Red Velvet Cupcakes


Who could resist these red velvet cupcakes with luscious cream cheese frosting? Mine are slightly different from other versions, as I prefer to use sour cream and chocolate rather than buttermilk and cocoa and much less red food coloring. I also add cranberries -- but if you prefer you can leave these out.

Appropriate for ages: From 2 years



  • 1/2- 4 ounce bar good quality semi-sweet chocolate, 1/4 cup chips
  • 1/2 stick softened butter, 1/4 cup
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 2 heaping tablespoons dried cranberries, tossed in a little self-risingflour to coat
  • 2 teaspoons red food coloring


  • 2 vanilla beans
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) softened butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, in brick form, not whipped
  • 4 cups sieved confectioners' sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line the cups of a muffin pan with 12 paper liners. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of just simmering water, stirring occasionally. Put the remaining ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer and mix together until just combined, then add the melted chocolate.
  2. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan. Bake for 20 minutes until well risen and firm to the touch. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. To make the frosting, scrape the vanilla seeds from the beans into a bowl, then add the butter and cream cheese. Beat well, then gradually add the confectioners' sugar 1/4 cup at a time until the icing is smooth.
  4. Once the cakes are cool, pipe the frosting on top of the cakes using a large star tip.

    Note: Red Velvet Cupcakes, rich sweet cakes with a reddish brown color commonly made with buttermilk, were popular in the Southern USA states. However, a recent increase in the popularity of these cakes is partly attributed to the 1989 film Steel Magnolias, in which the groom's cake is a red velvet cake made in the shape of an armadillo. The famous Magnolia bakery in New York City makes a delicious version of these cupcakes.