Purple Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Tomorrow is a very sad day.  My supervisor at work is retiring and tomorrow is her luncheon.  I have had the pleasure of working with her for a little over a year now.  She will truly be missed. *Sigh*  In honor of her retirement, naturally, I wanted to make the cake.  That decision quickly turned to cupcakes when it turned out that her luncheon would be held outside the office at a local restaurant.  Why does that change from cake to cupcakes?  1. Transportation 2. Serving.  So, now when I decided that I would be making cupcakes the next decision was flavor.  In consulting with some of my fellow team members, chocolate cupcakes  with purple icing, her favorite color, seemed like a good idea.

After one of our team meetings I decided to ask my supervisor what is her favorite cake.  She said, “You would think it would be chocolate, but honestly, I really like red velvet with the cream cheese frosting.”   I had never made red velvet anything before, so I became very excited.  Something new!  When I have ample time to prepare, I like to do a run through at least once so when it comes time to make the real thing, I can feel confident in knowing it will be good.  After a little researching,  I selected a Paula Deen recipe from www.foodnetwork.com.  It came out great.  I have never been a big fan of red velvet.  It seems like every time I have sampled a slice, it was always so dry.  In reading the comments about the recipe, a lot of people complained that there was too much oil and that the cupcake liners were oil-laden.  I kept that in mind and allowed my batter to mix until I was sure that the oil was completely infused into the batter.  I guess that was the issue, because I did not have the oily problem at all.  The cupcakes were moist and had a very good flavor.

Next was the cream cheese frosting.  This is where I made a mistake.  Hopefully, if you have never attempted cream cheese frosting, you will heed my advice.  If something calls for “butter”, use “butter”.  I decided to use a butter substitute.  I use it when I make cookies and it works great.  In icing, not so much.  It was loose and it never achieved the “light and fluffy” consistency.  Once it chilled in the fridge a while it firmed up nicely and I could spread it on the cupcakes.  I, however, wanted to pipe my icing, not spread it on.

I decided that red velvet cupcakes with purple frosting would be a little too much.  The “Red Hat Ladies” is what came to mind and that is not the look I was going for.  Then the light bulb turned on, ding!  What makes red velvet, red velvet?  Red food coloring.  Are  you following me?  Can you see where this is going?  Instead of red food coloring, I can use purple!  Hence, PURPLE velvet cupcakes.  Brilliant!  Okay, so I am a legend in MY mind.  I then decided, purple velvet cupcakes, cream cheese icing, and some purple sugar sprinkled on top.

I doubled the cupcake batter and no matter how hard I tried to watch how much I filled the liners, I barely got 41 cupcakes.  I doubled the cream cheese icing and ended up with more than enough icing even if I was able to get 48.

I made minimal adjustments to this recipe.  Before you add the flour mixture, allow the oil/egg mixture to mix well.  Like I mentioned, I think that made all the difference in the oil issue.  20 minutes seemed a little long when I made the red velvet, so I baked these cakes for 18 minutes, checked them, and they were perfect.  You know your oven best, so just adjust accordingly.  Using butter made ALL the difference in the world to icing.  It is fabulous!

I made the icing first and put the bowl in the fridge while I made the cupcakes.  This was just preferential.  FYI: Be sure you allow your cakes to cool completely.  I pulled them out of the pan after about 10 minutes and let them cool the rest of the way on racks.  I then put them back into the pans, iced them, hubby sprinkled them with the sugar, and then put the pans into the fridge.  They look SUPER CUTE!  I was very pleased with the outcome.

I think my supervisor will like these.  I hope she will, at the very least.

The recipe below yields 24 cupcakes.  Remember, I doubled this.

Have a great week!  Thanks for stopping by!

Red Purple Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Adapted from FoodNetwork.Com


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons purple food coloring (I actually used icing tint and added until I was happy with the color)
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar


Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low-speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

Cook’s Note: Frost the cupcakes with a butter knife or pipe it on with a big star tip.



About thestubbiechef

I am married to the greatest man, Brad, who also happens to be the "bestest" friend ever! He loves that my hobby is food, because, well, he loves food! He encourages me and helps me out in the kitchen from time to time. Baking has become a new passion for me. It seems that I make pretty good pies. I like to make cookies as well. I tried my hand at cupcakes, but I don't have the patience to play the waiting game. I have always loved to cook. My Memom is my main influence. I had the pleasure of living with her on 2 separate occasions and learned a lot by just watching and helping. She was also the kind of cook who could open the pantry and throw together something pretty quick. I was so glad that I picked up on that skill. Some of my better meals have been the ones that I just "threw together" what I could scrounge up in the pantry and fridge. Italian cuisine is my first love, growing up in an Italian family and being from New Jersey. I also have dabbled a little in Asian cooking. I am getting pretty good at pork fried rice. My husband grew up in the south, for the most part, so I have been trying my hand at things like chicken fried steak, biscuits and gravy, and the likes. Living in Texas has opened doors into Mexican cuisine, but I think I will leave the tortilla making to the experts. I love to get new recipes and to share new recipes that I have discovered. That is why I wanted to start this blog! I hope to share my experience with others who also love to cook! I hope that you enjoy what you read and keep coming back!

Posted on April 11, 2011, in Baking, Cake, Cupcakes, Food, Recipes, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. my hubby loves red velvet cake, and were vikings fans! i’ll have to save this recipe for football season! Yum!

    • I have had such a busy week! Forgive me for not replying right away. That is a perfect excuse to make these cupcakes! Thank you for visiting and thanks for commenting. I discovered your steakhouse mushrooms and was very excited. My husband is the mushroom lover in the house and I have always wanted to try making the mushrooms like he likes with his steak. Great! I also plan on looking for the water bottle you blogged about. We have well water, which is just fine, but the city water here is less than desirable. I am looking forward to trying this bottle.

  2. It’s always sad to see great people leave. But you definitely made me happy by posting these purple velvet cupcakes. I’ve never heard of this and I am too excited to try it girl. Wonderful post as always 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by, again! These were a big hit at the luncheon. My supervisor LOVED them, especially since they were purple. She staked her claim in the leftovers. The icing received raved reviews too. It was pretty yummy. I hope you are having a good week…my has been super busy!

  3. I LOVE Red Velvet Cake, it is one of my favorites! I will definitely be trying this recipe! =)

    • It seems a lot of people love red velvet. I had no idea! At the luncheon everyone kept asking what the flavor was. I just laughed. I said, its just red velvet cake, except I used purple instead of red food coloring. It was pretty funny. I was still getting questions about it yesterday. The purple part threw them off. Thanks for stopping by!

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