Red Velvet Cupcakes

There’s been a crazy rage over Red Velvet cupcakes. Almost every cupcake store or cake shops will sell red velvet cupcakes / cakes.

I caught onto this frenzy about 8 months ago when I saw beautiful red velvet cupcakes on the browneyed baker’s website. The colour was so rich & all the comments/reviews about the cupcake were just brilliant.

I went ahead and tried out her recipe (which was adapted from Hummingbird bakery), with one complaint; the frosting was so runny and overly sweet.

I purchased the hummingbird bakery cupcakes & muffins book last year (just so I could have the book for myself). I’ve since edited the cream cheese frosting to the consistency that I like. It’s much firmer and doesn’t have that overwhelmingly sweet taste from the icing sugar.

Another thing that I modified was the amount of red food colouring to the recipe. It disgusts me that I use almost a whole bottle of red food colouring just for one batch of 12 cupcakes. I halve the amount of red colouring to 1 tbsp, and increase the amount of vanilla extract (afterall, vanilla tastes so good). I’ve tried the recipe with the full amount of red colouring  & with half & while the redness definitely differs, the cake tastes just as good.

I’ve heard that the chemical reaction between the white vinegar and the cocoa powder (not dutch processed) will also produce a natural red colour (albeit not as vibrant as with colouring). I’m gonna start exprerimenting with beet colours to see what I can get out of it.

Overall, I’d recommend this recipe. It’s simple to make & you can hardly go wrong with it.

This batch was made for an order & for a friend’s birthday. I only managed to keep one to photograph. Don’t you just love that vibrant red hue?

Red Velvet cupcakes (Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery cupcakes & muffins)

Makes 12 regular cupcakes


  • 60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp red food colouring
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 120ml buttermilk (I just use normal milk)
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp white vinegar

Cream cheese Frosting: (note this is my recipe)

  • 250g Philidelphia Cream cheese
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 4-6 chinese tbsp of Icing sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 170 ℃. Put butter and sugar in a freestanding mixer with paddle attachment and beat on medium speed till light and fluffy. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together cocoa, red colouring and vanilla extract to make a thick, dark paste. Add to butter mixture and mix throughly combined and coloured. Turn mixer down to slow and pour in half buttermilk. Beat until well mixed, then add half the flour and mix until well incorporated. Repeat the process until all the buttermilk & flour have been added. (what I do is I fold it manually. That way I don’t over beat it).
  3. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add baking soda and vinegar. Turn up to high speed and beat for a couple more minutes
  4. Spoon the mixture into paper cases until two-thirds full and bake for 20-25 minutes


  1. Cut the butter and cream cheese into cubes and beat until light and fluffy. (in an electric mixer)
  2. Gradually add in icing sugar on low speed.
  3. Once all incorporated, beat on high for about 5 minutes (or until the consistency you like)
  4. Do not over beat or it will become runny.

That’s all for now! Hope you enjoy this red velvet recipe. Let me know how it turns out for you :)




P.S. I kinda think that the top right photo looks like the land of the rising sun


1 comment
  1. Malin said:

    This was my first second rendez vous with the red velvet cupcake: I tasted it, got the hummingbird bakery book, and made them for myself! :) I also decreased the amount of colouring – but a little too much… They didn´t turn out as vibrant and lovely as yours! (I also wanna start experimenting with beets, blueberries and whatever I can, cause actually I don´t really care for unnatural colouring. Apart from red velvet cupcakes ;)

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