Valentines red velvet cupcakes

These red velvet cupcakes are a super moist Valentine’s Day must. They are super easy to make and they are topped with a creamy and decadent cream cheese frosting. Let me tell you that I worked like a crazy person to perfect these and finally I nailed it! The cake itself is so fluffy and moist and the cream cheese frosting is the creamiest I have tried yet. There was a lot of trial and error with the frosting but I finally cracked the code. I added more cream cheese than butter and that made it more stable, therefore I didn’t have to add too much icing sugar. I also added some lemon juice and lemon zest to balance the sweetness even more. If this is not the perfect gift for your partner on valentine’s day I don’t know what is!


Tips for the red velvet cupcakes

-Rest the cake batter: If you can, I advise you to rest the batter in the fridge so that the gluten can relax and the flavour can melt together.

-Measure the batter: I tend to place my cupcake tin on the scales and measure the cupcakes at 60g each as I want them to be uniform. You can also use a dosing scoop to measure the cake batter.

-Sieve the icing sugar for your frosting: Ok I know there is nothing more annoying in the kitchen than sieving icing sugar or cocoa powder but it is the only way to ensure that your frosting is smooth. 


Ingredients for the red velvet cupcakes

Buttermilk: Buttermilk is one of my favourite ingredients for baking as it makes the cupcakes super fluffy and tender.

Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider helps to activate the baking soda and makes the cupcakes super tender and fluffy.

Rapeseed oil: I tend to use rapeseed oil for most of my oil-based batters, but you can use any neutral oil.

Red gel colour: Red gel colour is ideal as it doesn’t add extra water to the batter. You can use another type of edible colour but bare in mind that I haven’t tested that.

Unsalted butter: Make sure to use unsalted room temperature butter for both frosting and cake batter.

Full fat cream cheese: Full fat cream cheese is ideal as the light version contains high water content that would make the frosting too watery.



For the red velvet cupcakes (makes 9-10 cupcakes)

  • 35g unsalted softened butter
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 125g buttermilk
  • 3g apple cider vinegar
  • 2g Red gel colour
  • 25ml rapeseed oil
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 140g cake flour
  • 4g baking soda
  • Big pinch of salt
  • 5g cocoa powder



For the cream cheese frosting

  • 540g full-fat cream cheese
  • 180g unsalted softened butter
  • 210g icing sugar
  • 8g lemon juice
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

How to make the red velvet cupcakes

  1. In a standing mixer with a paddle attached, place the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and mix on low to incorporate the ingredients. You can also do this process in a large bowl (*see Notes).
  2. In a separate bowl incorporate buttermilk, oil, vanilla and red food colour and set aside.
  3. Add cubed softened butter into the mixer and mix on low until you achieve sand-like consistency and no lumps of butter remain (around 10 minutes).
  4. Crack the egg into a small jug (you can also crack it straight in the bowl if you are confident in your cracking skills) and add it to the batter along with the oil/ buttermilk/colour mixture.
  5. Mix on low speed until everything is incorporated, then stop the mixer and scrape down to ensure no dry ingredients have stuck to the sides of the bowl or paddle.
  6. Mix the batter on low speed for a further minute until fluffy and smooth. Scrape down again and add the vinegar. Beat the batter again for 30 seconds or until the vinegar is thoroughly incorporated.
  7. Place the cake batter in an airtight container and rest in the fridge for 1-2 hours(*see Notes).
  8. Preheat the oven at 160°C/fan.
  9. Place 10 cupcake liners to your muffin tray. Scoop the cake batter into the cases filling 1/2 of the way full. You can also place the muffin tray on top of your kitchen scales and weight 55-60g of batter for each cupcake to make them all even.
  10. Bake for 20-21 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when gently pressed and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  11. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

How to make the cream cheese frosting

  1. In a large bowl using a handheld or a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment place the softened butter and beat for 2 minutes until fluffy and soft.
  2. Sieve the icing sugar, add it to the bowl and beat on low for 1 minute. Switch to high speed and beat for a further 3-5 minutes or until the icing sugar is completely incorporated.
  3. Add the cream cheese, vanilla, lemon juice and zest and beat until everything is incorporated. DO NOT OVERMIX!
  4. Place the frosting in a piping bag with a round number 12tip. Frost the cooled cupcakes immediately before serving. You can store the frosting in the fridge if you do not want to frost them immediately (*see Notes).
  5. Cupcakes are best served on the same day, but you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  6. Enjoy 🙂


  • You can make this cake batter in a large bowl if you prefer. Simply use your fingertips to incorporate the butter with the dry ingredients and follow the rest of the steps as above.
  • As I mentioned, I prefer to rest my batter for a couple of hours so that the gluten can relax and the flavours can melt together. You can skip this step, and bake them straight away.
  • If you want to ice your cupcakes later or the next day, simply place your frosting in a container and beat slightly using a handheld or standing mixer when needed.

Meringue kisses,

Athina xx






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