Red Velvet Cupcakes & Cake Flour Substitute

Hello, friends. I know I haven’t posted in ages (sorry) but I have returned with one of my favorite recipes! Red velvet cupcakes!

Oh red velvet. Man oh man oh man, red velvet. If you don’t love red velvet, then you might not be human, because RED VELVET! Even the name sounds amazing. Sigh. I love red velvet. 🙂 I know it’s not anytime near Valentine’s Day…but um who cares! Have you looked at those cupcakes? You do not get to eat those just once a year.

Through some research, I have learned a little bit about the flour from Joy The Baker (thank you!) when making these cupcakes. A lot of recipes for cakes and cupcakes call for cake flour, and if you’re like me, you probably ignore it and use all purpose flour, because… who has cake flour sitting around? (Answer: Not us, clearly.)

But with these recipes, and especially red velvet, cake flour is important to ensure the cake and cupcakes turn out soft and moist, by reducing gluten production (which makes them harder). Thankfully, Joy has provided us with a super easy substitute, so that we don’t have rock cupcakes! (Yay!)

All you have to do is: measure out 1 cup of all purpose flour, then remove 2 tbsp of the flour and replace it with 2 tbsp of cornstarch. Then sift (or whisk) the mixture several times to make sure it’s completely combined and aerated.

Now we’ve done enough learning…time to enjoy cupcakes!

Yield: 24 cupcakes



  • 2 cups + 3 tbsp all purpose flour*
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp cornstarch*
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp. (1 oz) liquid red food coloring
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp distilled white vinegar

Creamcheese Frosting:

  • 16 oz. cream cheese, chilled
  • 6 tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar


To make the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tins with liners. In a large bowl, whisk the flour and cornstarch together (you can also sift them together, I just find whisking easier). Add the sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt, and combine.

In a separate large bowl, using an electric mixer, combine the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla extract, and vinegar. Beat until well combined. Add all of the dry ingredients and mix until the mixture is just combined and smooth.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners, and bake for 17 minutes, rotating halfway through. After removing from oven, allow to cool for 10 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter with an electric beater, until smooth. Mix in the vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar and continue mixing until smooth. Frost cupcakes as desired.

*If you actually have cake flour, you can use 2 1/2 cups of cake flour instead of the all purpose and cornstarch.



Slightly adapted cupcake recipe from: Annie’s Eats: Red velvet cupcakes

Adapted frosting recipe from: Annie’s Eats: cupcake basics: cream cheese frosting


2 thoughts on “Red Velvet Cupcakes & Cake Flour Substitute

  1. Granny Betty

    Wow! Absolutely sublime! For one they look incredible, and I am looking forward to baking these for my grandson’s birthday this Friday. I cannot tell you how excited I am to try these out and I found the perfect recipe just in time! I will let you know how it turns out for me. And thank you for being so informative and educative about the cake flour substitute; it will come in much use in the future as well!


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