Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe

Red velvet cupcake topped with cream cheese frosting on an ivory plate with a bite taken out of it

Red velvet cupcakes are beautiful and delicious.  This Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe is easy to make and reduces the red food dye.  It’s a delicious and easy dessert recipe that even the kids will love.

Red velvet cupcake topped with cream cheese frosting on an ivory plate with a bite taken out of it

Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe

This is one of my daughter’s favorite homemade cupcakes. In fact, I often delivered them to her school when she was young.  She LOVED to surprise her friends with the secret ingredient once they ate their cupcake.  I know, I know…red velvet cupcakes are delicious and beautiful.  However, I just couldn’t bring myself to make them because so many recipes required a 1/2 cup of red food dye.

My red velvet cupcake recipe greatly reduces the amount of red food dye and only requires 1 tablespoon.  Honestly, you can leave it all out if you prefer.

We pulled this recipe out to share at the Price Chopper Market 32 Kids Cooking Club to celebrate Black History Month.  These beauties were often served an Juneteenth and Emancipation Celebration Picnics.  


Here is the recipe to whip, bake and try…

Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe

Red velvet cupcake topped with cream cheese frosting on an ivory plate with a bite taken out of it


  • 3 eggs, large
  • 1-cup buttermilk
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 oz. cinnamon applesauce
  • ½ cup pureed beets (see below)
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-tablespoon red food dye


Combine the eggs, buttermilk, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, applesauce and pureed beets together in a bowl.  Whip the ingredients together using an electric mixer. 

Once they are mixed well, add in the dry ingredients;  the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. 

Mix in the red food dye.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line a cupcake/muffin tin with cupcake liners.  Fill the cupcake liners with the batter.  Bake the cupcakes for 25 minutes.


Price Chopper Kids Cooking Club logo next to Price Chopper and Market 32 logos

More on making this recipe:

Pureed Beets: Simply purchase sliced or diced PICS beets. Drain the liquid. Place the beets in a food processor, mini chopper or blender and puree them until the look like a purple applesauce.

Original Red Velvet Cupcakes: When this recipe originated, the cupcakes turned a natural burgundy through a chemical reaction that took place with certain ingredients. Over time our ingredients have changed and cocoa powder is now alkalized so the chemical reaction no longer naturally occurs.

Red Food Dye: If you have an allergy to red food dye, you can eliminate the red food dye all together. The color will lean towards a darker burgundy.   A typical red velvet recipe requires ½ cup of red food dye. This recipe allows us to greatly reduce the amount of red food dye used.

Top it off! Simply serve with a traditional Cream Cheese Frosting by combining a ½ cup (1 stick) of PICS butter at room temperature with 8 oz. PICS cream cheese at room temperature, 3 cups of PICS confectioner’s sugar and 2 teaspoons of PICS vanilla extract.

Pipe it on top of the cupcakes using decorating utensils or simply fill a quart sized snap and seal freezer bag and clip a corner to pipe on the frosting.

Cooking with Kids! Every recipe has lessons, small and big, that encourage life and cooking skills. Here are a few to focus on:

  • Measuring ingredients
  • Level ingredient measurements
  • Pouring
  • Pureeing
  • Food processor safety
  • Scooping
  • Baking
  • Oven safety
  • Following directions

More Recipe Love!  Check out my chocolate covered strawberry smoothie recipe.  It’s a deliciously easy combination…

A chocolate strawberry smoothie in a bell jar with a red paper straw with white hearts, a dish of fresh strawberries on a white plate dusted with cocoa powder and a heart drawn in it

Chocolate Covered Smoothie Recipe

14 Comments on “Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe”

  1. What an interesting twist on the recipe!! Thanks for joining the #HomeMattersParty – we hope to see you again next week 🙂

  2. What a great way to add something healthy to an otherwise sugary treat. I love that you were able to cut down so much on the food dye as well.
    Thanks for sharing on Weekend Bites Jodie!

    1. :)! We use beets in a couple of different natural food dye recipes…it’s so fun to surprise everyone what’s in the mix!

  3. Cupcakes are looking yummy. I have added the recipe to my cooking journal. I would love to create this for my mother on this mother’s day.

  4. Pingback: Valentines Veggie Pizza makes Family Dinner Fun

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