Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe

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I’ll be honest, I once thought red velvet cake was simply chocolate cake that they put red food coloring in. I just didn’t “get” what was so special about it. Then I tried it. REAL red velvet is fantastic, and very different than what I had tried at the local bakery that claimed to be red velvet. That is why I have a recipe for Red Velvet Cupcakes in my basic recipe section for you.

red velvet cupcakes article cover image

Red Velvet Cupcakes

The distinct flavors of red velvet cake come from the buttermilk, vinegar, cocoa powder, and cream cheese frosting. Some red velvet cake recipes use only a tablespoon or two of cocoa powder, giving virtually no chocolate flavor. This leads some people to think that red velvet cake is simply a white cake dyed red.

Why are Red Velvet treats so expensive?

Possibly because it has the word velvet in it. Though the frosting does typically contain cream cheese, which could make the frosting more expensive, hence making the cake more expensive. Most red velvet cake is just chocolate cake died red with cream cheese frosting, like I had encountered myself.

Supposedly, Red #40 is edible and safe, but research has shown that it does increase hyperactivity in some children, and at concentrations as high as those found in Red Velvet cake, I would question how safe it really is. My recommendation would be to opt for chocolate or vanilla flavors when you need a cake fix.

Why is my red velvet not red?

It’s not really a chocolate cake despite having cocoa in it, it’s sort of vanilla with a bit of cocoa. Chocolate cake is much nicer. Proper red velvet cake is made with white vinegar which reacts with the chocolate to give it it’s red color, not food coloring. The velvet is a reference to the velvety smooth texture of it.

Why does red velvet taste different?

Red velvet cake has an acidic taste that comes from the use of buttermilk and vinegar as well as the cream cheese in the frosting. The acidity is balanced out by the sweetness of the cake itself. It also has cocoa powder added to it for a mild chocolate flavoring. My recipe will bypass that vinegar and buttermilk with the use of red velvet extract.

LorAnn’s Red Velvet Bakery Emulsion adds the rich taste and color of classic red velvet cake in one easy step! Perfectly blended to give your favorite red velvet recipe an irresistible flavor and lush red color. Directions: To color and flavor your favorite red velvet recipe: For each 8 or 9-inch cake or 12 cupcakes, mix 1 tablespoon LorAnn Red Velvet Flavor to prepared batter and blend well (no additional coloring needed). That eliminates that heavy dose of red food coloring while it simplifies your recipe.

Let’s get cooking!

You will need:

2½ cups flour
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ cup butter, soft, plus 4 tbsp.
¼ cup softened shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 TBSP Red Velvet extract
1 cup milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line cupcake tins with paper liners.
Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt all together.
Mix the dry ingredients with a wire whisk for 3 minutes.
In a separate bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter, shortening and sugar until it is light and creamy.
Add the egg, vanilla, and red velvet extract.
Mix well.
Add flour mix and milk, 1/2 portion of each at a time, mix until completely combined.
Spoon the batter into the lined cupcake tins until 2/3’s filled.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes
Remove from cupcake tins to a wire rack until totally cooled.

red velvet cupcakes decorated and ready to eat