Moist, fluffy, and soft gluten free red velvet cupcakes topped with tangy cream cheese frosting.
Finding a great gluten free red velvet cupcake recipe is not easy. I have tried several recipes but was never pleased with the crumb texture. I remember bakery-style red velvet cupcakes to be soft, crumbly, and moist.
Developing this gluten free red velvet cupcake recipe was not a walk in the park. It took several trials and errors to just get it right. However, I’m pleased and proud of the final product. Dare I say that these are the best red velvet gluten free cupcakes out there?
Why should you make this recipe?
- Easy Instructions and great results: The recipe included step-by-step instructions along with process photos to guarantee that you will get the same result as me.
- Dairy Free Option: If you can’t have dairy, don’t sweat I got you. This recipe can easily be made dairy-free.
- Portion Size: This recipe makes 20-24 red velvet cupcakes, so it is perfect for hosting an event. If not, you can easily adjust the quantities to make 12 cupcakes.
Gluten-Free Red Velvet Flour Mix
I like making my own gluten-free flour mixes for several reasons, such as:
- Reliable Results: I control the texture of the product when I’m in charge of what flours I use, so you can trust that the recipes I provide will yield the same result for you if you use the flours suggested. The problem with store-bought gluten-free mixes is that each blend is different, and so if you use Mix A and I use Mix B, then our results will be different. Hence, I specify the flours I use to unify my recipes and ensure that my readers get the same results.
- Less Expensive: If you make gluten-free products weekly, then it makes more sense to buy and make your own flour mixes. I buy the flour in bulk, making it cheaper than store-bought gluten-free flour mixes.
Anyways, I think I need to create a separate post to discuss what flours are essential to gluten-free baking.
Meanwhile, you will need white rice flour, tapioca flour, corn starch, and brown rice flour for this recipe. This gluten free red velvet flour mix will yield soft and fluffy red velvet cupcakes.
Now, if you can’t find these for any reason, you can use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour. Their flour mix is similar to the one provided; however, I did not test it for this recipe. If you use it, replace the white rice flour, tapioca flour, corn starch, brown rice flour, and xanthan gum with 220 grams of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour.
The Secret to Great Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cupcakes
As I always say, baking is a science, and every ingredient plays a role in the final product. Certain ingredients make red velvet what it is, and so let’s jump to the science of these ingredients:
- Cocoa Powder: Red velvet cupcakes are a mix of vanilla and chocolate cupcakes. A small amount of cocoa powder is used to provide the chocolate flavor. I used Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa Powder for these gluten free red velvet cupcakes.
- Buttermilk: Red velvet cupcakes are famous for their subtle acidic and tangy flavor. This flavor comes from the buttermilk. The buttermilk provides the cupcakes with tanginess and makes them fluffy and moist.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar provides these gluten-free cupcakes with an acidic flavor. However, vinegar also acts as a leavening agent, which creates a fluffy texture.
- Red Velvet Coloring: The star of the show is the color of these cupcakes. I recommend using paste/gel food coloring for best results. The liquid food coloring does not always work as it is less concentrated.
Making Red Velvet Gluten-Free Cupcakes from Scratch
The process of making these gluten free red velvet cupcakes is easy, and all you need to do is the following:
- Mix the dry ingredients: Mix and combine the gluten free flours, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set the flour mixture aside.
- Prepare the buttermilk: Mix and combine the buttermilk, vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar, red food coloring. Set the buttermilk mixture aside.
- Mix the wet ingredients: Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy using a standalone or handheld mixer. Then, reduce the speed and add the eggs one at a time. This ensures that the eggs get well incorporated into the batter.
- Create the Red Velvet Cupcake Batter: Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, followed by the buttermilk, and mix at low speed until combined, then add the remaining flour and mix until combined. Try not to overmix the batter at this stage.
- Bake the cupcakes: Align a cupcake tin with cupcake liners and fill each liner ⅔ full. This will ensure that the cupcakes do not overflow. Bake the gluten free red velvet cupcakes for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes slightly cool in the cupcake tin for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
- Decorate the cupcakes: The cupcakes can be decorated when they reach room temperature. Applying the cream cheese frosting while the cupcakes are still warm will yield a frosting disaster, and the butter inside the frosting will start to melt.
The gluten free cupcakes can be made dairy-free. Here are the substitutions you can make:
- Butter: You can substitute unsalted butter with vegan butter for both the red velvet gluten free cupcakes and the frosting.
- Buttermilk: The buttermilk can be replaced with almond milk. However, add one tablespoon of lemon juice to the almond milk and let it sit for 10 minutes until it thickens.
- Cream Cheese: The cream cheese can be substituted with vegan cream cheese.
Other Gluten-Free Cupcake Recipes
Gluten Free Red Velvet Cupcakes
Red Velvet Cupcakes
- 110 grams of White Rice Flour
- 44 grams of Tapioca Flour
- 22 grams of Corn Starch
- 44 grams of Brown Rice Flour
- 14 grams of Cocoa Powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon of Xanthan Gum
- 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon of Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon of Salt
- 185 ml of Buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of Red Food Coloring Paste
- 250 grams of Unsalted Butter at room temperature
- 187 grams of Granulated White Sugar
- 2 Large Eggs
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 225 grams of Cream Cheese at room temperature
- 100 grams of Unsalted Butter at room temperature
- ⅛ teaspoon of Salt
- ½ teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
- 450 grams of Powdered / Icing Sugar Sifted
Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (338°F)
- Mix and combine the white rice flour, tapioca flour, corn starch, brown rice flour, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt. Set the flour mixture aside.
- Whisk and combine the buttermilk, vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar, and red food coloring. Set the buttermilk mixture aside.
- Using a standalone mixer with the paddle attachment fitted or a handheld mixer, beat the unsalted butter and granulated sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Then, reduce the speed to low, add the eggs one at a time and beat until creamy. Now, add half of the flour mixture followed by the buttermilk mixture and beat until combined. Then add the remaining flour mixture and mix until combined.
- Align a cupcake tin with cupcake liners and fill each cupcake liner ⅔ full.
- Bake the gluten free red velvet cupcakes for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to slightly cool in the cupcake tin for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Ensure that the cupcakes are at room temperature before decorating with cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Using a standalone mixer, with the paddle attachment fitted or handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese, unsalted butter, salt, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Then, reduce the speed to low, and slowly add the powdered sugar. Do not add the powdered sugar all at once, as it will cause a mess. Once all the powdered sugar is added, increase the speed to medium-high and beat the cream cheese frosting for 1 minute.
- Dairy-Free Option: See above*
- Make ahead: The cream cheese frosting can be made ahead of time. Simply store the cream cheese frosting in an air-tight container in the fridge. Before use, bring the frosting back to room temperature and use a handheld mixer or whisk to give it a quick mix and bring it back to pipping consistency.
- Storage Instruction: The baked gluten free red velvet cupcakes can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to five days and up to three days at room temperature.