Red velvet cupcakes recipe

(3268 ratings)

Red velvet cupcakes from the Hummingbird Bakery have deep red sponge with a delicious cream cheese frosting.

Red velvet cupcakes
  • healthy
Preparation Time10 mins
Cooking Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories304 Kcal15%
Sugar39.2 g44%
Fat11.1 g16%
Saturated Fat6.8 g34%
Protein3 g6%
Carbohydrates48.3 g19%

These moist red velvet cupcakes are packed with a rich chocolate flavour and coloured with a vibrant red food colouring paste. 

The Humming Bakery’s red velvet cupcakes are easy to recreate at home thanks to this simple seven-step recipe. This recipe makes 12 mouth-watering red velvet cupcakes. Each cupcake is topped with a homemade cream cheese frosting made simply with icing sugar, butter, and cream cheese. Dust with cocoa powder before serving.


  • 60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 10g cocoa powder
  • 20ml red food colouring (we recommend Dr. Oetker's or a paste colouring as red food colourings vary in strength)
  • ½tsp vanilla extract
  • 120ml buttermilk
  • 150g plain flour
  • ½tsp salt
  • ½tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1½tsp white wine vinegar
  • 300g icing sugar, sifted
  • 50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 125g cream cheese, cold
  • 12-hole cupcake tray, lined with large cupcake cases




  1. To make this cupcake recipe, preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.
  2. Put the butter and the sugar in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and well mixed. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk. Beat until well mixed, then add half the flour, and beat until everything is well incorporated.
  4. Repeat this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added. Scrape down the side of the bowl again. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until you have a smooth, even mixture. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 mins, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  6. Meanwhile for the cream cheese frosting: Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 mins. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.
  7. When the cupcakes are cold, spoon over the cream cheese frosting on top.

Top tips for making red velvet cupcakes

Make sure the red velvet cupcakes have completely cooled before adding the icing otherwise the cream cheese frosting (opens in new tab) will melt, separate, and eventually fall off the cupcakes.

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Jessica Dady
Jessica Dady

Jessica Dady is Senior Content Editor at and has over 10 years of experience as a digital journalist, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the best food hampers to cookbooks, from the best cake stands to baking sets, Jessica has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to must-have food products. A passionate baker, she spends much of her time creating celebration cakes for friends and family - particularly for her two lucky children.