All hail the Red Velvet Cupcake! A true classic and perhaps one of the more popular among all other cupcakes. I’m excited to share today’s recipe for red velvet cupcakes (from a cake mix) with you because it could not be any easier. No more worrying about getting the “science” right for perfectly fluffy, delicious cupcakes, just simple ingredients and delicious, delicious results!
red velvet cupcakes from a cake mix
Yes, that’s right, we’re using a store-bought cake mix. No vinegar, no buttermilk, you don’t even need red food coloring if you don’t want it. I told you this would be easy. But before you think you’ll just be preparing cake mix and baking it as usual think again. With this recipe you’re adding extra ingredients to elevate the cake mix to give you delicious results. Today’s example: Red Velvet Cupcakes. You’ll also need a package of chocolate instant pudding mix. This will make the texture of the cupcakes extra soft and emphasize the chocolate flavor that red velvet desserts are known for.
making cupcakes from a cake mix
In this recipe, the cake mix is simply just a base. Pair the red velvet cake mix with the instant chocolate pudding mix and you’ve got a great foundation for red velvet cupcakes. I also used red velvet cake mix to make these red velvet hearts!
You’ll also need eggs, sour cream, oil, milk (or half&half) and a little vanilla extract. This is a one bowl recipe so you literally just throw all the ingredients into a bowl and mix away. I highly recommend using a handheld mixer but you technically don’t need one. The batter of these cupcakes will be super thick so a hand mixer does make it a little easier.
don’t forget the cream cheese frosting
What is a red velvet cupcake without cream cheese frosting?! Luckily enough cream cheese frosting is a cinch to make from scratch so we do not need any short cuts there. You will need unsalted butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, a splash of milk, clear vanilla extract and a tiny amount of salt. The key to a good cream cheese frosting is in the temperature of the butter and cream cheese. Make sure the butter and cream cheese are at room temperature when it’s time to assemble to the frosting.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
- standard cupcake pan
- cupcake liners
- 15.25 oz red velvet cake mix
- 3.4 oz chocolate instant pudding mix not cook & serve
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup milk or half & half
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick) room temperature
- 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
- 2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp milk or half & half
- 2 tsp clear vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl combine cake mix and pudding mix together. Give the dry ingredients a quick whisk. Add in the eggs, sour cream, oil, milk and vanilla extract. Using a large spoon or a handheld mixer on medium speed, mix the ingredients together until the cake batter forms and is thick and smooth. Scrap down the sides of the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are well incorporated. Use a cookie dough scoop or small spoon to evenly fill the cupcake liners with cake batter. Fill the liners about 2/3 of the way full. Bake in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.While the cupcakes are cooling take the butter and cream cheese out of the refrigerator and let them sit out on the counter to soften to room temperature.
- Make the Frosting: In a large mixing bowl combine the butter and cream cheese. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a handheld elecrtic mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese together on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in 2 cups of powdered sugar. Beat on low speed so the sugar doesn't fly everywhere and then beat on medium speed once the frosting starts to form. Slowly add in the milk and clear vanilla extract and mix to combine. Stop mixing and taste test the frosting. If you would like it a little sweeter, add the remaining cup of sugar, if you like how it tastes, add the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and continue mixing the frosting on medium speed for another 2 to 3 minutes to make the frosting thick and fluffy. Frost and decorate the cupcakes as desired. Serve immediately or store leftover in an airtight container for up to 3 days.