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Homemade red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and Valentine candy sprinkles and red hearts.


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5 from 12 reviews


These luxurious red velvet cupcakes are fluffy, tender and delicious. The luscious cream cheese frosting is irresistibly tasty. Make these easy Valentine’s Day cupcakes in just 35 minutes!


Units Scale


  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon Wilton red gel food coloring
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt


  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (from a block, not from spreadable tub), softened
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of salt, if needed





RECIPE PREP: Adjust oven rack to the center position. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-well cupcake pan with paper liners.

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla extract, and red gel food coloring. Whisk well to combine.
  2. Add granulated sugar. Whisk to incorporate. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Whisk just until no large lumps remain. Do not over-mix or the cupcakes will not be fluffy.
  3. With a 1/4 metal measuring cup, evenly divide the cupcake batter between the wells of the prepared cupcake pan. Bake 16 to 18 minutes, or until a cake tester (or toothpick) inserted into the middle of 3 cupcakes comes out clean.
  4. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack. Cool completely (about 1 hour) before applying the frosting. Even if the top of the cupcakes are cool to the touch much earlier than that, they will still be shedding heat from their middles. If frosted too early, the icing will get droopy.


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until fully combined. The texture should be smooth with no lumps.
  2. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add powdered sugar, a pinch of salt, and vanilla extract. Once combined, stop the machine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Turn the mixer to high speed. Beat 1 minute or until frosting is light and fluffy.
  3. Transfer cream cheese frosting to a piping bag fitted with your favorite metal tip. Pipe frosting onto the cooled cupcakes, leaving a 1/4-inch border all the way around so the beautiful red-colored cake is visible. While the frosting is still wet, apply Valentine sprinkles and candy hearts.


RED FOOD COLORING: To achieve the intense red color (bright and not dull) that bakeries use for their red velvet cupcakes, it’s important to use red gel food coloring instead of the liquid type.

FOR FOOD SAFETY: After the cream cheese frosting is applied, the cupcakes can remain out of the fridge for up to 2 hours. During this time they must be kept in a cool place away from direct sunlight. Afterwards, arrange red velvet cupcakes inside an airtight container and refrigerate. They’ll stay fresh for 1 to 2 days. 

  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American