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Christmas Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Christmas Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are the perfect Christmas dessert! The cream cheese frosting simply melts in your mouth while the crushed up candy canes give it a festive crunch!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cupcakes, red velvet
Servings: 18 cupcakes
Author: Lora


  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup 1 stick of butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 2 1/3 cups of cake flour*
  • 2 tablespoons of Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of buttermilk**
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of butter 1 stick, room temperature
  • 8 oz of Philly cream cheese 1 package, room temperature
  • 2 - 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1-2 regular sized candy canes crushed
  • colored sprinkles optional


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer for 3 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is fully incorporated. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla extract, and red food coloring *(it will fizz!).
  • Add a fourth of the dry ingredients and mix, then add a third of the wet. Continue adding in a dry, wet, dry pattern, ending with the dry ingredients.
  • Scoop into cupcake papers (I use an ice-cream scoop), about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Rotate the pan after the first 15 minutes of baking to ensure even baking.
  • Allow to cool for one minute in the pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cupcakes.
  • Cream the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
  • Add the vanilla extract and mix.
  • Add the powdered sugar, continually taste to get to desired sweetness. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.


To sift or not to sift the flour?  Rose Levy Beranbaum (author of The Cake Bible) says that the main reason for sifting is to separate and aerate the flour particles to make them absorb liquids better. Sometimes I sift. And sometimes I whisk with my handy-dandy whisk. It's up to you .
You should definitely be aware that it will be messy! I mean, messy red batter kind of messy! It may splatter. If you like your clothes you have on that day: wear an apron!  Be sure to keep scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula while you mix. Since all ovens are different, make sure you check the cupcakes a little early.  Mine were ready in under 20 minutes. Yours may be done sooner, or a minute or two longer.