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gluten free red velvet cupakes on white plate topped with cake crumbs

Meaningful Eats

Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cupcakes

These gluten-free red velvet cupcakes are light, fluffy, and fool-proof! Thanks to a combination of sour cream, oil, and whipped batter, these cupcakes turn out every time. Top them off with some fluffy cream cheese frosting!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes



  • 1 ¼ cups gluten-free 1:1 baking flour 190 grams (I use King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure-for-Measure Flour)
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder 20 grams
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • 1 cup sugar 200 grams
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil 50 grams
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup sour cream 60 grams (regular or light)
  • ½ cup milk 125 grams (I use 2%)


  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter softened 113g
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened brick-style, not spreadable (226g)
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar 390g



  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners. Lightly grease the liners with cooking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the eggs and sugar. Whip on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. With the mixer running on low, slowly drizzle in the oil. (You want to do this slowly so you don't loose the air that you've mixed in.) Mix in the red food coloring, vanilla and lemon juice.
  • With the mixer on low, add ⅓ of the dry ingredients. Mix until incorporated. Add the sour cream and mix to combine. Add another ⅓ of the dry ingredients and continue to mix. Add ½ of the milk followed by the last ⅓ of the dry ingredients. Add the remaining milk and stir until totally combined. (You want to add the dry ingredients alternately with liquid ingredients so the flour absorbs into the batter.)
  • Pour the batter into each cup to fill ¾ of the way up. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cupcake comes out clean.
  • Let the cupcakes cool for 5 minutes. Then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.


  • Using a hand or stand mixer, beat together the butter and cream cheese until combined. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla.
  • Beat on low then switch to high for about three minutes or until light and creamy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl then mix for another 30 seconds or so.
  • Transfer buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe large dollops on top of each cupcake.



  • Cocoa powder: It’s best to use natural cocoa powder like Guittard or Ghiradelli for red velvet cake. The lighter brown color results in a more vibrant red cake, and the higher acidity reacts with the baking soda to create a more tender crumb.
  • Red Food Coloring: If you want an intensely red cake, you’ll want to use red gel food coloring, rather than natural or liquid food coloring. I use Americolor “red red” or “super red”) You can also 1 oz liquid red food coloring, but I prefer gel linked above.
MAKE IT DAIRY-FREE: Use dairy-free sour cream (I like Kite Hill) and almond milk to make this dairy-free. 


Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 119mg | Potassium: 149mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 86IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1mg