Red Velvet Cupcakes

A couple of friends requested that I make red velvet cupcakes for the Super Bowl. I was a little unsure if I should attempt this because 1) I’ve never made a red velvet cake or cupcake and 2) I’ve only had red velvet anything once. So, off to the web I went until I found a recipe from the Young Idealistic Baker, who bases her red velvet cupcakes off of a recipe from the Magnolia Bakery in NYC (one of my absolute FAVORITE places). Thankfully, my cupcakes and their cream cheese frosting were a hit!

The amount of red food coloring (an entire! 1-ounce bottle) disgusted me. I tried to make the cupcakes with organic ingredients whenever possible and will absolutely look into a natural food coloring for next time. They looked great, but knowing what gave them such a rich flavor was disenchanting.

Magnolia Bakery-esque Red Velvet Cupcakes

yields 12


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp baking cocoa
  • 2 Tbsp red food coloring (that’s equal to 1 whole 1 ounce bottle, folks)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cake flour*
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

*In place of cake flour, I used a substitute I found at’s Frugal Living which called for all-purpose flour and 2 Tbsp corn starch. Simply put the 2 Tbsp of corn starch in a 1 cup measuring cup and then fill the rest of the cup with the all-purpose flour. One cup of substitute is equal to one cup of cake flour.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Yields enough to frost 12 cupcakes

frosting step 1


  • 1 8-oz block of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup of butter, softened
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

If you want to decorate the cupcakes with this frosting, put it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes so it doesn’t get too soft.

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