Recipe: Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes

I know red velvet is on the verge of becoming an over-hyped novelty, abused by the new wave of hipster cupcakories and kitschy donut shops. I had never made anything red velvet and had only actually eaten it a few times before making this recipe. I expected it to be a let down, it’s just chocolate colored with red food coloring! However, I get it now; the craze is legit. Red velvet is special, it has the power of being both impressive and delicious. And when it’s done right (i.e. paired with cheesecake and streusel topping), it’s not a let down it’s a game changer.

Domestocrat’s Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes (makes 16 cupcakes)
Streusel topping:
1 cup AP flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted

Cheesecake Layer:
8 oz. cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Cake Layer:
3 cups AP flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 stick butter
1.5 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla
3 tbsp. buttermilk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tbsp. red food coloring

The first step is to make the streusel topping. Combine all of the ingredients together thoroughly with a fork. You will have pea sized lumps and it will look slightly dry. Put it in the fridge to set.


Next, on to making the cheesecake layer. Combine all of the ingredients together with a hand mixer. It will look and feel like frosting glaze (loose but creamy).


Next combine the dry ingredients of the cupcake layer together in a bowl. When they are combined, make a well in the middle, add the wet ingredients, and slowly mix together by hand or in a stand mixer.


The batter will become light and fluffy.


When the batter is fully incorporated, add in the red food coloring until you get your desired color. I used the entirely of this small squeeze bottle of red food coloring (about 2 tablespoons) to create a light red.


An assembly line is the easiest way to go when creating these cupcakes. Line your cupcake/muffin tin with paper or foil liners (this recipe made 16 for me), have your cupcake layer dough ready to dish out with a spoon/scoop, and the cheesecake layer batter ready as well.


First, scoop 2 small scoops of the cupcake batter into each cupcake tin.


Next spoon a tablespoon or so of the cheesecake layer in between, and then add another small scoop of cupcake batter on the top.


The cheesecake batter is thinner and will fill in all the empty space in the cupcake wrapper. The cupcake batter on the top and bottom will bind the whole cupcake together. Once you have all of your cupcakes dished out give the pan a light tap on the counter to remove any air bubbles.


Bake on 350 degrees for 7 minutes. After 7 minutes remove the cupcakes from the oven and add the streusel topping. I like adding the streusel to the par-baked cupcakes because it sticks to the top better without being in the oven long enough to burn.


Put the cupcakes back in the oven and bake for another 25 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).


This cupcake is really good. It’s marbled with delicious cheesecake, has a great crunch from the streusel topping, and has a deep cocoa flavor. They are a lot of work so don’t attempt them unless you have a lot of time to devote in the kitchen. Still, they are definitely worth a try!


These cupcakes can be stored in the fridge in a ziptop bag or sealed tupperware container for 3-4 days.

Author: Domestocrat

I'm a lady who enjoys photography, football, cooking, long drives with the windows down, This American Life, kettlecorn, hot yoga, pop punk, my nephews, my cat Reggie, and my home: Boston.

7 thoughts

  1. Red velvet was originally (like, until the 70’s) a chemical process of using non-dutch-processed cocoa and vinegar. The bakery that used to supply my coffee shop made it without a drop of food coloring, with this traditional recipe. No food coloring needed, and you got a nice deep chocolatey-red color. NOT the bright fake-red that we associate with it today, but a nicer chocolatey flavor.

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