Pink Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I was recently asked for a good pink velvet cupcake recipe for three baby girls’ birthdays and I immediately thought of the Joy of Cooking.  It’s the perfect book to turn to when you’re looking for baking tips or just basic recipes to adapt to your own needs. Their red velvet recipe (which is an adaptation of their buttermilk layer cake) is a tested staple, so I decided to use it as my foundation for these pink velvet delights.

Pink cupcakes still in the pan

Cupcakes before frosting

Because of the hot pink liners I used, I decided to go with white cream cheese frosting, but you can easily turn your frosting into a pale or deep pink color if that suits your needs better. All you need is a bit of red (or pink) food coloring to achieve the desired shade you’re looking for. Frankly, these looked so cute without the frosting I was tempted to leave them bare. But then again, what would cupcakes be without their sweet, creamy counterpart?!

Pink velvet cupcake before frosting

Pink velvet cupcake with frosting

These are incredibly simple to make – in fact, you’ll be done in about 1.5 hours from start to finish – and they’re fun to play around with. You can make the batter as light or as dark pink as you want, you can get creative with the frosting, and you can even top them off with shredded coconut or silver sprinkles if you’re looking to add a bit of texture.

Frosted pink velvet cupcake, before the sprinkled sugar

I kept these as simple as they come and topped them off with pink sanding sugar. I think they would actually look adorable with some turquoise or lavender sanding sugar too, but I’ll leave that to your designing preference! A big thank you to my requester for the inspiration (you know who you are :-).

Happy Monday and happy baking!

Read on for the recipe…

Pink velvet cupcakes with pink sanding sugar

Good morning, Sunshine! Pink Velvet for breakfast anyone?!


~ 2 1/2 cups cake flour

~ 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

~ 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

~ 1/4 teaspoon salt

~ 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa

~ Red food coloring

~ 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

~ 1 1/3 cups sugar

~ 3 large eggs

~ 1 teaspoon vanilla

~ 1 cup buttermilk


~ 8 ounces cold cream cheese

~ 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened

~ 2 teaspoons vanilla

~ 3 cups confectioner’s sugar


~ Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake/muffin pan with liners, set aside.

~ Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and unsweetened cocoa together until thoroughly blended.

~ In a separate bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Gradually add the sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, taking about 3 – 5 minutes.

~ Gradually beat in the eggs and vanilla, taking about 2 minutes.

~ Lower the speed on your mixer and add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the buttermilk, in two parts. Add the food coloring with your first addition of the buttermilk, a few drops at a time, until you achieve the desired shade in your batter. Beat until smooth and scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.

~ Divide the batter between the cupcake/muffin holders and fill until two-thirds of the way up, spreading evenly.

~ Bake 18 – 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

~ Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cooled, remove from the pan.


~ Combine all your ingredients in a food processor and pulse until just smooth and creamy.

~ Frost your cupcakes with your desired decorating tip once they are cooled.

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