Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting



  • 2 ½ cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 ½ cups sugar

  • 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

  • ½ teaspoon red gel-paste food color

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

  • 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

  • Simple Cream-Cheese Frosting


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with 20 paper liners. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.

  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together sugar and butter until combined. Mix in food color and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

  3. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed for 10 seconds.

  4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

  5. To finish, use a small offset spatula to spread cupcakes with frosting. Chill before serving.

    Bryan Gardner
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