Chef John's Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe -
Chef John's Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe
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Chef John's Red Velvet Cupcakes
See how to make a classic chocolate cake in delicious cupcake form. See more
  • READY IN 1 hr

Chef John's Red Velvet Cupcakes

Recipe by  

"Who doesn't love a nice red velvet cake in cupcake form? They're moist, not too sweet, and they've got a gorgeous color. Serve these spread with cream cheese frosting."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 dozen cupcakes Change Servings
  • PREP

    20 mins
  • COOK

    20 mins

    1 hr


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl until combined.
  3. Place butter and sugar into the work bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Scrape down attachment and bowl. Add eggs into butter-sugar mixture, one at a time, mixing the first egg in thoroughly before adding the second. Scrape down sides of bowl as you work.
  4. Beat buttermilk and vinegar into moist ingredients, followed by vanilla extract and red food coloring. Mix until color is even.
  5. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and gently whisk by hand until batter is smooth. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling them about 3/4 full.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let sit in the pan for 10 minutes; remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely on a cooling rack before frosting. Unwrap cupcakes before frosting.
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  • Cook's Note:
  • I like to dust frosted cupcakes with a little bit of cocoa powder, just to make them look even cooler.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Oct 15, 2013

Delicious! Beautiful red color. I didn't have any buttermilk, so I used 3/4 C milk and 3/4 t lemon juice and let stand for 10 minutes to make sour milk. These were a tad--just a tad--dry to me. Hence, the four stars. But (huzzah!) I got more than just a dozen cupcakes out of this recipe. I made 1 dozen regular sized cupcakes and another half dozen mini cupcakes. So, not many over the mark, but just enough to make us extra happy. :) Great recipe! It's scrumptious.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Dec 30, 2013

I'm not a fan of red velvet to begin with, after reading reviews I thought I would give it a try& I'm not impressed. It's not vanilla and its not chocolate, it really has no taste at all. Yes, its a light flavour, but why consume so much red dye and have nothing to show/taste for it.


16 Ratings

Nov 23, 2013

This was delicious. I can't remember if I doubled or tripled the recipe (which, I now realize was a horrible plan as things never mix well when you have too much of it). I ended up working it in batches, and it turned out wonderful and moist. Best red velvet recipe yet!

Feb 05, 2014

these cupcakes were good, but not exceptional. i made them and tried one. it was good, but not as sweet as a cupcake should be. it was still better than box mix though. i gave one to my brother and he said it tasted like regular bread. a tip to anyone making any red velvet recipe: use apple cider vinegar instead of regular vinegar. it adds a bit more flavor to the cupcakes. overall, it was okay but just okay. chef john disappointed me. his recipes are usually a lot better.

Feb 18, 2015

I tried many recipes and the cupcakes were not good at all, the red color just vanished. But this recipe is the best! they are really the red velvet deal! moist, tasty, not too sweet they are just perfect.

Jul 27, 2015

I was super disappointed. Kind of dry and not really dry.

Jun 14, 2015

i loved it!! they came out super moist and perfect. :) First time making red velvet, and i am excited!!!

Jan 25, 2015

Excellent, followed the recipe to the letter , very tasty, always moist. Big hit with family and friends.


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  • Calories
  • 171 kcal
  • 9%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 29 g
  • 9%
  • Cholesterol
  • 42 mg
  • 14%
  • Fat
  • 5.1 g
  • 8%
  • Fiber
  • 0.8 g
  • 3%
  • Protein
  • 3.3 g
  • 7%
  • Sodium
  • 219 mg
  • 9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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