Irresistible Red Velvet Cupcakes Ready in Minutes!

Welcome, my friends, to the world of Magnolia Bakery’s Red Velvet Cupcakes. I have encountered many recipes and bakeries during my travels, but this one always holds a special place in my heart. With its signature red velvet sponge cake, heavenly cream cheese frosting, and irresistible aroma, these cupcakes are a timeless classic that never goes out of style.

Magnolia Bakery, founded in New York City in 1996, has long been known for their delectable bakery items that draw crowds from far and wide. Their famous red velvet cupcakes are no exception. The bakery’s secret recipe has won over the hearts and stomachs of countless people all around the world.

As you embark on your baking journey with me today, let me assure you that this recipe is truly one-of-a-kind. Its unique blend of ingredients creates a tender crumb and an indulgent texture that is hard to resist. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply treating yourself to some delicious desserts, Magnolia Bakery’s Red Velvet Cupcakes will not disappoint.

So let us delve into the recipe and discover what makes these velvety delicacies so special. Let’s equip ourselves with our aprons, whisk, spatula and baking pans as we set out on a culinary adventure that promises to be a true delight!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Magnolia Bakery's Red Velvet Cupcakes
Magnolia Bakery’s Red Velvet Cupcakes

This Magnolia Bakery Red Velvet Cupcake recipe is not just a dessert, it’s an experience. Each bite of the rich, moist cake topped with a velvety cream cheese frosting will transport you to the city streets of New York, where Magnolia Bakery has been enchanting customers since 1996.

Love at first sight? How about love at first bite! The bakery famous for their Red Velvet Cake has shared their secret recipe with the world and now you can enjoy the same taste at home. These cupcakes are perfect for a special occasion or as a sweet treat for yourself to enjoy any day of the week.

One can never have too many dessert recipes, especially when they come from the iconic Magnolia Bakery. This particular recipe has become extremely popular all over the world, even inspiring famous celebrities such as Joanna Gaines to try baking them (and loving them!).

But what sets this recipe apart is its perfect balance of flavors and texture. The tender crumb and subtle cocoa flavor is perfectly complemented by a luscious cream cheese frosting that is smooth and creamy. It’s no surprise Magnolia Bakery’s Red Velvet Cupcakes quickly became one of their signature desserts.

So why should you love this recipe? Besides being perfected by one of the most well-known bakeries around, these cupcakes are absolutely delicious and will satisfy any palate craving for something sweet. So don’t wait any longer, grab your apron and your mixing bowl and let’s get baking!

Ingredient List

 The deep red hue of these cupcakes is absolutely stunning!
The deep red hue of these cupcakes is absolutely stunning!

Let’s dive into the ingredients that will bring this Magnolia Bakery’s Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe to life! In order to make these irresistable cupcakes, you will need the following items:

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 2 and 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising) – Regular all-purpose flour can be used as a substitute if you don’t have cake flour.
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt – A pinch of salt will balance the sweetness in your dessert.
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder – Make sure to use unsweetened cocoa powder for a perfect balance of flavors.
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs – It’s always best to use room temperature eggs because they blend into batter more easily than cold ones.
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature – If you don’t have buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of regular milk to make a quick substitute!
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 oz red food coloring (liquid or gel) – Use enough coloring until the batter turns into a bold red color.

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 4 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

With these ingredients ready to go, you’re already on your way to creating some delicious cupcakes!

The Recipe How-To

 A perfect cupcake for Valentine's Day, or any romantic celebration.
A perfect cupcake for Valentine’s Day, or any romantic celebration.

Now, let’s move on to the exciting part of making Magnolia Bakery’s Red Velvet Cupcakes.

Step 1: Prep Your Ingredients

To start, preheat your oven to 350°F and line your muffin tin with cupcake liners. Next, sift together 2 ½ cups of cake flour, 1 ½ cups of sugar, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cocoa powder, and 1 tsp salt in a medium bowl. Set aside the dry ingredients.

In a separate large bowl, cream together 1 ½ sticks of softened unsalted butter until light and fluffy. Then add in 3 large eggs at room temperature, one at a time. Mix in the red food coloring (6 tablespoons to achieve the perfect Magnolia Bakery red velvet hue) and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Step 2: Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients

Gradually beat in the sifted dry ingredients mixture in three parts alternatively with the buttermilk (1 cup) in two parts until everything is well combined. You can do this either by hand or with an electric mixer (on medium speed).

Then mix together 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of baking soda until it fizzes. This will help activate the baking soda before adding it to the batter. Add this fizzing mixture to the rest of the batter and stir for a few seconds until just incorporated.

Step 3: Bake Your Cupcakes

Divide the red velvet batter equally between your lined muffin cups filling each about two-thirds full, approximately ¼ cup per cupcake.
Bake them for about 20 to 22 minutes (rotate your pans halfway through baking) or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean when tested.

Step 4: Cool Your Cupcakes

Once they’re done baking, take them out of the oven and transfer them onto wire racks to cool completely before frosting. The cupcakes should have risen nicely into lightly domed tops with moist crumbs inside.

Serve these delicious bakery-style Magnolia Bakery Red Velvet Cupcakes on your favorite occasion!

Substitutions and Variations

 The creamy white icing sits atop of these cupcakes like a cloud.
The creamy white icing sits atop of these cupcakes like a cloud.

If you want to mix things up and try some variations of Magnolia Bakery’s red velvet cupcakes, there are a few substitutions you can make.

First, if you prefer to use natural food coloring, you can substitute the red food coloring with beet juice or pomegranate juice. Beet juice will give your cupcakes a slightly more earthy flavor and a subtle pink color, while pomegranate juice will lend a tartness to the batter and produce a deep red hue.

For those who are lactose intolerant, you can substitute the buttermilk with lactose-free milk, almond milk or soy milk. Just add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar per cup of milk used to mimic the acidity and tanginess of buttermilk.

If you don’t have cake flour, you can make your own by combining all-purpose flour with cornstarch in a ratio of 1 cup all-purpose flour to 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Sift them together thoroughly before using in the recipe.

You can also add cocoa powder (3 tablespoons for every 1 cup cake flour self-rising) to the dry ingredient mixture for an extra chocolatey flavor. This variation is known as “Black Velvet” at Magnolia Bakery.

For those who are looking for toppings beyond the iconic cream cheese frosting, consider experimenting with other flavors such as vanilla frosting, buttercream frosting or even velvet cheesecake filling. Joanna Gaines famously celebrated her birthday with a red velvet cake topped with vanilla icing.

While Magnolia Bakery’s red velvet cupcakes are already famous in New York City and beyond, these substitutions and variations allow you to personalize your cupcakes and create your own delicious spin on this classic recipe.

Serving and Pairing

 The batter ingredients, including buttermilk and cocoa, create a rich and velvety flavor.
The batter ingredients, including buttermilk and cocoa, create a rich and velvety flavor.

When it comes to serving and pairing Magnolia Bakery’s Red Velvet Cupcakes, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First and foremost, these little bundles of goodness are perfect for any occasion – they make great dessert options for a dinner party, but they’re also excellent for an afternoon snack with a cup of tea or coffee.

In terms of pairing, these cupcakes work great with a wide range of drinks. If you want to keep things simple and classic, you can stick with a glass of milk. But if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try pairing your cupcakes with some red wine or sparkling rosé? The contrast between the sweetness of the cupcake and the bitterness of the wine will create an exquisite combination that your taste buds will thank you for!

If you prefer non-alcoholic beverages, consider adding a fancy twist to your usual coffee or tea by making it more indulgent. For instance, you can enjoy your cupcakes with a warm latte smothered in vanilla syrup or caramel drizzle. Alternatively, pair them with hot chocolate sprinkled with unsweetened cocoa powder for an intense chocolate experience that will leave your sweet tooth satisfied.

You can also experiment and add something extra on top of your cupcakes like buttercream frosting, cream cheese icing or whipped cream topped with edible decorations like sprinkles or chocolate shavings that would elevate their appearance!

However you choose to serve and pair these red velvet cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery, everyone is going to fall head over heels for these delicious treats!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 These cupcakes are the perfect size for a sweet afternoon pick-me-up snack.
These cupcakes are the perfect size for a sweet afternoon pick-me-up snack.

As a baker, I know that sometimes we need to plan ahead, whether it’s for parties, events or just for our own pleasure. Luckily with Magnolia Bakery’s Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe, you can make these cupcakes ahead of time so you can enjoy them whenever you want.

To make these cupcakes ahead of time, simply store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerate them for up to 6 days. If you want to keep them even longer, you can also freeze them for up to 2 months. Just make sure to let them thaw completely before serving.

When reheating these cupcakes, simply microwave them for 15-20 seconds on medium-low or pop them in the oven at 325°F (165°C) for about 5-7 minutes. Be careful not to overheat them as they may become dry.

But let’s be honest, these Red Velvet Cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery are so irresistible that it’s unlikely they will last that long!

Tips for Perfect Results

 One bite and you'll understand what makes these cupcakes so iconic.
One bite and you’ll understand what makes these cupcakes so iconic.

Now that you know the secrets to making perfect Magnolia Bakery’s red velvet cupcakes, let me share some essential tips to ensure a foolproof result.

Firstly, make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature, particularly the butter and eggs. Cold ingredients won’t mix together as smoothly as room temperature ones, and you’ll end up with lumpy batter.

Secondly, do not overmix the batter. Overmixing will result in tough cupcakes that don’t rise properly. Mix the wet and dry ingredients until they are just combined; it’s okay if there are some small lumps.

Thirdly, use high-quality ingredients for the best flavor. Splurge on good quality cocoa powder and vanilla extract to get the maximum taste.

Fourthly, when adding food coloring, add it a few drops at a time until you get the desired shade of red. Too much food coloring can alter the flavor and texture of your cupcakes.

Fifthly, fill the cupcake liners two-thirds full with batter to avoid overflowing while baking.

Sixthly, use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour if you want lighter and fluffier cupcakes.

Seventhly, resist the urge to open the oven door during baking time; this can cause your cupcakes to collapse or sink.

Lastly, let your cupcakes cool completely before frosting them; otherwise, the frosting will melt and slide off! If you’re short on time or impatient (like me), pop them in the refrigerator for 20-25 minutes to speed up the cooling process.

By following these essential tips, you’ll be able to create perfect red velvet cupcakes like a pro. So what are you waiting for? Grab your apron and baking tools and get started!


As with any recipe, it is common to have questions before starting. Here are some of the frequently asked questions and answers about Magnolia Bakery’s Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe that could help you achieve the perfect results for your dessert.

What are red velvet cupcakes made of?

Red velvet cake batter typically includes buttermilk, which reacts with the sodium bicarbonate to give the cake a lighter and airier texture. The acid in the buttermilk also combines with the cocoa powder to lend a slightly pinkish hue to the cake. Nowadays, many recipes incorporate red food coloring to create a more intense and vibrant color. This technique is commonly used in modern red velvet cake recipes.

Why is Magnolia Bakery so popular?

In 1996, a cozy little bakery opened its doors in the West Village. It was known as the Magnolia Bakery and quickly became famous for its delicious cupcakes. Over time, the bakery gained worldwide recognition and became a sensation. Although it received a brief cameo in a Sex and the City episode, the real reason behind its popularity is the taste of their baked goods.

Do Magnolia Bakery cupcakes need to be refrigerated?

To fully experience the rich, moist texture and delicious flavor of our cupcakes, it’s best to serve them at room temperature. If you need to store them for later, simply place them in an airtight container and keep them at room temperature for up to 48 hours after thawing. This will help maintain their freshness and flavor.

Why are they called Red Velvet cupcakes?

During the Victorian Era, the cakes known as “velvet” cakes were much loved at sophisticated gatherings, as they promised guests a delicately smooth and tender texture. Similarly, Devil’s food cake was quite the hit during this time in history.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Magnolia Bakery’s Red Velvet Cupcakes recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves desserts. The rich and velvety flavor of the cupcakes, combined with the fluffy cream cheese frosting creates a decadent treat that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at any occasion.

Whether you are a fan of the bakery famous red velvet cake or trying it for the first time, this recipe truly captures the essence of why Magnolia Bakery is so well-loved. With easy-to-follow instructions and substitution options, you will have no trouble making these sweet treats at home.

So go ahead, give this recipe a try and experience the taste of New York’s finest bakeries in your own kitchen. Trust me, once you bite into these cupcakes, you’ll understand why Joanna Gaines has chosen them as her birthday cake!

Magnolia Bakery's Red Velvet Cupcakes

Magnolia Bakery’s Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe

From Magnolia Bakery's Cookbook
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: < 60 Mins, Dessert, For Large Groups
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Calories: 442.2kcal


  • 3 1/2 cups cake flour (not self rising)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperture
  • 6 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

creamy vanillia frosting

  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350. Grease and lightly flour 2 cupcake pans(24 cupcakes).
  • To make the batter: In a small bowl, sift the cake 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 coloring, cocoa, and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat well.
  • In a measuring cup, stir the saltinto the buttermilk. 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. Arange the oven racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven and bake the cupcakes, switching postions of the pans half through baking, until a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on rack before icing.
  • Creamy Vanilla Frosting.
  • In medium-size saucepan, whisk the flour into milk until smooth. Place over medium heat and, stirring constantly, cook until the mixture becomes very thick and begins to bubble, 10-15 minutes. Cover with waxed paper placed directly on the surface and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  • In large bowl, on the medium high speed of an electric mixer, beat the butter for 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy.Gradually add the sugar, beating continuously for 3 minutes until fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat well.
  • Add cooled milk mixture, and continue to beat on the medium high speed for 5 minutes, until very smooth and noticeably whiter in color. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes ( no less and no longer- set a timer!) Use immediately.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 129g | Calories: 442.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 56.7g | Protein: 4.1g | Fat: 22.9g | Saturated Fat: 14.2g | Cholesterol: 82.6mg | Sodium: 262.8mg | Fiber: 0.6g | Sugar: 38.4g

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