Oreo Red Velvet Cupcakes: Celebrate Valentine’s or Galentine’s Day with everyone’s favorite cookie hidden under a soft and delicious red velvet cupcake with a swirl of sweet and silky cream cheese frosting!
Are you Team Red Velvet or Team All the Chocolate for Valentine’s Day? I totally get that it seems like red velvet has been overdone in the food world over the past 10 years.
But frankly, there’s no better time to eat a red velvet cupcake with a thick schmear of cream cheese frosting than at Valentine’s Day. Am I right or what?
The red velvet cupcake is just so nostalgic at this point that you can’t help but love it at Valentine’s Day! And really, do people really eat red velvet cupcakes at other times of the year?
That would be like eating spritz cookies when it isn’t Christmastime. Can you imagine??
OK, OK. I’m not really being completely serious here. I know that folks who love their red velvet do eat red velvet cupcakes and cake at other times of the year.
And why not?? I always say, “Just eat the cupcake!”
If you happen to love both chocolate and red velvet at Valentine’s Day – or you can’t possibly choose between the two! – I’m here to smash them together today with these Oreo red velvet cupcakes.
WHAT?? Oreos IN your red velvet cupcakes? Why yes indeed, friends!!
I came up with the idea last year when I made a batch of red velvet Oreo brownies that I riffed from my always popular red velvet brownies with white chocolate buttercream and discovered what a crazy delicious combination of flavors those brownies exploded with.
How to Make Red Velvet Cupcakes From Scratch
These days, there are lots of boxed mixes available to help you make red velvet cupcakes. But as you know, I’m not a box mix kind of gal!
This red velvet cupcake recipe is a simple one to make from scratch! First, you’ll mix your dry ingredients together in a bowl. This includes the sugar, which is normally considered a wet ingredient.
Then you’ll mix the wet ingredients together using a stand mixer or in a bowl with a hand mixer. Included in these wet ingredients is a small bottle of red food coloring, buttermilk, and white vinegar. Make sure to combine the wet ingredients well and to scrape the bowl down to ensure the food coloring disperses evenly throughout.
Next, you’ll stir the dry ingredients into the wet ones and mix until they’re combined.
The batter will be more liquidy that other cupcakes batters but don’t worry! This recipe TOTALLY works!!
Then, you’ll simply drop an Oreo into the bottom of your cupcake liners and pour the batter on top of the cookies. The cupcake batter bakes around the cookie, which stays put at the bottom of the cupcake.
It’s really a genius way to put a fun spin on plain ol’ red velvet cupcakes!
Is there Cocoa Powder or Chocolate in Red Velvet Cupcakes?
Yes, there sure is! Traditional red velvet cupcake recipes only included cocoa powder in the recipes, and no food coloring.
Some recipes include unsweetened cocoa powder and others, like this one, use dutch processed cocoa powder. (Keep reading to see why dutch processed is preferable to regular cocoa powder!)
What Makes Red Velvet Cupcakes Different?
The obvious difference between red velvet and other cupcakes is their bright red color, of course! But there’s more to the difference than just the color.
Red velvet cupcakes aren’t simply vanilla cupcakes that have red food coloring added. The combination of acidic ingredients (buttermilk and vinegar) with the non- or low-acidic ingredients (baking soda and dutch processed cocoa powder) creates a chemical reaction.
This reaction produces carbon dioxide in the batter and creates bubbles which help to make the cupcakes soft and light.
Dutch processed cocoa powder has undergone a process that strips the acidity out of it, leaving a cocoa powder with a high pH. Regular cocoa and chocolate are both acidic ingredients so they don’t work the same when they are combined with other acidic ingredients like buttermilk and vinegar.
And this is why dutch processed cocoa powder is so often used in a baking recipes!
Easy Ingredient Substitutions
Here are some substitutions you can make for ingredients in this recipe:
- Cake flour: Replace 5 tablespoons of flour from the 2 ½ cups in the recipe with 5 tablespoons of cornstarch. Sift them together before mixing with the other dry ingredients
- Buttermilk: Combine a scant cup of milk or half-and-half with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or distilled white vinegar
- Vinegar: Use an equal amount of lemon juice
- Vanilla extract: Use an equal amount of vanilla paste or ½ of a scraped vanilla bean
What do Red Velvet Cupcakes Taste Like?
With all the acidic ingredients in this red velvet cupcake recipe, you might think that the cupcakes would taste awful, right?
But! The acidic ingredients are balanced by the sweet flavors of the cupcakes and cream cheese frosting. And then of course, there’s a little more sweetness added with the Oreo cookies.
So basically, these Oreo red velvet cupcakes are fantastically delicious! I’m a big Oreo fan (admittedly, both store-bought and homemade) so they’re kind of a no-brainer dessert recipe for me.
And the sweet cream cheese frosting is always SUCH a winner in my book! If you want to take the frosting to another level, my chocolate cream cheese frosting would be absolutely amazing on top of these cupcakes. How perfect would that be with those chocolately Oreos!!
Any which way you go with these cupcakes, they’re sure to be a big hit with your family and friends! Whether you make them for Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, or any other time of the year!
adapted from these red velvet cupcakes As a member of the Amazon Associate affiliate program, I earn a small percentage from your qualifying Amazon purchases when you click the Amazon links on this page. I'm not informed of who purchases what, just of what products are purchased.
For the cupcakes:
For the frosting and decorating:
adapted from these red velvet cupcakes
As a member of the Amazon Associate affiliate program, I earn a small percentage from your qualifying Amazon purchases when you click the Amazon links on this page. I'm not informed of who purchases what, just of what products are purchased.