Who doesn't love a nice red velvet cake in cupcake form? They're moist, not too sweet, and they've got a gorgeous color. Serve these spread with cream cheese frosting.

Chef John


Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Dry ingredients:
Wet ingredients:


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

  • Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl until combined.

  • Place butter and sugar into the work bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Scrape down attachment and bowl. Add eggs into butter-sugar mixture, one at a time, mixing the first egg in thoroughly before adding the second. Scrape down sides of bowl as you work.

  • Beat buttermilk and vinegar into moist ingredients, followed by vanilla extract and red food coloring. Mix until color is even.

  • Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and gently whisk by hand until batter is smooth. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling them about 3/4 full.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let sit in the pan for 10 minutes; remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely on a cooling rack before frosting. Unwrap cupcakes before frosting.

Cook's Note:

I like to dust frosted cupcakes with a little bit of cocoa powder, just to make them look even cooler.

Nutrition Facts

171 calories; 5.1 g total fat; 42 mg cholesterol; 219 mg sodium. 29 g carbohydrates; 3.3 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (39)

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59 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 41
  • 4 star values: 9
  • 3 star values: 5
  • 2 star values: 3
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 4 stars
Delicious! Beautiful red color. I didn't have any buttermilk so I used 3/4 C milk and 3/4 t lemon juice and let stand for 10 minutes to make sour milk. These were a tad--just a tad--dry to me. Hence the four stars. But (huzzah!) I got more than just a dozen cupcakes out of this recipe. I made 1 dozen regular sized cupcakes and another half dozen mini cupcakes. So not many over the mark but just enough to make us extra happy.:) Great recipe! It's scrumptious. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
I'm not a fan of red velvet to begin with after reading reviews I thought I would give it a try& I'm not impressed. It's not vanilla and its not chocolate it really has no taste at all. Yes its a light flavour but why consume so much red dye and have nothing to show/taste for it. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was delicious. I can't remember if I doubled or tripled the recipe (which, I now realize was a horrible plan as things never mix well when you have too much of it). I ended up working it in batches, and it turned out wonderful and moist. Best red velvet recipe yet! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I tried many recipes and the cupcakes were not good at all the red color just vanished. But this recipe is the best! they are really the red velvet deal! moist tasty not too sweet they are just perfect. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
these cupcakes were good but not exceptional. i made them and tried one. it was good but not as sweet as a cupcake should be. it was still better than box mix though. i gave one to my brother and he said it tasted like regular bread. a tip to anyone making any red velvet recipe: use apple cider vinegar instead of regular vinegar. it adds a bit more flavor to the cupcakes. overall it was okay but just okay. chef john disappointed me. his recipes are usually a lot better. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I have descovered my passion. Baking. Have tried a few cupcake recipes but this one is now my go to cupcake recipe. So much so that for my wedding i eneded up buying a small cake to have on top and bellow about 80 cupcakes made by me. Most of my guests didn't even know they were home made. They were tastey the right amount of moisture. I have garnished them with a white chocolate frosting. The taste complemented eachother perfectly. THANK YOU for this great recipe. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
i loved it!! they came out super moist and perfect.:) First time making red velvet and i am excited!!! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I made these for Valentine's Day and they were a big hit. Nice and moist. The only change I made was with the food coloring. Since I was using a gel food color I knew that a tablespoon would be too much so added it to the batter a little bit at a time until I got the color I wanted. Would definitely make them again. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
It was just perfect.My not-a-cupcake-fan 8yr old loved it so much. He even made the creamcheese frosting by himself and decorated the cupcake for his red nose day school bake sale. Read More