Red Velvet Cupcakes

Moist, fluffy, gorgeously red with slight chocolate flavour – red velvet cupcakes are a favourite for a reason!

red velvet cupcakes

Red velvet cupcakes are different from regular cupcakes – they have baking soda and buttermilk to create a more velvety texture with little cocoa powder and of course the red colour. In traditional recipes, ‘red’ part came from the reaction between natural cocoa and buttermilk. It’s not red per se but brown with a red tinge. Also, during wartime rationing, bakers added boiled beetroots to baked goods to get good colour and texture. Later, some additional food colour was added to make the red more prominent. These gained popularity thanks to movies & TV shows (remember ‘Sex and the City’?).

These taste best with cream cheese frosting – little tangy, little sweet. I read somewhere that these taste well with chocolate frosting and Flour Buttercream as well, I got to try soon. I’ve also tasted them with whipped cream and it works!

The recipe is so simple to make, needs only 2 bowls to make these (lesser to clean!). This recipe yields me 8 cupcakes. I am a big fan of measuring ingredients v/s cups as they are more accurate.

red velvet cupcakes

I also have a recipe for eggless red velvet cupcakes here.

Ingredients –

All-purpose flour – 100 grams
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – 1/2 tablespoon
Granulated white sugar – 80 grams
Baking powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Baking Soda – 1/4 teaspoon
Eggs – 1
Salt – a pinch
Vanilla essence – 1 teaspoon
Vegetable oil – 50 ml (3 1/4 tablespoons)
Buttermilk – 60 ml (4 1/4 tablespoons) (To half cup milk, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, wait for 15 min and voila you have your buttermilk! Measure 4 1/4 tbsp out of this) 
Red food colour (preferably the gel paste kind, they don’t dilute the batter)

1 batch of cream cheese frosting (refer to my recipe post here)

Procedure –

1. Preheat the oven to 160 deg C. Prepare a 6-muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2. In a bowl, sift all the dry ingredients – flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and whisk well – Oil, egg, food colour & buttermilk.
4. Add the wet ingredients into dry and mix until combined. Make sure you don’t over-mix it – as soon as the baking soda and acid in buttermilk meet, they start working their magic by creating bubbles which we don’t want to lose even before the cupcakes are in the oven!
5. Scoop the mix into cupcake liners not more than three-fourths of the way (these rise a lot in the oven). I use ice cream scoop for easy filling.
6. Bake the cupcakes for around 25-30 minutes at 160 deg C. A skewer inserted will come out clean, the cupcakes will be shiny and springy to touch.

7. Once the cupcakes are cooled completely, frost with cream cheese frosting. You can either put a dollop on the cupcakes and spread, or use a piping bag and nozzle to pipe your cream cheese frosting over the cupcakes to make them look prettier. Chill these for about half hour and serve 🙂

Edit (18 July 2017) – Adding to the Game of Thrones frenzy, I made these cupcakes inspired by ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’. The ‘Fire’ is a red velvet cupcake with red & orange cream cheese frosting. Tempting, aren’t they? 🙂



  1. The receipe of the cake is as smooth as your writing..I like the way you pen down in the blog right from the connection of mom’s Kakdi dish to this simple procedure for red velvet..keep up the good work..

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