These easy Pink Velvet Cupcakes take the best of red velvet and make it pretty in pink. Rich chocolate flavor in a tender, moist pink velvet cupcakes.
Think red velvet cupcakes turned into pink cupcakes perfect for Valentine’s Day or any special occasion a special sweet treat is wanted.
This delicious pink velvet cupcake recipe is an easy from scratch recipe. Frost cupcakes with delicious cream cheese frosting, buttercream frosting or pink frosting! They are made of simple ingredients and is as easy as using a cake mix but more delicious.
What are Pink Velvet Cupcakes?
Some pink velvet is made with yellow cake dyed pink. We took a different route.
To describe these pink velvet cupcakes we need to start with red velvet. Red velvet cake is essentially a chocolate cake with red coloring. Unlike most chocolate cake though it includes ingredients like buttermilk and vinegar which create a chemical reaction making a light, tender cake (much like making a Depression Cake or Wacky Cake).
These pink velvet cupcakes leverage some of the core ingredients as in a red velvet recipe. Unsweetened cocoa powder, buttermilk, baking soda. It does not include vinegar and we’ve added melted chocolate chips to give it a rich chocolate flavor.
The cupcakes are light and tender. Because of the chocolate when coloring these cupcakes they are a deep pink color, almost magenta color instead of a light pink.
Homemade pink velvet cupcakes are always a fun surprise!
Recipe Ingredients Notes
Flour. Regular all purpose flour or gluten-free measure-for-measure flour can be used. For gluten-free baking we recommend Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour. It’s what we use to test all our gluten-free recipes.
Unsweetened cocoa powder. Be sure to use unsweetened cocoa.
Buttermilk. Shake the container vigorously before using.
Pink gel food coloring. Gel coloring is much more vibrant than regular food coloring (though either can be used). We used Wilton gel in shade Rose for these cupcakes.
Eggs. Use large eggs.
Vegetable oil. Instead of unsalted butter this recipe uses oil which makes the cupcakes moist.
The flavor of these cupcakes are perfect for many different types of frosting. It can be as simple as vanilla or something a bit more exciting! Here are some of our favorites:
- Strawberry Frosting
- Cream Cheese Frosting
- Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
- Whipping Cream for something light and simple
How to make Pink Velvet Cupcakes – Step-by-Step
Detailed printable recipe card at the end of the post.
STEP 1. Preparation
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the cavities of a cupcake pan with double cupcake liners.
STEP 2. Melt the chocolate chips
Using a microwave or double boiler melt the chocolate chips (follow package instructions for microwave). Stir until smooth (photo 1).
STEP 3. Make the batter
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder. Whisk to fully combine (photo 2).
In a separate bowl or large liquid measuring cup combine the shaken buttermilk and oil (photo 3).
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using an electric mixer) lightly beat together the eggs and vanilla extract (photo 4). Add the sugar and beat to combine.
Spoon the melted chocolate into the mixing bowl with the eggs along with some of the flour mixture (dry ingredients). Running the mixer on medium speed, allow the mixture to combine. Slowly pour some of the buttermilk-oil mixture into the mixing bowl allowing it to incorporate (photo 5).
Continue to alternate the remaining flour and wet ingredients, ending with flour (photo 6). Add the pink food coloring to create a deep pink tone (photo 7). Mix until just combined (scrape the sides of the bowl); DO NOT OVERMIX.
Note: depending on the type of food coloring and the amount used, the color may vary.
STEP 4. Fill and Bake
Fill the muffin cups two-thirds full with the cupcake batter and smooth the top of the batter (photo 8). Bake for 18-20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
STEP 5. Cool and Frost
Allow to cool in the muffin tin on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes, then remove from the muffin tin and place on the cooling rack until fully cooled before frosting.
Frosting can be spread onto the cooled cupcakes or piped onto the cupcakes using a decorating tip and piping bag.
How to Store
Store cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Allow them to come to room temperature before eating for best flavor.
Using 2 liners allows the outer liner to look new and the inner liner to absorb any fats from the baking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Though it does not contain vinegar it still has a tender, light consistency like red velvet. Use red food coloring (gel coloring recommended) to make the color a deep red.
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Pink Velvet Cupcakes
- 1/2 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 1 ¼ cups All Purpose Flour regular or gluten-free measure-for-measure flour blend
- ¼ teaspoons Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/3 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1/2 cup Buttermilk shaken
- ½ cup Vegetable Oil
- 2 large Eggs
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ¾ cups Granulated Sugar
- Pink Food Coloring (I used Wilton’s ‘Rose’)
- 1 batch Frosting of choice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with double cupcake liners. PRO TIP: using 2 liners allows the outer liner to look new and the inner liner to absorb any fats from the baking.
- Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave or stove top in a double boiler following the package directions. For the microwave: use a microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute at 50% power, stir vigorously and repeat in 10 seconds intervals until melted and silky smooth.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder. Whisk to fully combine.
- In a separate bowl or large liquid measuring cup combine the shaken buttermilk and oil.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer) lightly beat together the eggs and vanilla extract. Add the sugar and beat to combine.
- Spoon the melted chocolate into the mixing bowl with the eggs along with some of the flour. Running the mixer on medium speed, allow the mixture to combine. Slowly pour some of the buttermilk-oil mixture into the mixing bowl allowing it to incorporate.
- Continue to alternate the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk-oil, ending with flour. Add the pink food coloring to create a deep pink tone. Mix until just combined; DO NOT OVERMIX.
- Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full and smooth the top of the batter. Bake for 17-20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow cupcakes to cool in the muffin pan on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes, then remove from the muffin tin and place directly on the cooling rack until fully cooled before frosting.
- Frosting can be spread onto the cooled cupcakes or piped onto the cupcakes using a decorating tip and piping bag.
Originally published: February 12, 2016
All this says is 1/3 unsweetened cocoa powder. Is that suppose to be 1/3 cup?
Toni Dash says
Yes! Do you believe this recipe has been published since 2016 and you are the first to catch that lol. Thank you and it’s fixed now.
I made these cupcakes yesterday and wow, it was delicious! I couldn’t believe that it’s gluten-free too as it came out so good. Every single one of your many recipes we’ve made has been absolutely delicious, thanks a lot,
Heather Rose says
I don’t know what I liked better, the cupcakes or the frosting! Delicious!
Not only are these cupcakes adorable, but they are also SO delicious! They’re perfect soft, fluffy and moist all at the same time. We topped ours with cream cheese frosting which was just amazing!
Love that you’ve included a gluten-free option. I’m going to make these and share the recipe with my GF friends!
My family loves these cupcakes. I make them every year for Valentine’s Day. They have become a favorite.
OH wow, these cupcakes are so amazing. I LOVE the pink velvet for valentines. Thanks!
These were a huge hit with my best friend’s kids, thanks for a fabulous recipe Toni!
These are so fun for Valentine’s Day! But also perfect for a baby shower for a mama having a girl!
Toni Dash says
Yes!! So fun.