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4.24 from 43 votes
A Red Velvet Cupcake topped with cream cheese icing piped into a flower design sitting on a white cupcake stand.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
45 mins

Moist and delicious, these red velvet cupcakes are decorated with pretty cream cheese icing flowers. As pretty as they are tasty, this simple piping technique is easier than you think!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: red velvet cupcakes
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Calories: 433 kcal
Red Velvet Cupcakes
  • 4 oz unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp red food coloring
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Icing
  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened (brick cream cheese, not whipped)
  • 8 oz unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 2 lbs confectioners sugar
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • *white pearl sprinkles for garnish (optional)
Red Velvet Cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake liners.

  2. Cream together the butter, oil, and sugar until light and fluffy.

  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition.
  4. Add the food coloring and buttermilk and mix until incorporated.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda.
  6. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  7. Add the vinegar and mix, then the vanilla and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
  8. Using an ice cream scoop, divide the batter between the 24 lined muffin cups.
  9. Bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Icing
  1. Beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes on med/high speed with an electric mixer.

  2. Gradually add in confectioners sugar, mixing well to combine.
  3. Stir in vanilla extract until incorporated.
Decorate the Cupcakes
  1. Divide the icing between the cupcakes and smooth with a knife or offset spatula. Alternatively use a piping bag and decorating tip to pipe a design (see the video for an example). 

  2. Place a few pearl sprinkles in the center of the petals (if piping).

Recipe Notes
  • Don't over-beat the cream cheese and butter. Mix the cream cheese and butter just until smooth, then add the confectioners sugar, followed by the vanilla. 
  • Don't fret if one petal is a little bigger than the next...it's not meant to be perfect. If we're really trying to mimic nature, we know that it's most interesting when each flower is slightly different than the next, like snowflakes. 
  • While a turntable isn't necessary for piping, it's does make it easier to spin the cupcake as you pipe the petals.
  • Round pearl sprinkles make the perfect center for your flower design. Just pop a few in the center, using a toothpick or skewer to nudge together.
  • Frosted cupcakes will keep at room temperature for 2 days or refrigerated for 3-5. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 433 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Cholesterol 66mg22%
Sodium 280mg12%
Potassium 64mg2%
Carbohydrates 59g20%
Sugar 50g56%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 645IU13%
Calcium 38mg4%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.