Bakery Style Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

The Scoop:

What a couple of weeks!  I need to download highlights so humour me.

Best husband ever surprised me with a new car last week completely out of the blue, I  know right.  So we  road tripped it down to a big Bastard family wedding last weekend in my new whip, hence no post until now.  The wedding was historical, so was the tequila consumption.  Who knew after all this time of me hating the stuff because I drank way too much of it in my early twenties, tequila and I could re-unite for an epic come back – most fun I have had, probably since my life.  Theme of the week upon our return = Detox!

Big up to Holmes for finally ditching Cruise.  What took you so long??   Old news I know…. moving on.

Roger Federer is the King of tennis, The End.

Our good family friends celebrated a 21st birthday yesterday (too much fun!) and I baked for the occasion .  And after having not baked for two weeks, I almost forgot how much I love it, times thousands and millions.  It’s good to be back!

I have decided I am growing my hair again.  It’s been fun while it lasted.  I have also decided I am going back to gym tomorrow, for realz.  Enough is enough – I think.

Onto these Bakery Style Red Velvet cupcakes. I learnt the hard way that the key to successfully baking perfect bakery style red velvets is - stick to the recipe!  And these really are perfectly delicious and beautiful.  So I don’t have the link to the site where I originally found this recipe quite some time ago, which I have since adapted, but I do remember when I found it, the reference was to Magnolia Bakeries red velvet cupcake recipe (whether true or false, who knows but this recipe is delish none-the-less).  In fact, these are by far my most popular by order.

Bakery Style Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (makes 24)


2 ½ cups all purpose flour

½ t baking powder

1 ½ cups white sugar

1 cup unsalted butter

3 whole large eggs

4 T good quality cocoa

5 T red food coloring (water based) or 2 t concentrated red food coloring gel

¾ cup hot water

1 t vanilla essence

¾ cup buttermilk

½ t salt

1 t baking soda

1 ½ t white vinegar (I used grape)


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C and line tray with paper cups.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, sieve together the flour and baking powder and whisk to mix then set aside.
  3. With an electric mixer on a medium speed, cream together the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time to the butter mixture and beat well after each addition.
  5. In a small measuring jug or bowl using a fork, mix together the cocoa, food coloring, vanilla essence and hot water until smooth.  Then, add this to the butter mixture and combine well on a low to medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Mix the salt and the buttermilk together in a small bowl or jug.  Now, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the red cake mixture in 3 parts, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Combine with the electric mixer after each addition but do not overmix.
  7. Combine the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl or cup.
  8. Add this to the cake mixture and combine well on a medium speed for about 10 seconds.
  9. Remove the bowl from the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl and ensure even combination of ingredients by hand with a spatula or wooden spoon (do not overmix at this point).
  10. Evenly distribute the batter into the paper cups ensuring not to fill them more 2/3 full (recommend filling half only to allow space to rise).
  11. Bake for approximately 15 to 17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  12. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the trays for about 10 minutes until transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting Ingredients:

400g good quality, firm cream cheese

¾ cup white butter

2 cups powdered sugar


  1. Cut the cream cheese and butter into blocks, add to a bowl and cream well with an electric mixer.  (Note – ensure the cream cheese and butter are at room temperature)
  2. Add the powdered sugar in small amounts, combining well after each addition.
  3. Decorate cupcakes as desired.


  • It is important to use a good quality, firm cream cheese.  If you use a soft cream cheese, your frosting will not hold and could split
  • You can use regular yellow butter, but then I suggest beating it separately to the cream cheese in order to get it white as this takes time
  • Some recipes for red velvet call for less cocoa and more food coloring.  This results in less of a chocolate flavour which to me is not true red velvet.  I like my red velvets to be rich and chocolaty.  The above measurement results in a perfect, dark red colored cupcake which is rich and delicious and the cake texture is really velvety like it should be.
  • Lastly, and importantly – do not overfill your paper cups, the reason for this is the baking soda/vinegar mixture reacts when baking and can cause the cupcakes to run over if they are over filled.  Good luck!!

Until next time…


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