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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.50 / 5 (167 votes)

Prep time:
25 min
Cook time:
20 min
makes 12

Red velvet cupcakes are the most sophisticated of baked treats, with a rich sponge and chocolatey centre


1. For the sponge: preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line a 12-hole tin with cupcake paper cases. Put the butter and the sugar in a freestanding electric mixer and beat on medium speed until well combined. Turn the mixer up to a high speed, then gradually add the egg and beat until well mixed, scraping down the bowl as you go.

2. In a mug or small bowl, combine the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix in the blender until the batter is evenly coloured. Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk. Beat until well mixed then add half the flour and beat until everything is well incorporated. Repeat this step until all the buttermilk and flour have been added. Scrape down the side of the bowl, then turn the speed up to high and beat for a couple of minutes until you have a smooth mixture.

3. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

4. For the cream cheese frosting: beat the icing sugar and butter together in an electric mixer until the mixture comes together. Add the cream cheese and beat until thoroughly mixed-in. Continue beating for a few minutes, until the frosting is light and fluffy. Refrigerate until needed.

5. When the sponges have cooled completely, carefully spoon a third of the frosting into a piping bag and use it to decorate the first four cupcakes. Repeat until you have finished them all. Alternatively, just use a palette knife to spread about 2 tbsp of frosting onto each cupcake. Decorate with edible red glitter, if desired.


For the cupcake

  • 60 g butter
  • 150 g golden caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 10 g cocoa powder
  • 40 ml red food colouring
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 120 ml buttermilk
  • 150 g self-raising flour

For the cream cheese frosting

  • 300 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 50 g butter, at room temperature
  • 125 g full-fat cream cheese, cold
  • edible glitter, to decorate

Tips and suggestions

Can't get enough red velvet? Try this red velvet cake recipe or red velvet cake pops

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Latest Comment


I would suggest halving the red food colouring and slightly increasing the cocoa powder as a whole bottle of food colouring makes them taste quite synthetic. The topping tastes exactly the same as the Hummingbird bakery red velvet cupcakes though.

Lynn220882 Lynn220882  Posted 03 Feb 2013 9:12 PM

TamishaP54048 TamishaP54048  Posted 25 Aug 2012 7:55 PM

made these today and they were easy and were very red.

julie julie  Posted 21 May 2012 11:33 PM

Easy recipe and very tasty but too crumbly I need something firmer any ideas out there?????

BR51482 BR51482 Posted 08 Feb 2012 3:55 PM

Hello champ01, yes they are best eaten on the day. But they'll easily last 2-3 days, if you store them in an airtight box.

Charlotte - Good Food Charlotte - Good Food Posted 19 Dec 2011 12:43 PM

Only if you increase the quantities of everything else in the frosting I'm afraid! Perhaps you could use the leftover cream cheese for a cheesecake?

Charlotte - Good Food Charlotte - Good Food Posted 19 Dec 2011 12:28 PM

hey! can i use 226g cream cheese? i dont wanna use only 125g and leave the rest in the fridge until it spoils :s get back to me asap! thanks Smile

peiG91454 peiG91454 Posted 18 Dec 2011 2:01 PM

I'm looking forward to trying these out this weekend, but can anyone tell me the shelf live on them? I guess they are best eaten on the day, but do they last a couple of days?

champ01 champ01 Posted 16 Dec 2011 1:14 PM

Hurrah! Glad you both liked it :-)

Charlotte - Good Food Charlotte - Good Food Posted 16 Dec 2011 11:56 AM

This is the second red velvet recipe I've made and this one is defiantly a hit! Loved the moist texture of the cake and the cream cheese frosting was perfect.... A huge fan of this kind of frosting now! Made these as samples and got an instant purchase! Result!!!

MareshaW64771 MareshaW64771 Posted 14 Dec 2011 10:54 PM

I've made this recipe a number of times and it always come out brilliantly you can see mine here: [link] It always seems to make more than 12 so have a few spare cases ready!

StephanieM42478 StephanieM42478 Posted 30 Nov 2011 10:49 AM