You’ll LOVE this moist Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe! It’s perfect any time of the year, plus these red velvet cupcakes are entirely homemade and cost just 70¢ per cupcake to make! 

For more Red Velvet recipes I recommend my Red Velvet Bundt Cake, my Red Velvet Cookies, and my Red Velvet Whoopie Pies.  

Finished recipe with text overlay for Pinterest.

Are you searching for the perfect homemade red velvet cupcakes? Are you finding an overwhelming amount of recipes out there but not sure which one is the best? If you answered yes to both questions, you have come to the right place! 

This Red Velvet Cupcakes recipe I am sharing with you today is the BEST one out there because it is a fantastic recipe from the lovely ladies of DC Cupcakes / Georgetown Cupcake that I slightly adapted. They are tasty and so beautiful! They’re great for Valentine’s Day, Christmas, bake sales, or anytime!

Honestly, I think this Red Velvet Cupcakes recipe is my all-time favorite cupcake recipe because of the cream cheese frosting. It tastes fantastic with the lovely, moist, slightly zingy cake and fluffy cream cheese frosting. Taste aside, these cupcakes are gorgeous, and they’re perfect for any occasion!

Why you need to make this moist, homemade Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe:

  • They blow any store-bought cupcakes out of the water. 
  • They taste just as good, if not better than $3.00+ cupcakes from a bakery
  • They’re perfect for Christmas. I love to package them into cupcake containers for gifting. 
  • My kids and their classes at school live for them on Valentine’s Day!
  • They’re a great cupcake that spans the season and holidays that can be made any time of the year! 
Delicious homemade Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Homemade Red Velvet Cupcakes Questions Answered:

What makes red velvet cupcakes red?

The red comes from red food coloring and the vinegar interacting with other ingredients. The food coloring gives the cupcakes most of their red hue, and the rest is chemistry! The vinegar interacting with the rest of the batter helps bring out the red pigment in the cocoa powder, and it helps enhance the color from the red food coloring. 

What do red velvet cupcakes taste like?

Red velvet cake is a red chocolate cake. The vanilla cream cheese frosting brings a tangy, creamy taste to complement the fluffiness of the cupcakes. 

How long do the cupcakes last?

Store the cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

What is the purpose of vinegar in a red velvet cupcakes recipe?

The vinegar does two things:

  1. It helps the cupcakes have a light and tender crumb.
  2. It helps preserve the reddish color.
A hand holding a delicious homemade red velvet cupcake.

How to make Red Velvet Cupcakes:

  1. First, make the cupcakes preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line the cupcake pans with baking liners. Next, sift together the flour and salt, and set aside. 
  2. Then cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Next, add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition. 
  3. Whisk together the red food coloring, vanilla, and cocoa powder. Now, slowly add this to the mixer bowl until it is well combined. 
  4. Add one-third of the flour, followed by one-third of the milk and mix. Repeat. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the last third of the flour, followed by the last third of the milk, and mix until incorporated.
  5. Next, add the baking soda to the apple cider vinegar and then add it to the batter and mix until combined. 
  6. Fill the liners about ⅔ full with the batter and bake for 16-18 minutes. 

How to make Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. To make the frosting, mix the cream cheese and butter until combined. 
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and beat on high until mixed. Beat on high for the last two minutes 
  3. Finally, frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with sprinkles. 
Red velvet cupcakes on a wire rack.

How Long are these cupcakes good for?

  • SERVE: These can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 hours. After that, they will need to be stored in the refrigerator. 
  • STORE: Keep them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Let the cupcakes sit at room temperature for 45 minutes before serving. 
  • FREEZE: Freeze only the cupcakes and wrap them individually in plastic wrap and then foil, and then place the cupcakes in a freezer-safe bag. They will keep for up to 3 months this way.
  • TO THAW: Thaw the cupcakes at room temperature for about 2 hours. Then, frost and serve the cupcakes. 

Grab the kids because they will LOVE making these Red Velvet Cupcakes with you. My kids love lining the muffin tins with pretty paper liners, helping me scoop the bright red batter into the paper liners, making the frosting, and of course, helping me decorate the cupcakes with pretty sprinkles!


  • Ages 2-3: Have them line muffin tins with paper liners. They can also put sprinkles on top of the cupcakes (if you’re using them). 
  • Ages 4-5: Let them whisk together all of the dry ingredients, unwrap the butter and cream cheese, and help you squeeze the frosting onto the cupcakes. 
  • For Ages 6-8: Teach them how to crack eggs and operate the stand mixer for both the cupcakes and frosting recipes. 
  • Ages 9-11: Supervise them while they prepare the entire recipe. Have them read the whole recipe twice before beginning the recipe. They may need help with the food coloring (because that stuff stains and will not come out!). 
  • Ages 12+: Let them prepare the entire recipe, unsupervised, while you do the happy dance!
1-year-old helping with cream cheese frosting.
My cute little kitchen helper!

How much will the red velvet cupcakes recipe ingredients cost:



NOTE: I calculate the recipe prices by using name brand grocery prices on grocery store websites.  

  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour – $0.67
  • 1 teaspoon salt – $0.01
  • 20 Tablespoons butter – $2.00
  • 1 ¾ cup sugar – $0.42
  • 2 large eggs – $0.20
  • 4 Tablespoons red food coloring (2 ounces) – $5.96
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract – $2.04
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons cocoa powder – $0.25
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk – $0.21
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda – $0.02
  • 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar – $0.01
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar – $1.98
  • 12 ounces cream cheese – $2.94

Cook’s Tools:

  • muffin tins
  • paper liners 
  • mixing bowls
  • whisk
  • stand mixer
  • 4-Tablespoon scoop
  • wire rack
  • large piping bag and large piping tip
Cupcakes with Christmas sprinkles.

Do you enjoy recipes for different holidays? Here are some more recipes we love:

  • Red Velvet Cheesecake – This cake is always a show-stopper for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or even just for family dinner! 
  • Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting – These are great for all of the Christmas parties that you have coming up. They’re easy to make, and the recipe yields 24 cupcakes! 
  • Cannolis – a staple at both Christmas and Easter.
  • Italian Soda – Fun to have an Italian Soda bar at any holiday party.
  • Birthday Rice Krispie Treats – Great for kid’s birthdays, or just chance the sprinkles to fit any holiday. 
  • Coconut Cream Cake – I always make this for Easter and Mother’s Day! 
  • Buttermilk Syrup Recipe – For holiday breakfast and brunch (think Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and Mother’s Day), I ALWAYS have a jar of this syrup our on the buffet. 
  • Shirley Temple Drink – My kids go crazy for these on Christmas, New Year, and Valentine’s Day! 
  • Gingerbread Cheesecake Dip – This is by far my most popular Christmas Recipe! 
  • Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies – These are great for birthdays or any holiday; you just need to change the frosting color and sprinkles accordingly. 
  • Cranberry Bliss Bar Recipe – Everyone loves a good Starbucks copycat recipe. These taste just as good as the original at a fraction of the cost! 
  • Easy Macaroons – These are easy cookies for Christmas and Easter, too. 
  • Kinderpunsch – This is my FAVORITE warm drink for the holidays. I put a pot on weekly during the holidays because it reminds me of European Christmas Markets. 
  • Christmas Ham – No Christmas is complete without this ham with cherry glaze!
  • Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies – These are great for Christmas and Valentine’s Day. 
Recipe collage of best red velvet cupcakes with text overlay for Pinterest.
Bet red velvet cupcakes recipe ready to be served.
4.79 from 14 votes

Georgetown Cupcake Red Velvet Cupcakes

Author From The Cupcakes Diaries by Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne & Katherine Kallinis Berman
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 18 minutes
24 cupcakes
If you love Red Velvet Cake, then you’ll LOVE these Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting! They’re so moist and homemade!


  • two muffin tins
  • paper liners
  • mixing bowls
  • whisk
  • stand mixer
  • 4-Tablespoons scoop
  • wire rack
  • large piping bag
  • large circular piping tip



  • 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 Tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 4 Tablespoons red food coloring 2 ounces, no-taste liquid food color such as McCormick
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons cocoa powder sifted
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk at room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar


  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 8 cups powdered sugar 2 pounds, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces cream cheese at room temperature


  • sprinkles OPTIONAL



  • Move oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 standard cupcake pans with baking liners.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour and salt, set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together at medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the red food coloring, vanilla, and cocoa powder. Slowly add this to the mixer bowl, mixing slowly until well incorporated.
  • Add one-third of the flour, followed by one-third of the milk and mix until combined. Repeat. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the last third of the flour, followed by the last third of the milk and mix until incorporated.
  • In a small bowl, add the baking soda to the apple cider vinegar. You’ll see the baking soda and vinegar fizz up. Mix thoroughly and add this reaction to the batter. Mix until just incorporated.
  • Using a 4 tablespoon scoop, scoop the batter into the prepared cupcake pan (each cupcake well should be about 2/3 full). Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • Place the butter and cream cheese in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and cream for about 2 minutes on medium speed.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and beat until well combined. Be sure to beat on high speed at the very end for about 2 minutes to ensure that the frosting is light and fluffy.


  • Frost the cupcakes as desired (I used my a large circular tip to frost these). Finally, sprinkle with sprinkles (optional).



This recipe makes 24 cupcakes. If needed you can halve the recipe.


Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 425kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 227mg | Potassium: 74mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 55g | Vitamin A: 532IU | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg

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A moist red velvet cupcake.

This post first appeared on FFF during February of 2011. I have since updated the pictures and added a recipe video. 


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Recipe Rating


  1. Joel Anastasio says:

    For the cocoa powder, do you use unsweetened or sweetened cocoa?

  2. Hi,can this recipe be used for cakes?

  3. I made these cupcakes for a Christmas party. They were delicious and absolutely stunning! The only thing I added was, I also filled the cupcake themselves with a creamier version of the icing. This recipe is definitely NOT a pinterest fail.