Cupcakes/ Desserts

Gluten Free Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red velvet cupcakes and cream cheese frosting is such a classic pair. My cake batter is so airy and soft, I guarantee you’ll forget that they’re gluten-free. I was definitely wide-eyed and swooning over the Valentines passed around in elementary school, despite the fact that every other kid in my class got the same card as I did. Nevertheless, this beloved holiday came with a packed day of arts and crafts, as well as treats that put us in sugar comas for the rest of the week. Whether you’re 6 or 96, a red velvet cupcake can really turn your day around. Decorate these with extra love for this occasion! 

Cupcakes are such a simple treat for bakers of all level to master. If you want to explore more cupcake recipes, I highly recommend visiting my recipe for chocolate cupcakes with orange buttercream!

Why I love this recipe: 

  • They are light and fluffy
  • They’re fast to bake
  • Cream cheese frosting is a classic
  • You can decorate them however you like!
gluten-free red velvet cupcakes

For these cupcakes, the key is to take your time creaming together all of the we ingredients. You want that to be smooth and creamy before combining any additional ingredients. For my red velvet cake batter, the fluffiness and airiness of the final product is solely dependent on two things: how the butter and sugar are creamed together, and how the egg whites are folded in. 

When it comes time to incorporate the buttermilk and flour, beat on low speed, until just combined. This will ensure that some air stays in the batter, which is what we want!

We want very foamy, stiff peaks formed when beating the egg whites on high speed. Make sure you can create a long, pointy peek with the egg whites before folding them into the batter. When it’s time to fold them in, do so gently and slowly; take your time! This final step is crucial to your cupcakes maintaining their fluff after they have baked and cooled. 

red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Now, onto the frosting. 🙂 

I’m such a fan of cream cheese in frostings, because it tones down the sweetness. Most frosting requires a lot of confectioners sugar to establish the best texture for piping. Butter and cream cheese will dilute that sweetness so that you can still taste and appreciate the actual cupcake. 

Make sure the butter and cream cheese are at room temperature when beating together. Add one cup of confectioners sugar at a time, to get rid of any lumps. Once it is ready, I recommend chilling it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. This will make it easier to transfer to your piping bag. 

As for the actual piping, I always place my bag in a long water glass to stabilize it when I add the frosting to the bag. Make sure you leave enough room at the top of the bag to keep it securely closed, otherwise you’ll have cream cheese frosting seeping all over your hands by the time you’re finished! 

The sprinkles and decorations are up to you! Red and white is an obvious color combo for Valentine’s Day; but this treat can be enjoyed year-round.

If preparing a day or two in advance, I suggest keeping them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. They will be best enjoyed within the first three days of baking. You can also freeze the cupcakes in their wrappers for up to three months. When you’re ready to serve, simply thaw them out to room temperature before piping on the frosting. Hope you enjoy sharing this delicious treat with your special someone! 


Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Print Recipe
Serves: 24 Prep Time:25 Cooking Time:20


  • For the cupcakes:
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 eggs, room temperature, separated
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons red food dye
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • For the cream cheese frosting:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • A pinch of kosher salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • Sprinkles and candy hearts for topping



Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two 12-muffin tins with cupcake wrappers.


Divide the eggs. Place the egg whites in a medium bowl and the egg yolks in a small bowl. Set aside.


In a medium bowl, sift the flour, corn starch, and cocoa powder to get rid of any clumps. Whisk in the baking soda and salt.


In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until well combined, about 4 minutes. You want it to be really creamy!


Beat in the egg yolks, vegetable oil, vanilla, vinegar, and food dye for another minute until well-combined.


Add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat until just combined, followed by half of the buttermilk. Repeat this again, only beating until just combined.


Now, return to the egg whites and beat them on high speed for a minute or two, until they get frothy and stiff peaks form. Use a spatula to gently fold the egg white into the rest of the cake batter.


Pour the batter into the cupcake tins until they are about 3/4 of the way full. I highly recommend baking the cupcake tins in the oven one at a time. If doing so, only fill one tin at a time until the next batch is ready to bake.


Bake the cupcakes for 20 minutes. Bake for additional 1-minute increments until a toothpick comes out of the center of a cupcake clean. Let them cool almost completely in the tins, then transfer to the refrigerator.


Meanwhile, prepare the cream cheese frosting. Beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla, salt, and one cup of confectioners sugar at a time and beat until smooth and creamy. Let it set slightly in the refrigerator while the cupcakes are chilling.


After the cupcakes have chilled in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, use a piping bag or spatula to frost the cupcakes. Decorate with sprinkles and candy hearts to top them off!


A rule of thumb for most cake batter: mix until just combined. The less mixing, the fluffier these will come out of the oven. Folding in the egg white opposed to beating the eggs whole will also contribute to the softness of these treats more than you might think!

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