How to Make Amazing Red Velvet Cupcakes

by Alli

What do Red Velvet Cupcakes have to do with movies? I’ll give you a hint. This month’s movie blog hop is celebrating wedding movies and my favorite wedding movie is Steel Magnolias. I’m ditching the armadillo and keeping the red velvet! Red Velvet Cupcakes are included in my top 17 Best Cupcake Recipes.

Amazing Red Velvet Cupcakes

Steel Magnolias

If you’ve never seen Steel Magnolias (gasp!), grab a box of tissue, your favorite beverage, and a red velvet cupcake or two. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll fall in love with all of the characters.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I have a hard time naming my favorite cast member of Steel Magnolias. When you have to choose between Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Julia Roberts, Olympia Dukakis, Shirley McClaine, Daryl Hannah, and Tom Skerritt, it’s a toss-up every single time.

To give you a little background (no spoilers allowed!), here’s the deal. Steel Magnolias takes place in a small southern town. Yay for small southern towns and delicate, but strong, southern women!

“M’Lynn (Sally Field) is the mother of bride-to-be Shelby Eatenton (Julia Roberts), and as friend Truvy Jones (Dolly Parton) fixes the women’s hair for the ceremony, they welcome a helping hand from aspiring beautician Annelle Dupuy Desoto (Daryl Hannah). Diabetic Shelby has a health scare, which is averted but doesn’t bode well for her hopes of having children. Time passes, and the women and their friends encounter tragedy and good fortune, growing stronger and closer in the process.” 

Steel Magnolias - Red Velvet Cupcakes

Did you know that Meg Ryan was first approached to play Shelby (Julia Roberts)? She declined in order to star in When Harry Met Sally. I think it’s a win-win for all!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

In the movie, the groom’s cake is a red velvet cake in the shape of an armadillo. I’m skipping the armadillo and making red velvet cupcakes instead.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I’m southern, born and bred, and we’ve always claimed Red Velvet Cake as ours. According to, The Adams Extract company attributes itself to making the “original” Red Velvet Cake in the 1920s. Currently, you can buy the mix from the company in its vintage packaging.”

The Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City also claims to be the birthplace of the Red Velvet Cake.

Either way, I grew up eating Red Velvet Cake with delicious Cream Cheese Icing and for this go-round, I’m making Red Velvet Cupcakes. I like having my own cake!

Let’s Bake Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Preheat oven to 350º F. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add the sour cream, milk, food color and vanilla. Beat in flour on low speed until blended. Do not overbeat.

Spoon batter into 24 paper-lined muffin cups. Fill each cup 2/3 full.

Bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean. Cool in pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Squares - Most Viewed Posts - Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake, Italian Cream Cake and Amazing Red Velvet Cupcakes


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 (1 oz.) bottle red food coloring
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
  4. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  5. Mix in sour cream, milk, food coloring and vanilla.
  6. With mixer on low speed, gradually mix in the flour until just combined. Be careful not to over beat.
  7. Spoon batter into 24 paper-lined muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a cupcake comes out clean.
  8. Cook in pan on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.


  1. Mix the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until light and fluffy (using the whip attachment of a stand mixture if possible.)
  2. Turn the mixer on low and add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  3. Turn up the speed to medium and beat for approximately two minutes or until light and fluffy.

Did you make this recipe?

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Red Velvet Cake

Note:  I use an entirely different recipe when I make a red velvet cake. I make this one at Christmas every single year! It calls for buttermilk and vinegar instead of sour cream and milk. Enjoy!
Red Velvet Cake and Red Velvet Cupcakes are a favorite any time of the year
I think you should try them both and then let me know which one you like the best.
Helpful Hint: Sometimes, I double the cake and frosting recipes to make a 4-layer cake.

Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Squares - Most Viewed Posts - Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake, Italian Cream Cake and Amazing Red Velvet Cupcakes


  • 1/2 cup Crisco
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups Sugar
  • 2 oz. red food coloring
  • 2-1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • One Tablespoon vinegar
  • One Tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking soda

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 box powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Line two cake pans with waxed paper. Grease and flour cake pans.
  3. In a mixing bowl, cream shortening, sugar, and eggs.
  4. Make a paste of red food coloring and cocoa. Add cocoa mixture, vanilla, and buttermilk to creamed ingredients.
  5. Sift flour, salt, and soda together and add to above mixture. Beat well. Fold in vinegar. Pour into two cake pans and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  6. Cool for 10 minutes in the pans on rack. Remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add sugar gradually, beating after each addition.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook



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Linda June 26, 2017 - 7:48 am

Steele Magnolias is my favorite! I recently saw a local live theater production here in my city. That gray icing on that groom’s cake was gruesome. Red velvet is delicious. I haven’t made it in a while. Thanks for sharing.

Wishes for tasty dishes,

Shirley Wood June 26, 2017 - 7:51 am

Steel Magnolias a classic! We don’t have a habit of buying too many movies but Steel Magnolias is one to own for those movie nights at home! Red Velvet cupcakes are so much prettier than the armadillo!! Now I want to watch the movie again, with a box of Kleenex of course! It is a classic movie with a fabulous cast! I’m with you, it’s impossible to pick a favorite because they were all wonderful!! I love Julia Roberts in anything though.

Robin rue June 26, 2017 - 8:49 am

Red velvet is one of my favorites. I could eat red velvet cupcakes pretty much every day of my life.

Katie Kinsley June 26, 2017 - 9:54 am

Steel magnolias is the perfect cry time movie (other than P.S. I Love You). I’m not a super fan of the cream cheese frosting most places use on the red velvets. Vanilla all the way!

Sarah Bailey June 26, 2017 - 3:19 pm

Red velvet has to be some of my favourite cake, yet I have never been brave enough to attempt to make it myself. Your recipe is so easy to follow I hall have to give it a go.

Anosa June 26, 2017 - 3:48 pm

Ok now I definitely want to watch Steel Magnolias as it’s one movie I have heard of but never watched and these red velvet cakes would make them movie even much sweeter I hear

Terri Beavers June 26, 2017 - 3:59 pm

I forgot how much I love Steel Magnolias. I can’t think of a better treat to eat while watching it thank your red velvet cupcakes. I need to work on my frosting presentation to get the look of yours.

Marie Dabbs June 26, 2017 - 5:30 pm

I love Steel Magnolias, too! And who can resist a delicious red velvet cupcake? I’ll have to try your recipe!

Heather @ Kraus House Mom June 26, 2017 - 6:48 pm

When my husband was in high school he came home from football practice and Steel Magnolias was on TV. He sat down, in his filthy uniform, and watched it and cried like a baby. He can never watch it again. My youngest keeps asking for red velvet anything.

Sharon Wong June 26, 2017 - 8:03 pm

I have never tried red velvet before, but I’ve heard good things about it. This post is making me tempted to try it haha. Will have to look into this recipe and attempt to make some. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

Christy Maurer June 26, 2017 - 8:54 pm

Steel Magnolias is sooo good, but it makes me bawl! I haven’t seen it in years, so I need to watch with my daughter! I love red velvet cake with buttercream or cream cheese frosting!

Mary June 26, 2017 - 10:04 pm

What a fun read, Alli. I love the movie and so forgot the grooms cake until you mentioned it. Just your photos alone have me sold on those yummy cupcakes. They look delicious!!

Amanda June 26, 2017 - 10:25 pm

I just love red velvet cupcakes so much. I have never made them myself before because I always thought the recipe was so complicated but you make it look like a piece of cake!

Bella B (xoxoBella) June 26, 2017 - 10:57 pm

Just looking at these I am thinking that I need to make them for Canada Day! They would be perfect. Even better considering I am a huge red velvet fan. I don’t get to eat it much anymore with my diabetes though.

Megan June 26, 2017 - 11:25 pm

Love that you picked this movie for this month’s hop, I LOVE Steel Magnolias. I’ve seen it a million times and I still cry every time! (And I’m not a crier.) These cupcakes look much yummier than that grey armadillo cake, haha!

Maurene Cab June 27, 2017 - 1:57 am

Such a wonderful treat! My family loves sweet treats like this one. I should study your recipe and give this a try.

Neha Saini June 27, 2017 - 4:58 am

I am not a big fan of Red Velvet. But, this recipe has singlehandedly and immediately changed my opinion of Red Velvet Cake. Till now I didn’t find anything memorable about it and wondered why Red Velvet Cake was so popular – it wasn’t much on flavor, frankly. But, it is fluffy, pleasantly sweet and chocolaty. Bonus that a very good cream cheese frosting recipe is included. I am going to try this for sure. 

valmg @ Mom Knows It All June 27, 2017 - 8:34 am

These cupcakes look terrific, they have really great color. I am one of those people that has never seen Steel Magnolias.

Kita Bryant June 27, 2017 - 2:21 pm

I have tried red velvet cupcakes a few times and failed. I am definitely looking forward to taking a crack at this recipe!

My Teen Guide June 27, 2017 - 4:31 pm

Your red velvet cupcakes look perfect! I love the perfect red color. Others seem a bit darker, but I like yours the best. Steel Magnolias is one of my favorite movies. I love how it shows real women, their raw emotions and their knack for helping each other out.

Chubskulit Rose June 27, 2017 - 7:27 pm

My son would absolutely love this, he has sweet tooth! You make baking looks so easy!

Jaime Nicole June 28, 2017 - 12:31 am

Steel Magnolias is one of my favorite movies! And so are red velvet cupcakes – these look delicious!

Stephanie of The TipToe Fairy June 28, 2017 - 5:24 am

When I realized the movie, these cupcakes are perfect! Steel Magnolias is literally one of my faves. I love Shirley Maclaine and Olmpia Dukakis. We can sell t-shirts that say I slapped Ousier Boudreaux!

Kristen from The Road to Domestication June 28, 2017 - 2:28 pm

These are nothing short of gorgeous! And I’m trying these out. My MIL’s BD is coming up, and red velvet is her absolute favorite!

Michelle James June 28, 2017 - 8:49 pm

OMG I love Steel Magnolias and I love red velvet. That armadillo cake cracked me up the cupcakes are much better! Thank you and thanks for the recipe!

Nikka Shae July 7, 2017 - 1:59 pm

These cupcakes look soo good!! Red velvet is my favorite! I still remember when I was about 7 years old my aunt made a red velvet cake and I was heavenly!

Radhia August 12, 2017 - 9:19 am

What icing tip did you frost them with?
Thank You ❤️❤️

Melody Erickson October 1, 2017 - 9:26 pm

Thank you for posting this recipe! I tried making these cupcakes and something didn’t turn out quite right. They are okay but definitely not great. I’m not sure where I went wrong.

The cake is a mild red velvet flavor. The aftertaste is more red velvety than the actual bite. Could I have accidentally over beat the batter? I also bought Fred Meyer brand food coloring rather than splurging on the expensive stuff. Could that be why?

The frosting was definitely had too much of a cream cheese flavor. I had to add a 1 1/2 cups more powdered sugar and 2 more teaspoons of vanilla extract to sweeten it up.

Thank you again for posting this recipe. I’m going to go back and try it again another time.

Alli October 1, 2017 - 9:57 pm

Hmmm – As far as the cream cheese frosting, the sugar it calls for (3 cups) is almost an entire box of powdered sugar and it’s always perfect for me – I don’t like overly sweet frosting and I love for the cream cheese flavor to stand out. As far as the cake part, I don’t think the type food coloring should matter. Let me know if they turn out better for you next time.

Jp October 7, 2017 - 3:57 pm

Hi, what piping tip did you use?

Alli October 7, 2017 - 4:20 pm

Wilton 2-D – it’s an oversized tip.

Jp October 7, 2017 - 4:33 pm

Thank you!

Cc December 16, 2017 - 10:43 pm

Can I please ask why you use sour cream than vinegar for the cupcakes? Is there any difference? Thank you

Alli December 17, 2017 - 6:37 am

I use the sour cream and milk in place of buttermilk/vinegar in this recipe. My recipe for red velvet CAKE (very old recipe) calls for buttermilk AND vinegar so I’ve always made it that way. I don’t think the cupcakes need the additional acid the vinegar provides so I don’t use vinegar in this recipe. You could definitely add 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar if you’d like.


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