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. 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. Five minutes of active work never tasted so good. Many red velvet cakes and cupcakes are dry, but I used a trifecta of moistening and tenderizing ingredients to ensure these are soft and moist. The batter makes enough for about 13 or 14 cupcakes. I discussed above the various options for the extra batter – bake a second muffin pan, discard it, or bake a mini loaf. Although I haven’t tried it, I surmise this cupcake batter could be used as cake batter. The vanilla cream cheese frosting adds is the perfect tangy complement to the just-chocolaty-enough cupcakes.So good, so easy, so soft, fluffy, and moist. Perfect for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or just because.



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 or vegetable oil
2 rounded 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 heaping cup cream cheese, softened (I used Trader Joe’s soft spreadable light)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
about 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


  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. Cucpakes – 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. Visit Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting @ for full directions.

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