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Drew Caldwell’s Red Velvet Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350. Spray the cupcake pan with cooking spray, then put in cupcake liners, and spray the inside of the cupcake liners. Set the cupcake pan aside.

A note about chocolate; the more (and darker) chocolate you include, the richer the chocolatey flavor the cupcakes will have, but at the expense of the red color you will be seeing (they can be more of a dark reddish brown color). For very red cupcakes, use ¼ cup of Hershey’s Cocoa and go heavy on the red food coloring. For darker, richer cupcakes that will still have that distinctive red velvet flavor, use the chocolate proportions below.


In a large mixing bowl put

  • 2 cups of sifted flour

  • 2 cups of sugar

  • ¼ cup Anthony’s Organic Black Cocoa powder

  • ½ cup Hershey’s Special Coco Dark Cacao powder

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda, and

  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt.

Stir to mix. In the same bowl add

  • ½ cup cold brew coffee (see below)

  • 1 cup of buttermilk

  • ¼ cup melted butter

  • ¾ cup of vegetable oil

  • 2 eggs

  • ½ cup sour cream

  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla, up to

  • 1 generous fluid ounce of red food coloring to desired color intensity, and

  • 1 teaspoon vinegar

(be sure to put the vinegar in last as it will begin reacting with the baking soda).

Mix what’s in the bowl to make a thick batter. Add up to ½ cup of heavy cream to thin the final batter and mix thoroughly. With a big spoon, fill cupcake liners close to the top of the liner so the cupcakes will develop a generous round top when baked. Wipe any drizzles off the cupcake tray to ease cleanup. In the 350 degree oven, bake between 20 and 25 minutes until a toothpick in the center comes out clean (bake time will likely vary for different ovens; the toothpick is your friend.) Allow to cool about 15 minutes in the tray then pop them out so you can reuse your cupcake pan as needed.

Whipped Cream Cheese Topping

Per dozen cupcakes, whip an 8-ounce package of room temperature cream cheese with ¾ cup of confectioner’s sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla, set aside. Next, whip a cup of heavy cream with ½ cup of confectioner’s sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla. Fold whipped cream into cream cheese frosting and put a dollop on each cupcake. Garnish as desired.

[Morning Before] Cold Brew Coffee

To make a pitcher of cold brew coffee, use a ratio of 1 ½ teaspoons of coffee to 1 cup of water steeped in a pitcher in the refrigerator overnight. Run through a coffee filter in the morning. The amount of coffee grounds may be adjusted to taste. (One of my favorite summer beverages is a blender with brown sugar, heavy cream, cinnamon, vanilla and cold brew coffee garnished with a drizzle of maple syrup; makes a pitcher of tasty coffee maple milkshakes.)


A note on flowers; cake-safe flowers from your garden are best, as you can be sure there are no pesticides. Some retailers offer organic flowers as well. Whatever you use, be sure to clean the flowers and leaves carefully before using them in decorating. Cutting stems below the water line and using flower tape helps create a barrier from sap or water affecting baked goods, and also helps ensure the blooms remain beautiful and fresher looking longer. In general, roses are a cake-safe flower, and the petals can be candied.

Be sure to rinse well and dry any berries used in decorating.

Download recipe below

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Download PDF • 445KB

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