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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.
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