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Literally. The. Best. Red Velvet Cupcakes

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The moist tender, moist, stunningly red cupcakes with gooey, cream cheese frosting and chocolate covered strawberries on top.

Tender, soft and fluffy red velvet cupcakes with the perfect crumb topped with sweet cream cheese frosting and white chocolate drizzled strawberries for a visual pop! These Red Velvet Cupcakes are literally. the. best!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

The unnecessary additional punctuation 100% needed for emphasis.

These red velvet cupcakes just landed a spot among my top favorite cake recipes. Co-stars on that list include Salted Caramel Pretzel Cake and the beautifully pink Strawberry Rosé Ombre Cake. But these red velvet….awwww shoot.

Pull up a seat because you might get a little light headed savoring all this red velvet cupcake awesomeness.

Red Velvet Cupcakes


fork cutting into red velvet cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Okay, okay….let’s get to the real reason you’re all here. The best red velvet cupcakes are coming right up.

Red Velvet Cupcakes boxed up to go!

What makes this recipe the best? The cake itself is melt in your mouth tender and crazy moist. The cream cheese frosting is a balance of tangy cream cheese, sweet confectioners sugar and sticky, gooey, get-on-every-bite heaven.

If you’re not weak at the knees yet, hang on. On top of that decadent, white frosting sits a white chocolate drizzled strawberry. Like a little cherub napping on a soft and fluffy cloud in heaven.

Red Velvet Cupcakes close up

Having made red/blue velvet a handful of times, I hadn’t quite found a recipe that fit all my requirements. With a little tweaking it’s finally here. This recipe originally appeared on as the original Waldorf Astoria Red Velvet Cake. With a name like the Walfdorf Astoria, I knew it had to be A++.

Fun Fact:  Did you know the Waldorf Astoria’s kitchen is one FULL New York City Block?! It’s gigantic. Due to a few industry hook ups we got a tour one trip to our beloved NYC and it seriously blew my mind. The same guy has been cutting the vegetables for soup for like 20 years.

An extra tablespoon of shortening will ensure you reach top level moist cupcake status. A reduced amount of food dye, because the original amount in the recipe seriously freaked me out.

And of course, this ultra soft, sticky and satisfyingly delish cream cheese frosting to top that seductive red cupcake.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Optional Add Ons

In addition to the eye popping white chocolate covered strawberries, shiny white sprinkles and small white non pariels catch your eye atop these red velvet cupcake. If preparing for company, serve alongside these Sparkling Strawberry Martinis for a grown up, liquid treat.

If hot coffee is your go to cupcake pairing, I recently tried these at home flavored coffee syrups from The Domestic Dietitian and am in love. With fall around the corner, they have me dreaming of oversized sweaters sipping on a homemade PSL. But let’s not rush the last bit of summer. Instead, let’s sit back, relax, and savor each close-your-eyes-for-extra-enjoyment bite of these decant Red Velvet Cupcakes.

Red Velvet Cupcakes overhead close up

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Literally. The. Best. Red Velvet Cupcakes

The moist tender, moist, stunningly red cupcakes with gooey, cream cheese frosting and chocolate covered strawberries on top.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cupcakes for a crowd, red velvet cupcakes, red velvet with cream cheese frosting
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 21 minutes
Assemble: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 6 minutes
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Calories: 354kcal
Author: Lauren


Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 fluid ounce red food coloring
  • 2 heaping tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 ¼ cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese softened but still cool
  • 1 stick unsalted butter softened but still cool, see notes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 4 cup confectioner's sugar


  • 1 pint fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup Ghiradelli white chocolate melts


Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.  Prepare cupcake tins with paper liners.
  • In a standing mixer or mixing bowl with handheld electric mixer, cream shortening, sugar and eggs.
  • In a small bowl, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of buttermilk to cocoa powder.**  Stir to make a paste and add to the mixer on low speed.
  • Add half the buttermilk, then half the flour to the mixing bowl on low speed.  Add salt, then remaining buttercream, then remaining flour.
  • Increase speed to medium-low.  Add vanilla and mix to incorporate, scraping down sides if needed.
  • In a small bowl, add soda to vinegar.  Add to the mixer and incorporate.
  • Bake for 18-21 minutes.  (If using the toothpick method to check doneness, it's ok if there are a few crumbs clinging to the toothpick).

For the Frosting:

  • In a standing mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter on medium speed for 2 minutes until combined.  Scrape down sides and bowl of the bowl half way through.
  • Add vanilla bean paste and mix on medium-low to incorporate.
  • On low speed, add confectioner's sugar one cup at a time.  After the addition of the last cup, raise speed to medium for 20-30 seconds.
  • Transfer frosting to a large piping bag fitted with a large round tip.

For the Strawberries:

  • Wash and dry strawberries.  Line up on parchment paper, baking sheet or cutting board.
  • In a microwave safe bowl, heat chocolate on low stirring every 15 seconds until smooth and melted.
  • Transfer to a small piping bag or plastic bag and cut a small tip off.
  • Drizzle strawberries with melted chocolate.  Let cool before topping the frosted cupcakes.


  • For thicker, sweeter frosting leave out the butter.  If traveling with the cupcakes, refrigerate to stiffen frosting before your journey!
  • In a standard red velvet cake recipe, a paste is made from the food coloring and cocoa.  Because this recipe calls for a reduced amount of food coloring, make a paste using buttermilk.


Calories: 354kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 226mg | Potassium: 106mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 412IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating

Ruth Ridley

Sunday 13th of August 2017

This look and sound like magic!!! YUMMMM

Cait Weingartner

Saturday 12th of August 2017

Red Velvet cake/cupcakes is my favorite, and I must say, these are about the prettiest cupcakes I have ever seen! I'm definitely going to try making a batch of these delicious looking beauties.


Sunday 13th of August 2017

Thank you!! I'll definitely be making them often! They're easy and a little sprinkle does so much for an elegant look!

Patricia @ Grab a Plate

Saturday 12th of August 2017

These really look scrumptious! Red velvet is my husband's favorite, so these will be great as a birthday treat for him :)


Sunday 13th of August 2017

Thank you!


Friday 11th of August 2017

These literally look like the best. Perfectly rich and just a tad over the top-- exactly how red velvet should be. Love :)


Sunday 13th of August 2017

Thank you!! I agree, red velvet should be just a bit over the top!


Friday 11th of August 2017

The cream cheese frosting looks to die for. Saving this to make later. Yum!