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Primp My Red Velvet Cupcake!

Primp My Red Velvet Cupcake!

Gluten Free Red Velvet Cupcake CakesFor now, and for the foreseeable future, gluten-free cupcakes are as essential to a well-functioning household as, say, not forgetting permissions slips and remembering to pack lunch and a snack for everyone, every day. Whether it’s one my children having a birthday, or someone else’s child having a birthday, cupcakes are important. And since my gluten-free son can’t have someone else’s cupcake, he has to have his own. See? I need a lot of cupcakes. And when I’m planning to bring cupcakes into school and they’re going to feed other children, I have learned a few things: they’d better not have a strong, unfamiliar taste (like dark chocolate) and they’d better not look “different.” These gluten-free red velvet cupcakes are light enough on the chocolate flavor that even a vanilla-cupcake-kind-of-kid might accept them, but still good-looking enough to get the kid-friendly “nod.” And they’re super easy to make, too. Plus, they freeze well. Cupcake emergencies happen.

Gluten Free Red Velvet Cupcake Cakes

To all the dry ingredients, add the butter, eggs, vanilla, gel coloring, cider vinegar and then some milk. And the batter will go from lumpy …

Gluten Free Red Velvet Cupcake Cakes

…to smooth and shiny.  

Gluten Free Red Velvet Cupcake Cakes

Then line standard muffin cups and fill them with batter (1/2 full if you want flat tops, or 3/4 full if you want a higher dome).

Gluten Free Red Velvet Cake Cupcakes

Like this.

On to the frosting. Here’s how I fill a pastry bag.

Gluten Free Red Velvet Cake Cupcakes

Place the tip in the disposable bag and push it to a corner. Snip the bag just enough to expose the tip but keep it snug in the bag. Turn over a cuff in the open side of the bag, place the bag with tip in a tall glass, and turn the cuff over the lip of the glass. Add enough frosting to fill the bag about 5 inches high, and leave the rest empty. Remove the bag from the glass, turn the cuff right-side out, and twist the bag tight. Secure with a twist (or a ribbon) if you like.

Gluten Free Red Velvet Cake Cupcakes

Frost your cooled cupcakes. Maybe try my homemade gluten-free white chocolate frosting. Go wild!

NOTE: This post used to be about a former blog sponsor called Primp My Cupcake (that’s why the post is titled as it is), but they went out of business! So sorry if that’s at all awkward. :)

Primp My Red Velvet Cupcake!
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Serves: 12
  • 1 3/4 cup (245g) high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • Super red soft gel paste food coloring to desired color
  • Scant 1 cup milk (low-fat is fine, nonfat is not), at room temperature
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line a standard 12 cup muffin tin with grease proof pretty cupcake liners and set it aside.
  2. In a large bowl, place the flour xanthan gum, salt, baking soda, cocoa powder and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the butter, eggs, vanilla, vinegar and 2 to 3 drops of food coloring. Mix to combine. The batter will be lumpy. Add the milk, and mix to combine well. Add more food coloring a drop at a time, mixing well after each, until the desired color is reached.
  3. Divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups. Shake the muffin tin back and forth to distribute the batter evenly in each cup. Smack the tin *smack* on the countertop to break any trapped air bubbles in the batter.
  4. Place in the center of the preheated oven, and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

If you don’t have gel food coloring, substitute 2 tablespoons liquid McCormick red food coloring, and reduce the milk by 2 tablespoons.


P.S. If you haven’t yet, please pick up a copy of My Cookbooks! With your help, the blog can keep going and going!

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  • Jennifer Cox

    Okay, I’ve been eyeballing various red velvet recipes for the last few months, trying to figure out how I’d get everything to work GF for the holidays.

    You. Are. A LIFESAVER! O_O I’m going to order these things and then dance around my kitchen while the deliciousness is being made! Thank you!

    • Nicole

      Hi, Jennifer,
      So glad you’re excited. Now I’m even more excited!
      What else have you been eyeballing, worried you won’t be able to make GF — maybe I can help! Hooray. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Pamela G

    Can’t like it…sorry. Red food coloring scares me…only after a bout with blue food coloring and it’s **ahem** after effects. Can i make them without?

    • Nicole

      Hi, Pam,
      Absolutely! You can make it without the coloring entirely. If you replace the milk with buttermilk, or just use a bit more cider vinegar, your cake will be a bit brownish-red anyhow. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Shannon

    YUM!! I could seriously lock myself in my house & just make recipes from your blog (I’ve put your book on my Christmas list ;))! So many great ones & this is no exception. I’m finding all the recipes for dishes that my kids have been missing. Thanks Nicole!!!

    • Nicole

      Hi, Shannon,
      You came back! I’m so glad.
      Tell me what else they’ve been missing, if you haven’t already found it on the blog. It helps a lot!
      xoxo Nicole

      • Shannon

        Pssst, I never left! ;) I am thoroughly addicted now. My 10 year old son is rather easy going & makes my life easier. My 7 year old daughter is…not so much! She cries at least once a week about the unfairness of eating GF & how much she is missing out. Funny how she forgets the bloated tummy & waking up in the wee hours of the morning throwing up. Eh. Thankfully, they can both have dairy (which I cannot) so that makes life a bit easier. I shall consult her royal divaness when she gets home from school & see what she says she misses most! :)

        • Nicole

          That’s the rule, Shannon. You get 1 child who schools you, and the rest tend to soothe you. It’s just The Law. Dairy does make things easier. I wish you could have it, too…
          Glad you’re here. :)
          xoxo Nicole

          • Shannon

            Not sure what I did wrong but I have 2 children that school me on a regular basis. Well, they are girls…ROFL! My oldest daughter is a handful but totally worth it. ;)

        • Kara

          Shannon I couldn’t resist commenting I have a 5, well almost 6, year old who is the SAME way!!! She stomps to her room, flops on the bed and cries about not getting to eat (insert glutinous food here)! Oh, how I pray it gets easier the longer we are on the diet. It has only been about 4 months.

          • Shannon

            I’m glad you commented Kara! I also pray it gets better. My youngest has been gf for a year now. I think it is personality! :P

  • Anneke

    Oh, dear Nicole, I find Red Velvet creepy — frankly, the color red on the whole is not my favorite! However, like all your posts, this one has so many other things to chat about, that you won’t even notice my unwillingness to make the cupcakes. Where to start? Cupcake papers and Charlie Brown, so true! Going to have to look into these fabulous new ones from your fabulous new sponsor. Have I ever told you that we often call my daughter Charlotte after Charlie Brown? She is the one who gets the stuck cupcake paper, or the rock, or the celiac disease . . . her lovely real name is Linnea, but Charlotte is pretty good, too! And the USA Pans, so trying to justify those when I have so many other pans that are getting the job done . . . The filling of the pastry bag in a glass? Brilliant! What will you come up with next? On another topic, made Chocolate Breakfast Muffins yesterday (for dinner, which was scrambled eggs, so really, breakfast) — so, so delicious!! Love you. Really. Well, maybe not your Red Velvet . . . Anneke

    • Nicole

      Hi, Anneke,
      Nice to see you on the blog! You’re the current doyenne of the Community Page!
      You might have already guessed this, but I love that you hate red velvet cake, and proudly told me that in a post about red velvet cake. Like a breath of fresh air! I kinda get it, but I still love red velvet. It’s such a nice, lightly chocolate cake – and my son doesn’t love rich chocolate cakes. Pleases all my children nicely.
      That is too funny about Charlotte/Linnea (Linnea is such a ridiculously beautiful name – it seems she got quite lucky in that department). Poor kid! We always laugh about “I got a rock.” My favorite line is, “Charlie Brown, of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you’re the Charlie Browniest.” I think we’re all a little Charlie Brown. I know I am. :/
      If you’re on the fence about USA Pans, I’d try out a USA Pans loaf pan, since you make so much bread. No other loaf pan even comes close. I’ve had mine for over a year, and I never grease it. And it just works … better. More evenly. I can’t say enough good things about it. Can’t.
      So glad you loved Chocolate Breakfast Muffins. No red velvet for you. I’ll cross that off the menu for when you come over. .. ;)
      xoxo Nicole

      • Anneke

        You can always count on me for painful honesty, Nicole! I’m your girl! Doyenne, huh? There’s a scrabble word for you! Love the Community Page!

        • Nicole

          Fortunately for your scrabble game, I’m full of … scrabble words.
          Love the painful honesty, given as it is with love. :)
          xoxo Nicole

  • Marti

    Thanks, Nicole! We will certainly be making these. Red velvet is my granddaughter’s favorite. She is 6 and loves baking with me. I make a gf version of red velvet from a cake mix. And they are good, too. But that mix is like $4-$5. Now we have our own shoestring version, awsome! Last time we made them I asked her if she thought red velvet tasted more like vanilla or more like choclate. She said it tasted like “velvet.” What did I expect!

    • Nicole

      Hi, Marti,
      Your granddaughter sounds like a genius. I love it when kids refuse to force something lovely into a confining box, like we grownups do all too often without even realizing it. Cake mixes are nice, but yes, expensive. In my next book, I will have a bunch of DIY “mixes” to have on hand. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • I’m glad to know about these cupcake liners when I need them. I made baby gf/df butterscotch blondies in the wee silicone liners, and I ended up having to leave them on (while exhorting people to give them back to me when done) because they would not peel off properly. I have not had that problem with the larger cupcake liners, though.

    I wish I could be one of your regular taste-testers, Nicole. I just want to nibble, that’s all. Is that so wrong?


    • Nicole

      Hi, Farida!
      So nice to hear from you. I have your St. Lucia Buns ready, and I’m planning to put them up on the blog on Monday (in plenty of time, right?). They took me quite a few tries, so I could have used you as a taste tester!
      I have to laugh about the silicone liners. I don’t like baking in silicone bakeware at all. Too floppy. And, apparently, too sticky. I can picture you begging people to return them safely to you. I would have been the same way!
      xoxo Nicole

      • Hi Nicole,
        I’m impressed and grateful for your experimentations with the Lucia buns! Thank you, thank you.
        xo, Farida

        • Nicole

          My pleasure, Farida!
          xoxo Nicole

  • Tammy Park

    I can’t believe I’ve never eaten red velvet cake before, but if given a choice, I’ll pick chocolate or lemon instead of any other flavor cake or cupcake. After seeing red velvet cake on the inside of an Armadillo- shaped dessert getting chopped up in the movie Steel Magnolias, I didn’t think I was missing out on much, except maybe red-stained teeth. Brought to mind some blue cupcakes I made one time. Kids love blue gums and teeth. Me, not so much. But, these would be a hit at Christmas and Valentine’s Day, especially. I made your Chocolate Breakfast Muffins this week, too, only turned them into Christmas tartlets and mini cupcakes with chocolate kisses smooshed on top or peanut butter cups buried inside. They taste wonderful and moist without the candy additions, though. Thanks for all your great ideas!

    • Nicole

      Hi, Tammy,
      Oh I remember that armadillo cake. What a great movie. Lotsa sisterhood.
      Funny, I am okay with red food (oddly), but blue food makes me queasy. Go figure.
      Love the sound of those mini chocolate muffins. Cute!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Tiffanny

    Sorry to bug you with something I should be able to figure out but every now and then I click on your blog link to EasyRecipe and I read the various tabs but haven’t actually found the “download” button. I assumed it was freeware and it would be downloadable on that link but I seem to be missing something. But, then again, whenever I get to that page (orgasmic chef), I see a “Done but with errors message” at the bottom of my screen so maybe my computer is blocking what I need. Blech! (Oh, FINALLY bought Better Batter, woot! Waiting most excitedly for it to arrive)

    • Nicole

      Hi, Tiffany,
      You don’t need to click on the “Easy Recipe” link. Just click on the “Print” link in the top right corner of the printable recipe box. It will open a new window with the recipe in printable style. Easy Recipe is the plugin I use on my blog to create the printable recipe. The link is only on there because it’s a little free advertising for them, as a condition of my using the plugin.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Oh, these are great. Red velvet cake is my favorite!!! Before I went gluten free, I had a red velvet cupcake topped with a red velvet cake whoopie pie :) :) This should be called gluten free fabulous ;) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :) :)

  • Amanda DeLara on Facebook

    You can pretty much only get this really red color from gel food coloring?

  • Right, Amanda.

  • Amanda DeLara on Facebook

    thanks! Then it’s worth the investment. haha to me at least.

  • Tanya

    I just ordered some red soft gel past food coloring…I’ll have it in 2 days the guess what I’m making? :)

    • Nicole

      Sounds great, Tanya!
      xoxo Nicole

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  • Thursa Halcomb-Nunley Short on Facebook

    Some folks lips will be chapped from licking them, after drooling on their screen… and you are to blame :) looking forward to my mixer making these.

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