Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

A small batch recipe for moist and airy red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting!

Moist and airy red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting! A small batch recipe from @bakedbyrachel

As long as I can remember, the 4th of July has always been my favorite holiday, next to Thanksgiving because… pie!

My oldest daughter was born on the 4th, so I was pretty sure I’d never get to fully celebrate the day the same way again – no red white and blue or patriotic anything. And that would’ve been okay. It’s her day now. But thankfully, she loves it! She knows it’s a special day, for her and the country. A day full of fun, food, friends, family and of course fireworks! It’s like the entire country is celebrating her birthday… okay, that’s what I may have told her once or twice, along with the truth of course.

Fireworks on your birthday, for life. That’s pretty special. I’d be down for that, but I got stuck with a winter birthday and guess what… I don’t even like winter!

Moist and airy red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting! A small batch recipe from @bakedbyrachel

When I was thinking about food to celebrate my favorite holiday, I realized I didn’t have a single red velvet cupcake or cake recipe yet on the blog. Sure, I have a red velvet cheesecake… but that isn’t exactly the same. Okay, it’s not the same at all. So it was time I finally share a red velvet (cup)cake recipe with you.

This is truly a perfect small batch recipe, only making six cupcakes. The good news, it’s super easy to increase if you need a larger batch. But if you don’t, then you won’t have a ton of cupcakes lying around taunting you.

Moist and airy red velvet cupcakes, topped off with a smooth cream cheese frosting. Bake them in blue liners or add blue sprinkles for the perfect red, white and blue cupcake.

Red velvet patriotic cupcakes for your 4th of July celebration… or any day of the year!

Moist and airy red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting! A small batch recipe from @bakedbyrachel

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

A small batch recipe for moist and airy red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cupcake
Servings: 6 cupakes



  • 1/4 C unsalted butter softened
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp red liquid food color
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 C sour cream
  • 3/4 C all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp white distilled vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda


  • 6 oz cream cheese softened
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter softened
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 C powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with 6 liners.
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars. Mix in egg until batter is smooth. Add cocoa powder, vanilla and red food color. Continue mixing, scraping bowl as needed. Add salt, baking powder and sour cream, mixing until just incorporated. Add flour, mixing until no streaks remain. Finally, combine vinegar and baking soda in a small bowl. Immediately add to batter and mix in.
  • Divide batter equally among prepared liners, using one large cookie scoop per.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cupcakes are set and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  • In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter. Mix in vanilla and slowly incorporate powdered sugar until smooth. Transfer mixture to a piping bag with with desired tip. Frost cooled cupcakes.
  • Store in an airtight container or refrigerator for up to several days.


An original recipe from Baked by Rachel

More recipes to try:
Red velvet cheesecakes
Chocolate chip cookie brownie bars
Coconut chocolate chunk cookies with sea salt
Perfect s’more cookies
NY Times chocolate chip cookies
Toasted s’more cheesecakes
Apple slab pie
Skillet cherry peach pies

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28 Responses to “Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. #
    Chloe @ foodlikecake — June 12, 2014 at 6:02 am

    Such pretty cupcakes!

    • #
      Rachel — June 13, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      Thanks Chloe!

  2. #
    taylor @ greens & chocolate — June 12, 2014 at 8:02 am

    These look absolutely perfect! And what a way fun to celebrate the 4th and your daughters birthday!

    • #
      Rachel — June 13, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      Thanks so much Taylor! :)

  3. #
    Mir — June 12, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Gotta love the sparklers! Very fun and patriotic!

    • #
      Rachel — June 13, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      Thanks Mir! :)

  4. #
    Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking — June 12, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Love that sparklers picture! Stunning!! These cupcakes look perfect for the traditional July 4th celebration or for your daughter’s birthday party!

    • #
      Rachel — June 13, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      Thanks Lindsey!

  5. #
    Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts — June 12, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    these are frosted perfectly! beautiful cupcakes!

    • #
      Rachel — June 13, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      Thanks Angelyn!

  6. #
    Lindsay Ann @ Lindsay Ann Bakes — June 13, 2014 at 12:24 am

    power to the small batch bakers! These look absolutely delish. simple and perfect!

    • #
      Rachel — June 13, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      Thanks Lindsay!

  7. #
    dina — June 13, 2014 at 11:36 am

    they look great!

    • #
      Rachel — June 13, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      Thanks Dina!

  8. #
    Layla @ Brunch Time Baker — June 14, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Perfection! that photo is breathtaking!

    • #
      Rachel — June 14, 2014 at 2:17 pm

      Thanks Layla!

  9. #
    Emily @ Life on Food — June 14, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    The fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. Top 3 for sure. I feel like it doesn’t get its due in importance. Love these cupcakes. So much fun with the sparklers too!

    • #
      Rachel — June 15, 2014 at 8:52 am

      Thanks Emily!

  10. #
    Debbie Wyler — June 15, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Looks beautiful and delicious! Where did you get the cute cupcake plate??

    • #
      Rachel — June 16, 2014 at 7:14 am

      I believe I got that one at Bed Bath and Beyond.

  11. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — June 15, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    My elementary and high school BFF was born on the 4th of July and I was always so jealous that she got fireworks on her birthday! haha I’m sure your girl loves it!

    I loooove red velvet! I want a cupcake!

    • #
      Rachel — June 16, 2014 at 7:13 am

      She loves it WAY more than I could’ve ever imagined. :)

  12. #
    Kim — August 28, 2014 at 5:36 am

    What’s the difference distilled white vinegar and white vinegar? I have white vinegar only.

    • #
      Rachel — August 28, 2014 at 7:26 am

      You should be fine using what you have. The difference shouldn’t be significant enough to matter here :)

  13. #
    TJ — June 30, 2015 at 7:40 am

    Would love to know the cupcake liner source!

    • #
      Rachel — June 30, 2015 at 10:46 am

      I purchased them at a local store a few years back. I’m not sure of the exact brand, but I’m sure if you did a quick search on Etsy or Amazon, you might find something similar.

  14. #
    Maceysmacarons — December 15, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    I bake red velvet cupcakes all the time, but these were my absolute favorite I’ve ever made and tasted! the only thing I did differently was I split the powdered surgar amount in half for the frosting, but that is just my preference. the cupcakes are so dense and rich that you don’t need much frosting on top!

    • #
      Rachel — December 16, 2015 at 7:24 am

      So glad you enjoyed them, Macey!

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