Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting are classic red velvet cupcakes topped with a luscious vanilla cream cheese frosting!

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting are classic red velvet cupcakes topped with a luscious vanilla cream cheese frosting!

 

For most people, Valentine’s Day means hearts, flowers, boxes of chocolate, dinner out…but  not for me. 

My husband and I don’t really celebrate V-Day.  To me, it’s the worst day of the year to go out to eat, and I’d rather get cards or flowers on a regular old day, not when Valentine’s Day dictates.

No offense, cupid. πŸ™‚

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

I do love Valentine’s chocolates and treats, however, and I’m a sucker for the hearts and pretty shades of red and pink.  

My idea of the perfect Valentine’s Day is eating a nice meal in and hanging out with my family, and eating a delicious treat — either chocolate or red velvet.  

Or if it’s a perfect day…both. πŸ™‚

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting are classic red velvet cupcakes topped with a luscious vanilla cream cheese frosting!

I didn’t understand the hype of red velvet cake until I tried it about 5 years ago.  I’ve never been on board with baked goods containing artificial color, so it took me a long while to decide that I wanted to try red velvet cake.  

Red is my favorite color, so that helped a little. πŸ™‚

It went against everything I believed in to dump an entire bottle of red food coloring when I made my first batch of cupcakes, but the first bite I took made me an instant red velvet lover.

Red velvet cake isn’t chocolate cake and isn’t vanilla….it’s a hybrid if you will.  Just a little cocoa powder gives it just enough chocolate flavor, yet it still tastes like vanilla.  How is this possible?

 Such is the hype behind red velvet.

I love red velvet so much, that it led me to make more red velvet treats, including Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies and Homemade Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies.  I’m probably not done with red velvet yet this Valentine’s season, so beware. πŸ™‚

There’s no better frosting to top red velvet with than cream cheese.  The tang is perfect with that cocoa-vanilla flavor, and cream cheese frosting is always a personal favorite of mine.  It kicks buttercream straight to the curb in my humble opinion.

So if you’ve not gotten on the red velvet bandwagon, I hope you’ll try these Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting (or brownies or sandwich cookies)!  

Sometimes it’s worth breaking the rules, like using food coloring, and in this case, it’s 100% worth it. πŸ™‚

More red velvet recipes you’ll love!

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cookie Bars

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies

Homemade Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies

 

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 48 minutes
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting are classic red velvet cupcakes topped with a luscious vanilla cream cheese frosting!

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

  • 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 ounce red food coloring*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Valrhona)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

For the Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (optional)

Instructions

Prepare the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 standard cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. Whisk the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar at medium speed for 3-5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. Place the red food coloring, vanilla, and cocoa powder in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add the food coloring mixture slowly to the mixing bowl, mixing on low until well incorporated.
  5. Add 1/3 of the flour, followed by one third of the milk, and mix on low. Repeat, adding the remaining flour and milk in 1/3's, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  6. In a small bowl, add the baking soda to the apple cider vinegar, which will fizz up. Mix thoroughly and add this reaction to the batter. Mix until just incorporated.
  7. Using a standard ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into a cupcake pan so each well is 2/3 full. Bake for 16-18 minutes (check after 15 minutes), or until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool in the pan 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely.

Prepare the frosting:

  1. Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium high speed until smooth. Add the butter, confectioner's sugar, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean paste, if using, and mix on low until incorporated, then on medium high for about 3 minutes, until light and creamy.
  2. Pipe the frosting on the cupcakes when they are completely cool and top with your favorite sprinkles. Store in the refrigerator, but allow the cupcakes to come to room temperature before serving.

Notes

*1 ounce of liquid red food coloring produced a nice darker red cupcake. If you prefer a brighter red, go ahead and use more.

For extra vanilla flavor and little vanilla bean specks, I like to use vanilla bean paste over vanilla beans. There's no scraping seeds and it's much more cost effective!

The cupcake recipe is slightly adapted from Georgetown Cupcakes as seen on Popsugar.

Frosting recipe by Flavor the Moments.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1 cupcake

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 300 Total Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 8g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 49mg Sodium: 211mg Carbohydrates: 43g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 29g Protein: 4g
Nutrition information is meant to be an estimate only. The numbers will vary based on the quantity consumed, brands used and substitutions that are made.