It’s the case with every coveted recipe. There’s a secret ingredient. My Red Velvet Cupcake recipe is no exception. When I share this recipe with friends, they see the buttermilk and say, “Ah, that’s the secret ingredient!” But it’s not. Lots of cake recipes call for buttermilk. The secret ingredient in the red velvet cupcake recipe is… add a couple dollops of sour cream. Pssssst! It also works like magic with red velvet cupcakes. It gives the cakes a moisture and richness that’s out of this world!

2-1/2 cups flour

1-1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cocoa powder

1-1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup buttermilk at room temperature

2 Tablespoons sour cream

2 large eggs at room temperature

2 Tablespoons red food coloring

1 tsp. white distilled vinegar

1 tsp. Vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt cocoa powder. In large bowl beat together the oil, buttermilk, sour cream, eggs and food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with electric mixer. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until smooth.

 Pour batter into lined cupcake tins – filling about 2/3rds full. Bake for about 18 – 20 minutes turning the pans once halfway through. Test the cupcakes with toothpick. Make sure cooked all the way. Remove from oven and cool. Then frost.


1 pound cream cheese, softened

2 sticks butter, softened

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3-1/2 cups sifted confectioner’s (white powdered) sugar

In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth. Add the sugar and beat for 1-2 minutes. Increase the speed to high and mix until light and fluffy.