Photo of Red velvet cupcakes by WW

Red velvet cupcakes

Total Time
40 min
15 min
25 min
These cupcakes are a perfect, portion-controlled treat. You'll love how festive and delicious they are, as well as the fact you can make them from scratch in 40 minutes, and your guests will keep going back for more. Just make sure that you have some red food coloring in your pantry. You can make green velvet cupcakes, too, by dividing the batter in half and adding green food coloring to one half and red to the other. Or you can combine 2 parts green food coloring and 1 part blue food coloring to yield a forest green. The presentation will definitely get you into the holiday spirit.


All-purpose flour

2¼ cup(s)

Table salt

1 tsp

Baking soda

1 tsp

Unsweetened cocoa powder

2 Tbsp

1% low fat buttermilk

1¼ cup(s)

Distilled white vinegar

1 tsp

Vanilla extract

2 tsp, divided


¾ cup(s), granulated

Light butter

¼ cup(s), softened


2 large egg(s)

Powdered sugar (confectioner's)

1 cup(s)

Reduced fat cream cheese (neufchâtel)

2 Tbsp, softened


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare 16 muffin tins with paper muffin liners.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa; set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, mix together buttermilk, vinegar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract; set aside.
  4. With an electric mixer on high speed, cream granulated sugar with butter until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and add eggs, one at a time, until well-incorporated.
  5. Add about 1/3 each of flour and buttermilk mixtures to sugar mixture; beat until just combined. Repeat until all of flour and buttermilk mixtures are incorporated; add 1 1/2 ounces of red food coloring and mix well with mixer (do not over beat batter).
  6. Fill each muffin tin about 2/3 full with batter.
  7. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out dry, about 25 minutes; cool for 5 minutes in pan and then cool completely on a wire rack.
  8. Meanwhile, to make icing, combine powdered sugar, cheese and remaining teaspoon of vanilla in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until well-combined and creamy. For a looser icing, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of warm water. Ice cooled cupcakes. Yields 1 iced cupcake per serving.