Sweet Annie’s Red Velvet Cupcakes

By Annie Steinbrink

What’s more perfect for the upcoming Valentine’s Day than having some delicious red velvet cupcakes? Red velvet cupcakes get their name from their fire engine red color. A basic red velvet cupcake is a rich buttermilk cake that has a hint of cocoa and a generous dose of red food coloring. FYI: it is a major baking faux pas to have them topped with anything else other than cream cheese frosting.

Being the obsessive dessert lover that I am, I have traveled all over to find the best red velvet cupcake. While the red velvet cupcakes at Georgetown Cupcake and Baked By Melissa are quite good, I have to say that the winner is Di Bruno Bros., a gourmet food store in the Italian Market. Their red velvet cupcake is fluffy with that soft crumb that melts in your mouth, accompanied by a huge helping of tangy cream cheese frosting.

Although you could go to any of the places listed above for an amazing red velvet cupcake, I will share with you MY famous recipe for an equally as delicious one.

And, if you are bored of the traditional red velvet cupcake, try my recipe below for some red velvet cake pops!



3 ¼ cups all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

12 TBSP unsalted butter

1 ¾ cups sugar

2 large eggs

4 TBSP red food coloring

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 ½ TBSP cocoa powder

1 ½ cups buttermilk

1 ½ tsp baking soda

1 ½ tsp apple cider vinegar

FOR THE CUPCAKES                                MAKES 12 CUPCAKES

  1.    Preheat oven to 350° and line cupcake pan with paper baking cups.
  2.   Sift together flour and salt and set aside.
  3.   In mixer cream together the butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  4.   Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition
  5.   Whisk together red food coloring, vanilla and cocoa powder. Slowly add this to the mixer bowl, mixing slowly until well incorporated.
  6.   Add one third of the flour, followed by one third of the milk and mix. Repeat. Scrape sides of bowl. Add the last third of the flour, followed by the last third of milk and mix until incorporated.
  7.   In small bowl, add the baking soda to the apple cider vinegar. Mix thoroughly and add this to the batter. Mix until well incorporated.
  8.   Scoop batter into cupcake pan about two-thirds full. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes (start checking at 15 minutes) or until toothpick comes out clean.


4 TBSP unsalted butter

3 cups confectioners sugar (sifted)

½ vanilla extract

8 oz cream cheese


  1.    Place all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment
  2.   Beat until well combined. Be sure to beat on high speed for at least 2 minutes to ensure that the frosting is light and fluffy.  


  1. Use same cake recipe above
  2. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes in a cake pan (time may vary depending on size of pan)
  3. Once cooled, crumble cake into a medium size bowl and add 1 cup cream cheese icing to mixture (recipe above). Mix until creamy.
  4. Roll mixture into 1 inch round balls and place on parchment paper. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.  
  5. Melt 1 cup milk or white chocolate.
  6. With a fork sprinkle chocolate over the cake pops.


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