One red velvet cupcake with buttercream icing piped on the top

Red velvet cupcakes

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(19 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 15 mins


Serves 12

Bake a batch of red velvet cupcakes as a treat. With chocolate sponge and a cream cheese topping, they're perfect for elevenses served with a cuppa

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal339
  • fat17g
  • saturates8g
  • carbs42g
  • sugars32g
  • fibre1g
  • protein3g
  • salt0.59g
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  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 50g butter, softened



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 100ml buttermilk or kefir
    Buttermilk pancake mixture in bowl with whisk



    There are two types of buttermilk. Traditional buttermilk is a thin, cloudy, slightly tart but…

  • 50ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp red gel food colouring

For the cream cheese icing

  • 100g slightly salted butter, softened



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 225g icing sugar
  • 100g full fat cream cheese, stirred to loosen


  1. Line a cupcake tin with 12 cupcake cases and set aside. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Sieve the flour, cocoa, bicarb and a pinch of fine salt into a medium bowl and mix to combine. 

  2. Using a stand mixer or an electric hand whisk, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg, vanilla, buttermilk, oil and vinegar until combined. Gradually mix the wet ingredients into the dried. Once combined, mix in the red food colouring until you have a deep red mix – the colour may vary depending on what brand you use. 

  3. Divide the batter between the cupcake cases and bake for 15 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of a cake comes out clean. 

  4. While the cakes are cooling, make the icing. Beat together the butter and icing sugar using an electric whisk or by hand until pale and fluffy, about 3 mins, then beat in the cream cheese for a further 1-2 mins until well combined.

  5. Once the cakes are cool, use a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle to cover the cakes with the cream cheese icing, or dollop the icing on top using a spoon. 

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Comments, questions and tips

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mya ellison's picture
mya ellison
26th Jun, 2020
When reading the ingredients I knew something was off, but continued anyways. Once I tried one, it was so dense and an awful texture. Wrong idea to add plain flour!!!!
17th Jun, 2020
15 minutes is nowhere near enough time. They ended up taking double that. Delicious when finished though.
Laura Natalie's picture
Laura Natalie
23rd Feb, 2020
The bake is too bland tasting
lauren28052007's picture
22nd Nov, 2019
Absolutely delicious!
Seraphina Gulamy's picture
Seraphina Gulamy
8th Feb, 2020
do you have to use white wine vinegar and if so what difference does it make? :D
CassieBest's picture
10th Feb, 2020
Hi Seraphina, Thanks for your question. The vinegar creates a chemical reaction with the bicarbonate of soda, making the cakes rise. You could use another neutral or mildly flavoured vinegar (such as cider vinegar) for the same results. Cassie (Senior Food Editor, BBC Good Food)
Haanim Sulaiman's picture
Haanim Sulaiman
30th May, 2020
Add baking powder to let it rise more
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