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Sep 22, 2007 08:29 AM

red velvet cupcake recipe

does anyone have a red velvet recipe that they have tried and love? i would like to en up with a very moist cupcake. and i am looking for one that has cocoa in it. i have tried one that was good, but no cocoa. (isn't RV supposed to have cocoa? maybe i am wrong... if so, please feel free to let me know)

there are quite a few recipes floating around. usually i would just experiment, but i only have time to try this once....and serve them.

thank you in advance


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  1. This recipe worked very well for me.

    Red Velvet Cake

    3 1/2 c. cake flour
    2 1/12 c. sugar
    ½ cup unsweetened cocoa - I used Ghiradelli natural unsweetened cocoa and I think it made a big difference flavor-wise, but it also made the color more brown than I'd expected (but then, I used the beet juice instead of the red dye when I made this, which is probably part of why)
    2 tsp soda
    1 tsp salt
    3 eggs
    2 c Wesson Vegetable oil
    1 ¼ cup buttermilk
    1/2 cup of beet juice or 1/4 cup of red dye
    1 tsp white vinegar
    1 TB vanilla

    Mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another bowl, then mix the two. 350 for 35 – don’t overcook, it should be soft and spongey! Cool and Ice.

    2 sticks butter
    1 cup sugar
    16 oz softened cream cheese
    Mix and spread.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Adrienne

      How many cupcakes does this recipe make? Is that cook time for cupcakes or for a layer cake?

      1. re: kallis33

        My bad, that amount was for one standard big round cake. How many cupcakes it makes depends on your pan... I only have jumbo and mini muffin pans, so it's hard for me to guage how many you'll get... sorry.

        1. re: Adrienne

          This recipe looks delicious. What a great idea to use beet juice instead of the chemically red dye ... will try this next week! Thanks

          1. re: shelbyeileen

            Yeah, it obviously doesn't turn out as red as food coloring, but I felt a lot better about eating it and it gave a nice natural sweetness too, from the beet.

            Let us know how it turns out!

      2. re: Adrienne

        this recipe rocks.
        i still need to frost then I will take a pic.
        thanks so much! yum.

        I am going to use the coconut cream cheese frosting that kbiggs suggested.

        1. re: Adrienne

          i'm excited to try the recipe but do have questions re: the frosting..for the butter - salted or unsalted and cold or soft? lastly, do i put all the ingredients in the mixer at the same time and just go for it..or is it a one by one thing? thanks for the help - i'm super precise when it comes to baking. thanks!

          1. re: rn1208

            I used unsalted, cold butter, cut into small chunks.

            Is your other question about the icing or the cake? The icing you can just throw all into the mixer, the cake should be dry and wet separately (one of the recipes I used to create mine said to combine the buttermilk with the vinegar separately and add that to the other liquid ingredients, it didn't seem to matter to me).

        2. coconutgoddess---I've been looking to try a red velvet recipe w/OUT cocoa. Where did you find it? If possible would you post a link, if any?? Thanks!!

          3 Replies
          1. re: Ora

            here is one that was passed to me by a friend. i apologize that i don't have a source. (i am SURE it was not an original recipe) the ending cake was yummy, but i really like the cocoa! enjoy. And thanks!

            For the Red Velvet Cake:
            2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
            1 teaspoon baking soda
            1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
            2 eggs
            1 1/2 cups canola oil
            1 teaspoon vinegar
            1 ounce red food coloring
            1 teaspoon vanilla
            1 cup buttermilk

            Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) round layer cake pans. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees

            Sift flour, baking soda and coco together. Beat sugar and eggs together in a large bowl.

            In a separate bowl mix together oil, vinegar, food coloring, and vanilla. Add to eggs and beat until combined.

            Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the wet mixture by alternating the buttermilk and dry ingredients.

            Bake for 25 minutes for a layer cake or about 18 min. for standard sized cupcakes, until a cake tester inserted near the middle comes out clean. do not over bake or you'll end up with a dry cake.

            yield 3 9" layer rounds or about 36 cupcakes

            NOTE.. i never end up with that many cupcakes, i must have slightly big pans.

            1. re: coconutgoddess

              Thanks--I must try this soon. What does the vinegar do I wonder? Actually--this is the Paula Deen recipe from the link below, minus the cocoa.

              1. re: Ora

                Vinegar is supposed to react with buttermilk to increase the redness of the cocoa. I don't really understand how that works though.

          2. This recipe from the June 2006 Bon Appetit was good (and judging by your handle, I'm guessing you like coconut!): Red Velvet Cupcakes with Coconut and Cream Cheese Frosting
            ( I've also made the Red Velvet Cake from the June 2003 BA ( and it was good as well, although doesn't have as much cocoa as the cupcake recipe.

            1. Paula Deen's recipe is fantastic

              The only change I make is to cut down the red food coloring to 1-2 teaspoons. You still get a nice red color.

              6 Replies
              1. re: QueenB

                I caught PD's show by chance on FN and that recipe could be exactly what the OP is looking for - "a very moist cupcake." Most other RVC recipes are variations on the original which is a dense cake that many seem disappointed with.
                The only change I'd suggest is adding a bit more cocoa to get more of the traditional chocolate/devil's food flavor. With that, you'll probably need the entire amount of food coloring she specifies. My mother's recipe, that I've used since the '60s, uses 2 tablespoons of cocoa and 2 ounces of red color, but that gives a very deep red color.
                Paula Dean's recipe is pretty far off the original version but if you aren't a Southern traditionalist, you should try it. Looks like a winner. Just not for my table.

                1. re: MakingSense

                  Just curious--what's your Mom's recipe?

                  1. re: Ora

                    Not at home right now. But it is so close to the one in this thread that the differences are barely worth talking about.
                    Most of the old traditional Southern recipes are very close to this one and use the "gravy icing" - never, ever, ever cream cheese icing. Cream cheese just wasn't sold in the South back then. Probably not easily available until the 80s or 90s. My family would murder me if I used CC icing on RVC.

                    1. re: MakingSense

                      Ok--thanks. Personally, I love RVC, just don't much care for chocolate at all. May try it w/o cocoa.

                      1. re: Ora

                        Don't go messin' with tradition! We're not big chocolate folks either but the cocoa doesn't come on strong. Try the original recipe before you make changes. Please!

                        This cake may have evolved from early devil's food cake recipes which called for more cocoa. In the early 1900s, cocoa turned redder than it does now after baking and devil's food cakes were deep mahogany red. This may have been what was called Red Devil Cake.
                        The other theory is that it evolved from old Southern cakes made with beets - much like carrot cakes I guess.

                        1. re: Ora

                          If you've had RVCs you've liked before, even if they didn't taste chocolatey at all, they probably had at least a little cocoa in them -- I did a search for RVC recipes a few months back when I was cooking for a friend that doesn't like chocolate and I couldn't find a single one without cocoa, so I went ahead and used cocoa and she said it was great and didn't taste chocolatey to her at all.

                          Also, yes to everything MakingSense said.