Red Velvet Cupcakes with Nonpareils

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes
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For the cupcakes:

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 large egg

1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

1 tablespoon red food coloring

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the frosting:

6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

2 cups confectioners' sugar

1 cup mixed orange, yellow and brown nonpareils


  1. Make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt in a large bowl. Combine the granulated sugar, milk, vegetable oil, egg, vinegar, red food coloring and vanilla in a blender and blend until smooth. Add to the flour mixture and stir until combined.
  2. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups, filling them three-quarters of the way. Bake until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when gently pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes in the pan, then remove to a rack to cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, make the frosting: Beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and salt in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium low; gradually add the confectioners' sugar and beat until smooth. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat until fluffy, about 1 more minute. (If the frosting is too soft, refrigerate a few minutes before using.) Spread the frosting on the cupcakes and dip in the nonpareils; shake off any excess.