Red velvet cupcakes are easier than you think

Today, I give you my favourite cupcakes recipe – I am almost done with Whole30 and let me just say, I want red velvet and cheese frosting!!!

Red velvet cake in any format is for some reason or another considered difficult but it is in fact one of the easier recipes. Think of it as the fancier sister of a sponge cake. And if you don’t fancy adding in the red food colouring (I don’t usually to be honest), you have the best cocoa velvet cupcakes ever.

The recipe makes approx. 20 cupcakes. I am using grams as a measure where possible because my scales are more accurate than my measuring skills by cups.

The cake ingredients:

150g cake flour (substitute: 120g plain flour + 30g cornstarch)

10g cocoa powder

200g granulated sugar

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

60g room temperature unsalted butter

1 large egg

60ml sunflower oil

1 tsp red food colouring

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp white (distilled) vinegar

160ml buttermilk (substitute: 150ml full fat milk + 10ml white vinegar, mix and stand for 10 minutes)


The icing:

100g room temperature unsalted butter

200g pack cream cheese

240g icing sugar

1tsp vanilla extract

How to:

Preheat the oven to 175°C, line two cupcake trays – the second tray will only need 8 liners.

In a stand mixer bowl with a paddle attachment (or a large bowl + electric mixer) cream together the butter and sugar until light in colour (around 4 minutes).

While the butter is creaming, in a separate bowl mix together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt, then sift once to get rid of any cocoa lumps.

Once the butter and sugar are creamed, add egg and continue mixing until fully combined. Then add the oil, food colouring, vanilla extract and the vinegar. It’s fine to stop and scrape the sides frequently.

Mix in the dry ingredients and buttermilk by adding the ½ of the dry ingredients first, mixing lightly, then adding the buttermilk, mixing again and finally adding in the remainder of the dry ingredients and mixing until combined. Don’t overmix though – you want things to be combined but not overwhipped.

Spoon the batter into lined cupcake trays, filling them not more than 2/3 of the way – they raise quite well in the over. Bake in separate batches – the second tray won’t be full. If you are using just one 12-hole tray, allow it to cool down in between baking the two batches to avid the second batch being drier.

Transfer the baked cupcakes out of the tray onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.



Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the butter, mix for another 30 seconds or so until combined with the cheese and smooth and then add the sugar and vanilla extract – continue mixing until fully combined, it’s fine to stop and scrape the sides of the bowl as you go.

Once the cupcakes are cool, pipe the frosting and decorate as desired. I don’t have anything to pipe the frosting with, so I just use a palette knife.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge, freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in a fridge for best results, never microwave-thaw.


Enjoy mindfully – it’s hard to stop at just one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.