Red Velvet Cupcakes

Total Time
40 min
15 min
25 min
These cupcakes are a perfect, portion-controlled holiday treat. Just make sure you have red food coloring in your pantry.


all-purpose flour

2¼ cup(s)

table salt

1 tsp

baking soda

1 tsp

unsweetened cocoa powder

2 Tbsp

low-fat buttermilk

1¼ cup(s)

white vinegar

1 tsp

vanilla extract

2 tsp, divided


¾ cup(s), granulated

light butter

¼ cup(s), softened


2 large

powdered sugar

1 cup(s)

Neufchâtel cheese

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.


*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.

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