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5 from 1 vote

Red Velvet Cupcakes

These cupcakes use buttermilk and bicarbonate of soda to create a light, airy cake that pairs well with cream cheese icing. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate, cupcakes, red velvet
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cooking Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 253kcal


For the cupcakes:

  • 160 ml milk room temperature
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 65 g butter softened
  • 1 egg large
  • 50 ml sunflower oil
  • 5-6 drops gel food colouring red
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200 g plain flour
  • 10 g cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the cream cheese icing:

  • 100 g butter softened
  • 150 g cream cheese
  • 500 g icing sugar sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 175°C. Line a standard 12-hole muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
  • In a jug, mix together the lemon juice and milk and leave to stand for at least 10 minutes whilst we carry on with the recipe. This will be your buttermilk!
  • Then, in a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until it is pale.
  • Add the egg and mix until fully combined.
  • Next, mix in the oil, red food coloring, and vanilla extract.
  • Add the buttermilk, which should now be curdled and lumpy (don’t worry, it will taste great) and mix well.
  • Now fold in the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda, and salt until all of the dry mix is fully incorporated into the wet.
  • Fill your cupcake liners to about half to two-thirds full. You should end up with about 16-18 cupcakes.
  • Bake for around 15-20 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Leave the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack.

Let's make icing!

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth.
  • Add in the icing sugar and vanilla extract and continue mixing until fully combined. Beat for approximately 5 minutes to create a light, airy icing.
  • Adorn each cupcake with a healthy amount of icing in whatever manner you prefer. A piping bag and your favourite nozzle? An offset spatula? Or, maybe, a simple teaspoon. Go crazy with creativity! (This bit is perfect for kids to have a go at!)