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Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 1/3 cups of cake flour
  • 2 tablespoons of Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of buttermilk*
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of distilled white vinegar

Frosting ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 8 oz of Philly cream cheese (1 package), room temperature
  • 2 - 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

*You can make your own buttermilk by adding a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar to milk and letting it stand for about 10 minutes.


The cupcakes

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer for 3 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy.

2 Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is fully incorporated. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing.

3 In a large bowl, sift together the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla extract, and red food coloring.

4 Add a fourth of the dry ingredients and mix, then add a third of the wet. Continue adding in a dry, wet, dry pattern, ending with the dry ingredients.

5 Scoop into cupcake papers, about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Rotate the pan after the first 15 minutes of baking to ensure even baking.

6 Allow to cool for one minute in the pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

The Frosting

1 Beat the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.

2 Add the vanilla extract and mix.

3 Add the powdered sugar, continually taste to get to desired sweetness. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

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Red velvet cupcakes for Loving Day

#tweetyourshabbat is a global movement founded by Carly Pildis, celebrating the struggle and joy of getting Shabbat on the table every week. This is a place for real dinners and real conversations about Jewish life. Join us at Forward in sharing what you’ll be eating and how your feeling this week at #TweetYourShabbat

By Carly Pildis

A scrumptious red velvet cupcake

Loving Day has always been a special day in my household, and when Loving Day falls on Shabbat, it’s really a cause for celebrating with something special. This calls for Red Velvet cupcakes.

What is Loving Day and why does my family embrace celebrating it? Loving Day commemorates the 1967 Supreme Court Case Loving v. Virginia, which struck down the last remaining anti-miscegenation laws in America. The case was brought by Mildred and Richard Loving, two high school sweethearts who wanted something that too many of us take for granted, to be married to the love of their life and live in their hometown.

As a mixed race family, we see Loving Day as an opportunity for gratitude and reflection. Despite the challenges we may face in confronting racism and antisemitism, we are tremendously lucky. We strive to never forget the hard work and sacrifices others made so that we could enjoy a beautiful marriage and a family full of love, laughter, and abundant, radiant joy.

It’s also an opportunity to talk about racism and share this challenging history, including with our very young daughter. Conversations about systemic racism, hatred, and the evils of violent racism are difficult to have with someone who is still afraid of My Little Pony.

We also firmly believe that America forces young Black girls to grow up too soon, and protecting Black girlhood is an anti-racist act. Loving Day provides an opportunity not just for celebration but for conversation, to begin the heartbreaking task of telling our children about anti-Black racism, but framed in victory, hope, love and progress.

The history of Loving Day feels very close to our home and our family. It wasn’t long ago — my father was in college when it happened. It wasn’t far away — the story of the Lovings takes place very close to us physically, in D.C. and Virginia. It’s important to sit with that closeness, because it informs who we are, what we collectively as a nation have achieved and how far we have to go in the fight for racial justice and an America that lives up to its stated ideals. We make the time to celebrate this victory as a family.

When Richard Loving was asked by his lawyer, Bernard Cohen, if he had any words for the judges he said, tell them I love my wife. I love my family too. Happy Loving Day and Shabbat Shalom

How was your week? How are you spending Shabbat? Let us know at #tweetyourshabbat! Everyone is welcome at this table! Come hungry.

Pareve Red Velvet Cupcakes for Loving Day

Filled with cocoa powder, a touch of vinegar and coconuts, this recipe feels like a party. A traditional red velvet cake has buttermilk and cream cheese frosting. Too make it pareve I made vegan buttermilk and topped it with coconut whipped cream, a traditional Southern American flavor that fits the flavor profile perfectly. Pop a few unfrosted in the freezer and you’ll be all set for Juneteenth with one bake.


2 ½ cups flour (not self-rising)
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups oil( I prefer safflower but vegetable will work)
2 extra large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 cup soy milk with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
Store bought coconut whipped cream.
Shredded coconut flakes

Put on some great music. I’ll probably listen to Sam Cooke. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line your muffin tin with cupcake liners

Add soy milk and vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes. While it sits, whisk together flour, cocoa, and salt.

With an electric mixer, whisk oil and sugar and then slowly add eggs. Add food coloring and vanilla. I like mine really red, but you can decide the look you prefer. Add your soy milk and vinegar mixture (hey look! You made vegan buttermilk!) and mix until just combined. Add flour in two batches on low.

Evenly spoon cupcakes into liners and bake until a toothpick comes out clean - 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely and then decorate with coconut whipped cream and coconut flakes. YUM. Feels like a celebration to me!

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Intimidated by baking, assembling, and decorating a homemade red velvet cake for Valentine’s Day? Give cupcakes a try instead!

As you probably know, I have already written about my (now ex-) husband’s family recipe for a gorgeous Red Velvet Cake. But when I noticed that lots of readers were asking questions about how to turn the cake recipe into a cupcake recipe, I decided it was time to give it a try myself!

At first I was going to try a version using less red food coloring than the cake recipe, but at the last minute I decided to stay true to the original. These aren’t pink, they aren’t reddish-brown, they are a dramatic RED, perfect for Valentine’s Day! And in addition to the beautiful color, these little cakes are light, tender, and downright delicious!

There are several different types of red velvet cake. Some are heavier on the chocolate flavor than others, some use less food coloring, and some use beets instead of artificial coloring. This one does not taste like a chocolate cake, although there is a subtle hint of cocoa. The flavor is unique and delicious, and I prefer it to the red velvet cakes that contain more cocoa powder. And as I’ve already mentioned, this cake recipe does not shy away from the food coloring!

Although red velvet cake is definitely a Southern tradition, it’s popularity has never been limited to the South. The recipe I’m going to share today is also called Waldorf-Astoria Cake, and is supposedly based on a red velvet cake that was popular at the New York hotel in the 1920’s. For more on the history of red velvet cake, check out this great New York Times article.

But regardless of where the cake originated, red velvet cakes and cupcakes have become an American tradition that is holding on strong. Whether it’s Christmas, Valentine’s Day, a birthday, or even a wedding day, red velvet is a wonderful way to celebrate!





2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour*

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 oz. red food coloring (two bottles)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

16 oz. cream cheese (2 packages), softened

1/2 cup unsalted butter (one stick), softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.

Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl set aside. In a small bowl, mix food coloring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps set aside.

In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the buttermilk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.

In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda. Yes, it will fizz! Add vinegar mixture to the cake batter and stir well to combine. Using an ice cream scoop, fill cupcake cups with cake batter (they should be 2/3 - 3/4 full). You may not fill all the cups, I ended up with 20 cupcakes. Place muffin tins on the middle rack of a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for approximately 20-22 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Check early and don't overbake!

Cool the cupcakes in their tins on a wire rack for 10 minutes then remove and allow to cool completely before frosting. Frost cupcakes with cream cheese icing (recipe below) and decorate with red sprinkles if desired. The cupcakes above were decorated using the Wilton Cupcake Decorating Kit and Valentine's Sprinkles. They can usually be found at craft stores like Michaels or Joann.

Notes: *Sift cake flour once before measuring, then sift again with the other dry ingredients per recipe instructions. Wear an apron and be careful with the red food coloring-- no matter how hard I try, I always end up staining something! As you're mixing the cake batter, use a spatula to scrape down the bowl frequently throughout the entire process. Since the batter is fairly thick, I have found that an old-fashioned ice cream scoop works best for filling the cupcake wells (also great for muffin batter!). Since all ovens are different, make sure you check the cupcakes a little early. Mine were ready in just over 2o minutes, yours may be done sooner, or they may take a minute or two longer.

With an electric mixer, blend together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Turn mixer to low speed and blend in powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Turn mixer on high and beat until light and fluffy. Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, until ready to use. If refrigerated, the frosting will need to be brought to room temperature before using (after frosting softens up, beat with mixer unttil smooth).

Notes: If you prefer a sweeter and/or stiffer frosting, more powdered sugar can be added (up to four cups). But remember, the more sugar you add, the less you'll be able to taste the tangy cream cheese!

Recipe Summary

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons white vinegar
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter and flour two 9x2-inch cake pans.

Sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

Whisk eggs in a large mixing bowl until yolks are broken. Add oil, buttermilk, sour cream, red food coloring, vanilla extract, and vinegar mix to combine. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing by hand as little as possible so as not to overbeat. If mixing with an electric mixer, add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before removing cakes from pans to cool completely on a wire rack, 20 to 30 minutes more.

Meanwhile, whip cream cheese in a bowl using an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape into a different bowl.

Sift sugar, flour, and salt together in a medium saucepan. Turn heat to medium-high and whisk in milk and vanilla extract slowly until there are no lumps. Cook until it starts to bubble and becomes thick and pudding-like, 7 to 8 minutes. Pour into a mixing bowl and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Whisk chilled mixture using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment for 5 minutes. Add whipped cream cheese slowly, whisking until you have a smooth frosting, about 5 minutes more. Use to frost cooled cake.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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

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.

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.

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.

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

What is Red Velvet, anyway?

Red velvet cake is so much more than just a red cake, though its color is certainly its most famous quality. Red velvet cake recipes are very different now from when it was originally created over a hundred years ago, but they tend to have this common flavor profile— a unique blend of vanilla with a hint of cocoa, and a tasty tang from buttermilk.

Red velvet cakes are also known for their tender “velvet” texture and these cupcakes are no exception. Using vegetable oil keeps them super moist, too.

Tips and Techniques

How to make a frosting swirl on cupcakes? Check out this post on How to Decorate Cupcakes for more information on using Tip 1M.

Liquid food coloring vs. Gel coloring– Either can be used. You will need to use a lot of liquid red food coloring to get the most vibrant red color. Gel food coloring is more concentrated than liquid food coloring and a little amount goes a long way without changing the consistency of the cake batter.

Buttermilk substitute– Make homemade buttermilk by mixing together 1 cup whole milk with 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Mix and then, use in this recipe.

Use cocoa powder– This is unsweetened and not the same as hot cocoa mix and cannot be used interchangeably.

Use unsalted butter– Because that prevents these treats from becoming too salty.

Why did the cupcakes turn all brown? There could be a few reasons for this:

  • Not enough red food coloring was added in the batter.
  • Too much cocoa powder was added in the batter.
  • The cupcakes were baked too long.

Why are my cupcakes raw in the middle? They were not baked long enough. The rule of thumb is to insert a toothpick in the middle of the cupcake and it should come out clean. If it comes out with raw batter, it’s under-baked and needs more time in the oven.

You must use cake flour– Because it creates a delicate lighter crumb texture.

Cake flour substitute- Make it at home by mixing in some cornstarch to regular all-purpose flour. Instructions for this can be found below in the recipe card.

Do not over-mix– Because this makes tough cupcakes and can also cause the batter to collapse and sink while baking.

All ingredients must be at room temperature- Because they blend together smoothly and evenly.

Use baking soda– No baking powder is used in this recipe. Don’t replace one with the other since it would alter the texture.

Prepare the Cupcakes

Line muffin pans with cupcake papers. Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa.

In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream the sugar and butter until light. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well. Slowly beat in about one-third of the flour mixture and about half of the buttermilk until well blended. Beat in another third of the flour mixture and the remaining buttermilk. Slowly beat in the remaining flour mixture.

Beat in the food coloring and vinegar and continue beating until well blended.

Fill lined muffin cups about 2/3 full.

Bake the cupcakes for about 20 to 22 minutes, or until the cakes bounce back when lightly touched with a finger.

Cool on racks before frosting.

Notes on the Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe, Tips and Tricks

If you don’t have cake flour, make your own by sifting together 2 cups all-purpose flour + 1/2 cup corn starch.

Use a mild vegetable oil like soybean or canola.

If using gel food coloring, add just 1/2 tsp as it’s more concentrated than the liquid food coloring.

Don’t over-mix the batter. This will lead to dense and heavy cupcakes.

After adding the baking soda and vinegar, work quickly to transfer the batter into the pans and then into the oven. Don’t let the batter sit too long or the cupcakes will deflate.

This recipe is generous and there will be some leftover batter. Resist the urge to fill-up the cups as they will overflow during baking. Fill the cups just two-thirds full.

The secret to moist Red Velvet Cupcakes is to not over-bake them 20 minutes is all it takes. Also, as soon as they are cool enough to handle, remove the cupcakes from the pan so they don’t continue baking.

Refrigerate any remaining cupcakes in an air-tight container and enjoy within the week. Red Velvet Cupcakes can also be frozen for up to 2 months.

If you enjoy this Red Velvet Cupcakes recipe, you may also like:

Red Velvet Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe:

Homemade Red velvet cupcake recipes are just nummy rich chocolate cupcake recipes with a LOT of red food dye. If you are or loved ones are sensitive to red food dye just omit the dye and you still have a delicious chocolate cupcake your family will love.

Words of caution with this recipe:

This is a very simple recipe. But over mixing it will cause the chocolate cupcake to get too dense.

I over mixed my ingredients. Be warned.

My brand new KitchenAid stand mixer is beautiful and I love it. But it is really easy to flip the mixing switch on and walk away while you are getting the next step ready to go.

Stand mixers can easily over mix cupcakes.

I have perfected the art of making cupcakes with my electric hand mixer. The electric hand mixer is easier to use without over mixing since it requires you to stand there and hold it while you are mixing the ingredients.

Red velvet ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • All purpose flour
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter, softened
  • Granulated sugar
  • Egg (room temperature)
  • Buttermilk, room temperature (make your own using regular milk plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar and let stand 5-10 minutes)
  • Red gel paste color (see affiliate link in the recipe for the exact brand that I used)
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Baking soda
  • Cream cheese, softened
  • Powdered sugar