This red velvet cupcake recipe doesn’t have buttermilk and is easy to make. The cupcakes come out a vibrant red. Dress them up with frosting or leave them plain – they’re delicious either way.
After watching an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay, where the challenge was red velvet cake, I suddenly had a craving for red velvet cake. The only thing is that I didn’t have any buttermilk on hand, so I wondered how it would turn out without it.
Most recipes I’ve seen call for buttermilk but that’s an ingredient I don’t keep on hand – I hate buying a big carton of it for just one recipe so I did some searching and found a recipe for Magnolia red velvet cupcakes on the blog, Tasted by Two.
I ended up adapting it a bit and I was happy with how red the cupcakes looked when they came out of the oven.
- All-purpose flour
- Softened unsalted butter
- Red food coloring
- Unsweetened cocoa
- Vanilla extract
- Whole milk
- Cider vinegar
- Baking soda
As I was making the recipe, I realized that the milk and apple cider interact to create a DIY buttermilk. I have read before that you can mix milk with vinegar to create a “sour milk” that is similar, which is a good hack to know if you ever want to make a recipe that calls for buttermilk but you don’t have any.
Those two ingredients create that tangy flavor that red velvet has.
Readers who have been following along know I don’t really like frosting. I like the way it looks, but most of the time I find it too sweet and end up scraping it off. So, I left these cupcakes plain although I think a whipped cream frosting or mascarpone frosting would work well.
I enjoyed these cupcakes, but I think using cake flour would make them lighter and fluffier. I might try that next time. I do think it’s a great recipe if you don’t have buttermilk – it’s nice to know you don’t have to use it.
More Recipes to Try
Red Velvet Cupcakes
- 3 1/4 cups of plain flour
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 1// cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 6 tbsp red food coloring
- 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour 2 cupcake pans.
- In a small bowl, sift the flour and set aside. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk together the red food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat well.
- In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the milk. Add to the batter in three parts alternating with the flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat. In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.
- Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Arrange the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and bake the cupcakes, switching positions of the pans halfway through baking, until a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a rack before icing.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.