Paula Deen Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe

Matt R.

This red velvet cupcake recipe comes from Paula Deen and is topped with cream cheese frosting. Delish!

With their ever-so-slightly chocolatey flavor, their wonderfully moist, tender texture and their beautiful color, it's no wonder that red velvet cupcakes are a hit whenever we serve them!

What makes red velvet cupcakes so light?

The fluffy texture of these cupcakes is largely down to the buttermilk. Not only does the delicate 'tang' of buttermilk add a unique flavor, it also helps activate the baking soda, which makes the mixture rise.
Red Velvet Oreo Cheesecakes Photo
Another ingredient which helps the baking soda do its job is the vinegar! Vinegar may seem an odd ingredient in a cupcake recipe, but you can't taste it (we promise!). It's simply there as an additional acid for the baking soda to react with.
Plus, it enhances that fabulous red color, so it's definitely worth including! If you don't have any distilled white vinegar to hand, try using lemon juice instead - it works just as well.
Note: The recipe tells you to only fill the cupcake cases 2/3 full - this is important, as the mixture rises so well that it's likely to overflow if you fill the cases to the top!

Alternative frosting ideas

Cream cheese frosting is the classic choice for red velvet cupcakes, but if you're not a fan, then why not try one of these options instead?
Paula Deen Cupcake Photo

Vanilla buttercream frosting

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4-5 Tablespoons heavy cream
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy.
Continuing to beat the butter, slowly add the powdered sugar. You will probably need to stop the mixer at one point and scrape down the sides of the bowl, to make sure all the sugar is incorporated.
Once the butter and sugar are properly mixed, add the vanilla. 
Finally, beat in the heavy cream or milk 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach the consistence you prefer.
You can then pipe on this frosting, or simply spread it on your cupcakes.
Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes Photo

Chocolate buttercream frosting

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3-4 tablespoons heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy.
Slowly add the powdered sugar and cocoa whilst still beating the butter, then add the vanilla.
Finally, beat in the heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach your desired texture.
Handy tip: To enhance the appearance of your cupcakes, crumble one of the cupcakes into crumbs and sprinkle it over the frosting of the others.
Red Velvet Oreo Cheesecakes Picture

Make ahead

Once you've added the frosting to your cupcakes, they are best served and eaten that day, although you can keep them for up to 24 hours in the fridge, in an airtight container.
But if you need to make them ahead of time, we recommend storing the cupcakes and the frosting separately. 
The cupcakes will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days, or in the freezer for up to a month. To thaw them, place them on a wire rack at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours.
Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes Picture
The frosting will keep for 1 day in the fridge or for up to 2 months in the freezer. Thaw it overnight in the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature before use, beating it just before frosting the cupcakes to make sure it is nice and smooth.
If you love red velvet cupcakes, why not give these Mini Red Velvet Donuts a try too?
Mini Red Velvet Donuts Pic

Paula Deen Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe

    24 Servings


For the Cupcakes:
  • 2 large Eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup Buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups Vegetable Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tablespoons Red Food Coloring
  • 1 teaspoon Distilled White Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 pound Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks Butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 4 cups Confectioners Sugar



  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Line a pair of 12-cup muffin pans with papers.
  3. In a bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder.
  4. In another bowl, gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla.
  5. Mix in the sifted dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix until smooth/thoroughly combined.
  6. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins; fill about 2/3 of the way.
  7. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes, turning the pans once, halfway through.
  8. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.


  1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth.
  2. Add in the sugar and beat until incorporated on low. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.


Garnish with chopped pecans and a fresh raspberry or strawberry if you desire.

Source: Paula Deen
Paula Deen
Cooking Method:
Food Network
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Related Recipes:
Paula Deen Recipes, Food Network Recipes, Cupcake Recipes, Dessert Recipes, Baking Recipes
Recipe Yields:
24 cupcakes
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Author: Matt R.
Source: Paula Deen
Recipe Yields: 24 cupcakes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 cupcake
Servings Per Recipe 24

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 226
Calories 441

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g
  Saturated Fat 11g
Sodium 223mg
Total Carbohydrate 23g
  Dietary Fiber 0g
  Sugars 32g
Protein 4g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.
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