where I have a reasonable sense of the best way to go about creating xyz item has been years in the making and I always learn new things. Every recipe is it’s own experiment :) And yes, light cream cheese = runny frosting!

  65. Thanks for recipe Averie,

    I have tried so many red velvet recipes but can’t say I found the perfect one yet… they are all, i don’t know how to say it, tasltess!!! it’s just like eating something but you can’t tell what is it you are eating.
    Confusing right??

    Perhaps I need to give this recipe a try. On another note, I have made the same recipe of cream cheese a while ago (using full fat cheese) and it was runny, I couldn’t pipe it. I mean it is delicious (over sweet because I kept adding sugar to hold) but wasn’t able to pipe it.
    Any ideas on this issue?

    1. Using lowfat or red fat cream cheese to make frosting with ALWAYS results in runnier frosting for me too and if I want to pipe it, must use fullfat. And what you describe of then adding sugar, sugar, sugar to try to get it to thicken up – yes, same here. Using fullfat will solve that.

      And these are not tasteless, I promise you! Try these and LMK what you think!

  66. I made these last night – what a hit! The cake was CRAZY MOIST, i love it! Thank you so much for this recipe Averie. You rock! xx Love from Singapore!

    1. So happy you’re pleased with them and that you’re reading all the way from Singapore – thank you! :)

  67. I love this post for so many reasons. First of all, your cupcakes look amazing. (and the mini loaf is adorable) Either you are a super amazing photographer, good at photoshop, or are just a really good baker (or all three!) but I’m seriously drooling on my keyboard. I’ve never been able to make a good red velvet cake, and if these come out as good as they look, I’m sold. Definitely filing this away for a rainy day. (already pinned!:)
    -Also, as a side note, we seem to have the opposite problem with buttermilk…can’t get it enough of the stuff! Here in Germany, it’s considered to be pretty healthy (good protein to fat ratio) They sell it here in lots of flavors (just like yogurt) and they even make smaller “to go size” bottles for people to take to work for a quick breakfast. (my german husband drinks some every morning) My problem is keeping it in the fridge long enough to use in a recipe before someone drinks it! ha ha

    1. I don’t use Photoshop first of all – way too complicated and I’ve taken classes on it, and still can’t figure it out. Ha! So it’s definitely not that. I do use Lightroom but not PS. Wayyyyy above me.

      I’d like to think it’s my baking skills and also taking years to learn how to photograph food so that it looks on the screen how it looked in my kitchen. Easier said than done but I try :)

      Please LMK how these go if you try them!

  68. These look amazing… I currently have a dozen in the oven. I have only recently got into baking and these are my first red velvet cupcakes! I am bringing them to a friends party tomorrow afternoon and think they will fit perfect with the early xmas theme. I am keeping an eye on them as I type this and they are rising beautifully! Can’t wait to try them. :)

      1. They were amazing! I used my own frosting recipe but the cake was honestly the best red velvet I have ever had! Perfectly moist and they didn’t have that yucky hint of food colour flavour.

        My friends asked me where I bought them! ;)

        Great recipe!

      2. Exactly as I said in the post – they’re as good as any bakery cupcake! I am so glad your friends asked you where you bought them :) And bravo to you for executing the recipe perfectly! Thanks for LMK!

      3. Hi :) I have a super dumb question. So in the past I’ve used liquid food colouring to make red velvet cupcakes and they turned pink so I was wondering if I decide to use wiltons no taste red paste would I add to notes in?

      4. “would I add to notes in?” <--- that doesn't make a ton of sense to me? But I haven't used that Wilton product. However, it's a good brand and I'm sure won't turn them pink!

  69. These look amazing! I always use sour cream in my cakes and cupcakes to keep things most and have never thought of using Greek yogurt! I love that idea; the vanilla flavor would go well with so many things! Maybe I’ll try switching it up in some of my recipes and blog about it. Thanks for the inspiration (and a great recipe)!!

    1. Greek yog is so much preferred in baking for me than sour cream. It’s sweeter, has less of a tangy bite, is slightly less gloppy, and I just really prefer it. Plus I always have it on hand whereas sour cream is something I need to go out of my way to buy. Honestly, in every sweet/dessert recipe I make, I use vanilla Greek yog rather than sour cream. Or like in banana bread, i use banana-flavored greek yog. LMK if you try these!

  70. Thanks for putting in the effort to procure this perfect red velvet cupcake! They’re gorge!! I nosh on all forms of dough & batter too – glad I’m not alone.

  71. These will make great gifts for my teaching staff. I’ll try a batch using coconut sugar for myself (not for the gifts), and let you know how they turn out.

  72. Hi Averie,

    I saw these on FoodGawker this morning and I went right to the kitchen to make them. I had all the ingredients on hand and I couldn’t resist. These turned out excellent! These were easy to prepare and they turned very moist and tender (definitely not dry like some other recipes for RV that I tried in the past). I ended up getting 17 cupcakes [I probably would have had an extra one if my kids and I hadn’t eaten some of the batter :-) ] because I had filled them 2/3 of the way full. I also used sunflower oil instead of canola or vegetable and it still worked out well. And before I forget, I noticed that baking soda in not listed in step 3. ;-)

    I live in Germany and I’m looking forward to making these for my kids’ xmas party at the Kindergarten on Dec. 13th. Not too many Germans are familiar with red velvet cake and they will be intrigued to try these. I haven’t tried the frosting yet but I’m planning on making it tomorrow.

    Thanks for doing the legwork in developing this recipe! Definitely a keeper. Keep up the awesome work!!

    1. Thanks for trying these, Rosa! Glad to hear that the sunflower oil worked fine and that you’re sharing a not-so-common dessert with Germans. Fun! I updated the recipe section for the soda – thanks! And so glad you loved them even without frosting…wow, you’re REALLY going to love them after you put that on. Thanks for trying the recipe the same day I posted it and glad it’s a keeper for you!

      1. Hi Averie!
        I went out and bought some cream cheese this morning to make the frosting. Oh yum!! You were right! Awesome! I had two of them for breakfast! Today when I came home after picking up the kids from daycare, they couldn’t wait till after lunch to have a cupcake. As soon as they saw them on the table, they each helped themselves to a cupcake (I have 3 boys). They scarfed them down and asked for seconds. I told them they are allowed a 2nd one after they ate lunch. :-) Needless to say, your cupcakes were a hit with my picky kids. :-) This will definitely be a hit when I make them for xmas. Thanks again for sharing this recipe!

  73. My favourite kind of cupcake is definitely the Red Velvet Cupcake. Funny story, the last time my boyfriend and I made these, we didn’t have red food colouring, so we decided to just let it be. Turned out brown and we just called our masterpieces the Brown Velvet.

    Excited to try your recipe! Thanks for sharing! :)

    -Susan | Susan Loves…

  74. Saw these on foodgawker and I seriously wanted to jump into the photo and devour these!! Red Velvet with cream cheese is my absolute favorite (cake, cupcake, cheesecake,…whatever) Your photos are positively beautiful!!

  75. red velvet is definitely the cake of the season in my opinion. I love your version and it looks simply beautiful

  76. SInce you’re such a pro @ moist recipes, I have one request:
    could you pleeeeaasseee make a recipe for a MOIST bran muffin?
    I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Peet’s Coffee&Tea but they have awesome whole wheat honey bran muffins that are to DIE for!! SO filling too.
    If you could make a recipe for those I would love you forever and be eternally grateful!
    Thanks!!

    1. Very familiar with Peet’s. Live less than a mile from one and run by it daily. I never have eaten that muffin. See, I hate bran muffins :) Because they are….DRY! LOL

      I have a few whole wheat bread recipes, and I realize that’s different than bran, and they’re bread, not muffins, but I will file this request away for a rainy day. Maybe I will get inspired to try it!

  77. Averie,
    I follow quite a few food blogs and I always see your kind comments on each one of them. You seem like such a great person and I just really thought someone should tell you that. Your dedication to your blog surpasses any other blog I’ve seen. I love how descriptive you are about your recipes, so that there are no surprises. Though I have never met you I just wanted to give you props for being such a kind person and I’m sure all the food bloggers out there really appreciate your comments as well (even if they don’t get the chance to respond) :)
    Have a wonderful day and keep up the awesome work-I LOVE your blog! :) <3

    1. Wow, what an amazing to comment to read and receive, thank you! I am really honored and touched that you notice. I try to comment on other blogs b/c I know it’s important for people to have feedback and support with what they made and put their heart into for all the world to see. I really, really appreciate that you notice and that you took the time yourself to compliment me – thank you!!

      As for my descriptive writing, again, thank you. It’s a peeve of mine when I read blogs and I get done reading the whole post and the person talked about their cat or their kid or whatever, which is lovely, but they never mentioned how the food tasted. And that’s what I really want to know about on food blogs.

      Thank you for your support and your kindness. What goes around, comes around! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season! xo

  78. These cupcakes have such panache! I once considered making red velvet cake with beets for coloring, I’m glad I didn’t try :)

    1. Panache – love that word and thanks, Sue! Beets, meh. I have heard of people coloring Easter eggs with them, too and I do love beets. But yeah, I like my red dye #40 for things like this. Lol

  79. I have to admit that red velvet has always scared me a bit. These cupcakes look like red velvet perfect and that frosting…to die for! Pinned Averie :)

  80. These look rockin’! I am so not a red velvet fan but yours look amazing! Biting into something that looks like it should be cherry or strawberry and tasting chocolate creeps me out, but yours look so moist I want one now!

    Btw- your photography recently has been blowing me away. Absolutely stunning.

  81. Recipe development is not always a walk in the park. Five batches of cookies and a whole lot of dishes later, I have a great recipe. I thank you for doing the dirty work with this recipe. One bowl is always welcome. Love…and pinned.

    1. thank you for pinning and for realizing recipe dev can be SUCH a beast. I hear you on the cookies. They can be the worst…ok cakes can. No wait, cupcakes. Well, anything can really give you gray hair, can’t it! LOL

  82. The crumb on these cupcakes is amazing! My mouth is watering just looking at them. I feel like if you are claiming they are the best that they really, truly, are the best!

    1. They really are the best and I am sooooooo picky about cake and cupcakes. If I say it’s moist enough, then it really is b/c I admit to being picky, picky, picky and extremely hyper critical of anything dry or bland!

    1. Oh wow, I just looked and there are some similarities. Yours do have more oil and no Greek yog. I love the texture of mine, Jenn. I am such a picky picky person when it comes to cupcakes especially but loved these. If you ever try them, LMK!

  83. You’re right — homemade red velvet cupcakes can be really tricky. The first batch I made ended up so dry and crumbly, just as you say. I eventually came up with a recipe I was happy with — but I love that you added Greek yogurt to ensure these were as moist as possible. I’ll definitely be trying that next time!

    1. Oh wow, good for you for trying to come up with your own recipe and you’re right, it can be a real beast getting to one you not only can live with, but love. Lmk if you try these!

  84. I can’t tell you how many red velvet cupcakes I tried to make this spring. ALL dry! And mind you, the recipes all needed like 10 different bowls. Red velvet cupcakes are so had to get down Averie, but you nailed it. And nailed it with such a simple recipe. My god do they look amazing! And I’m not even the hugest red velvet fan (maybe because I’ve only experienced dry!?), but Kevin loves it. Your cupcakes are beautiful – I can literally see how moist they are. Leave it to you to solve the dry red velvet cupcake/cake mystery.

    And now I want red velvet for lunch!

    1. Im not even the hugest R.V. fan either but it has a cult-like following among those who love it so I figured, let’s give the worshipers what they want. The issue as you know is most cupcake recipes involve creaming butter, partial eggs, and cake flour. 3 things I hate doing for cupcakes/muffins or really ever. Unless it’s cookie or bread dough, don’t make me get out my stand mixer. And then most recipes are like C.I. style recipes with 10 dirty bowls. No thanks. I know you know Sally how hard certain recipe dev can be to nail after all you’ve gone through :) so I really appreciate your praise!

  85. The red velvet cupcakes look amazing! I made red velvet cupcakes twice…first time it turned out well. Unfortunately, the second attempt wasn’t so great. It came out dense and dry. :(

    I can’t wait to try this recipe out.

  86. The red velvet cupcakes/cakes I’ve had have always been dry so I’ve wondered why they are so popular–but these may be worth it! And thank you for doing the legwork and tweaking recipes. While I am nowhere near your goddess standard of baking, I’ve tweaked a few recipes over the years and it really is a trial-and-error process. I’ve learned to be more disciplined and actually write down the changes I make instead of relying on memory!

    1. Im not even the hugest R.V. fan either but it has a cult-like following among those who love it so I figured, let’s give the cult what they want and give others who arent usually that into it (b/c they’re dry!) some moist cupcakes!

      Writing down the changes…omg yes. I have self-imposed rules about how long in between I make something and write about it, too. Because the little nuances fade in your memory over time and sometimes those little tips really can help people so I write about things, asap, even if I don’t publish it for weeks.

  87. When I saw the title “Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting” in my inbox, I was a little surprised. Red Velvet isn’t really a new sensation anymore, and it didn’t appear (at first) to have an Averie spin. I nearly passed it over since I already have a go-to red velvet recipe, but I knew there had to be something I was missing. So onward I clicked!

    And I’m glad I did. :) Though I just finished reading your recipe and haven’t yet tried it, I’m very excited to try out such an EASY recipe! I’m all about less dishes and more ease. :D And though I find my go-to red velvet recipe (Martha Stewart’s, btw) to be perfectly moist, I wouldn’t be surprised if your recipe kicks that one’s butt.

    Guess I better get baking!

    1. I saw her recipe but saw mixed reviews…I also saw Paula D’s recipe and that one started out with so much oil that I clicked off the page..LOL So I started from scratch, literally. Lmk if you try these!

  88. You are the queen of one bowl recipes…I love it!!! And buttermilk, oil, and yogurt is the best combo to keep things soft and fluffy!!! These are absolutely gorgeous! Pinning.

  89. These are perfect in every way! I love the ease of ingredients and the lack of need for a mixer. And they’re moist to boot – nobody wants a dry cupcake! Definitely pinning these so I can remember for them for the next time I want to make red velvet!

  90. Oh yum! I’m on a bit of a cupcake-making bender at the moment and these look AMAZING! Buttermilk is difficult to find where I live — any suggestions on what I could use instead? Thank you for sharing this recipe :)

  91. Red velvet is probably my favorite flavor of cake/cupcake, but I’ve never made them before. These look to-die-for and I know your batter is never dry. I like the fact that there isn’t a ton of oil for the moisture. There is a local bakery that makes a really good RV cupcake but they are about $3 each, so a dozen gets pretty pricey. These are a bucket list baking project for me!

    1. Only $3 each? Here they’re in the $5 ish range. So you know, a cup of coffee is $5 or $7, and with a cupcake, you need to take out a second mortgage to pay for it. LOL And yes, not tons of oil for moisture. Gotta love b-milk and Greek yog to step in to help! If you are a R.V. fan, then these are the best I’ve ever had. I am not even that big of a fan, per se, normally b/c they are boring and dry. Promise, these aren’t!

  92. Um Hello-I-just-woke-up-and-want-cupcakes-for-breakfast! These look so good Averie! And, anything with cream cheese frosting is always a good idea. Yum!

  93. I’ve been searching for a similar recipe for a while now and will definitely save these for the next occasion! Hope I’ll get them as red as yours. Last time I tried to make red velvet cupcakes they ended up being sadly greyish-rose instead of vibrant red.

  94. Absolutely beautiful. I want to make these. I have never cared much for red velvet cake, however I must try your recipe. It looks too good to pass up. Pinning!

  95. Love this recipe, and wow such a simple batter too.
    Red velvet s only started to be accepted down under, I think we are bit hesitant because of the colour. However I love it, I normally always use canola oil and butter milk in chocolate cakes; it makes them so much more moist and denser (I have found their is a problem with cocoa cakes).

    So pretty too!
    I am wondering do you like gel or powder colour? I use a bot of both but I like to now what you do for yours.

    1. I use cheap grocery-store food coloring. It comes in little liquid vials, in the primary colors. Red, yellow, blue, and green. I used 1 vial of red for this. Nothing fancy here :)

  96. Averie, these look absolutely perfect! I haven’t had red velvet in ages and now that’s all I’m craving at 11:33PM.

    And I’m loving the white board – love the rustic-ness of it! I’ve been wanting to change up boards too – I got about 18-20 wood pieces that’s been waiting to be painted for about 6 months. There’s just not enough time in the day.

    Oh and thanks for the pin of the brussels sprouts! :)

    1. You’re welcome! I have bought two HUGE ‘trees’ of B.Sprouts from TJ’s the past 2 weeks. As in 200 sprouts each for $2.99. Talk about a deal. And talk about ready to turn green from all the sprouts Ive eaten :)

      And thanks for the compliments on these! I was really happy with the way the recipe AND the photos came together. Love it when that happens :)

  97. Red velvet cake is my absolute favorite cake ever. I’ve used quite a few red velvet box mixes before, mainly because I can never get the color right on my own. But the homemade ones are always the best! I love that you went the extra mile to make sure these cupcakes were nice and moist! They definitely look a million times better than a box mix! I really want to try these soon. :)

  98. Oh my gosh, you said it! Recipe development is no walk in the park (I made thrre pies and three cakes the other week!) and you are one of the most deadicated bloggers I know. I trust your recipes 100%.

    These look amazing. I recently made red velvet cheesecakes for a Bisquick post and feel in love with their color. The red and white is so festive! And I pretty much always use a combo of buttermilk, canola oil and greek yogurt in my cakes/cupcakes. This trio seriously makes an awesome and super moist cake! I have to say, I never know when to add 1 egg + 1 yolk. I always normally just do both eggs since I do not typically have a use for the white, but I know in cookies using one yolk can be really good!

    And I love the photos!! The red and white together is so pretty!

    1. I either missed that post of yours or you havent posted it yet – either way, sounds like a winner! As for eggs, I hate using partial eggs b/c I am cheap and wasting even 1 white seems wrong. Lol And b/c I always try to bake in as small of a batch size as possible, I try to only use 1 egg, max, period. As for the triceta of BMilk, Oil, and Greek Yog – amen to that one!

      And the photos – thank you! Was thinking about your situation and girl just take your time and realize it will take year(s) to master it and just about the time you think your photos look good, you’ll look back on things from just 3 mos prior and you wont be super excited. At least that’s what happens to me :)

  99. I was just reading all about cakes and how to choose the correct fat and why fat works with leaveners to create bubbles. I love all the science of baking cakes, I just wish I like the cakes more!

    If I were to pick a cake though, it would be either red velvet or carrot. Hands down.

    I can’t believe you were able to get this to look SO good, without a mixer! You truly are a baking genius.

    1. And sometimes the bubbles can be a double-edge sword b/c all that gas rises under heat but then when you take it out and it cools, it falls. And that’s disastrous for cupcakes…nothing worse than 20 mins later coming back to notice that ALL your hard work just fell, badly. Omg. Been.there.

      And I didnt know you like RV cake. I knew about the carrot, and knowing you, that’s totally fitting. But the RV is a surprising one! I have to say, these are amazing and I know we cook differently, but if you ever do want to make an exception, these are worth breaking rules over!

      And thanks for the baking genius comment…I dont know about that. Just a lot of hard work :)

  100. Homemade red velvet has always been on my bucket list, but the dye and all of the little bowls moving around has freaked me out. (I’d hate to see a CI version… so many dirty dishes!) I love this no fear version! And that cream cheese frosting is GORGEOUS. Pinning for sure. :)

    1. Omg I know, the CI version. I have their cookbooks and didnt even look up their recipe b/c I knew it would be dirty bowl city. And mixers. And beaters. And partial eggs. And who knows what….shudder. Love CI, but not for recipes like this :)

      Thanks for pinning!

  101. there truly is nothing like homemade red velvet cupcakes. Wonderful! and so, so festive. Can’t wait to bake these up!

  102. I’m totally in love with these cupcakes! They have such a perfect rise and the texture looks awesome! I love that you used oil, buttermilk, and yogurt- there is no way those babies could be dry. Pinned!

  103. Sigh. Swoon. Seriously?!? That third shot… I die. I mean, just pizzity-perfect. I really love most how you keep it real with one-bowl desserts. This time of year especially I barely have time to brush my teeth much less get out multiple bowls. You are the queen!!! I said so!!!!!

    1. Thanks for the awesome comment and high praise! Your photography in your book blows.my.mind. GIRL!!! You are so talented!

  104. Gorgeous! I bet these are awesome, that center looks PERFECT Averie! And you can only fit one muffin pan? With all the baking you do? OMG! You’re a rockstar!

    1. Girl I have a tiny apartment oven. Nothing fancy about it. I have an electric range (no gas, sniff), a super small oven than can only fit 1 muffin pan and 1 tray of cookies at a time. If I do 2 trays of cookies, one is burnt and the other is raw :(

  105. AWESOME!!! I attempted red velvet cupcakes for a friends birthday about 6 years ago, but they were SOOOO dry and I think I even used like a food network or highly rated allrecipe recipe. So disappointing! I am so pleased to see this from you and I can’t wait to give it a try!!

    1. Let’s juts say I made more than a couple batches of these and I read tons of recipes online but there’s a pretty popular food network recipe but it calls for a ridic amt of oil and everyone says they taste greasy which Im not surprised and another famous tv personality has a recipe but hers are reported to be dry….so I started from scratch, literally, with this one. Please lmk if you try it!

  106. These are beautiful, Averie! I will have to try using Greek yogurt in my red velvets. Love the high tops! Pinning!

    1. Thanks for pinning, Anna! And yes, whenever possible, a dollop of sour cream or Greek yog can’t ever hurt!