This red velvet buttercream frosting is made with cream cheese and added mini chocolate chips. This recipe makes a beautiful bright red icing and is perfect on vanilla or chocolate cupcakes for Valentine’s day. It’s the best way to get that red velvet taste in a frosting.
Hey there! Before you scroll, there’s lot’s of important stuff in the post!…including the FAQ section, which may answer any questions you might have about this recipe. Enjoy!
I love the taste of red velvet cake, but I really wanted to see if I could recreate that taste in buttercream. Maybe it’s purely psychological and it’s just the pretty red color messing with my mind, but I don’t think so. Red Velvet has a distinct flavor to me. You know, just the hint of cocoa with a slight bit of tanginess.
For me, red velvet is pretty much perfection. I mean, what could be tastier and prettier,then deep red buttercream on a nice chocolate cupcake?
There are a couple things to note about the ingredients in this one. I’m using cream cheese in this buttercream, because it gives a hint of tanginess, just like the vinegar does for a red velvet cake.
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I also used a bit of LorAnn’s Red Velvet Emulsion. It just gives the buttercream that extra hit of red velvet taste. You can find it there: Red Velvet Emulsion
If you don’t want to go for the red velvet emulsion, just add in the same amount of vanilla extract.
The next ingredient to note is the red food coloring. You really want the ‘gel’ food coloring for this. If you use liquid, in order to get the color as red as you need it, you’ll have to use too much and it’ll water down your buttercream. I like this gel coloring: Americolor Super Red
I also added in mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, because I like the flavor and texture they add to the buttercream, but you do you.
This recipe is real easy to mix together, just make sure your butter and cream cheese are softened to close to room temp. (Don’t be microwaving them though.)
TIPS & FAQS FOR THE RED VELVET BUTTERCREAM:
- The red velvet extract is optional, but it really kicks up the flavor.
- You definitely want to use gel food coloring and not the liquid kind from the grocery store. It takes too much of the liquid food coloring to get a deep red and will add too much liquid to your buttercream. Americolor gel food coloring works very well and will give you a pretty red tone. Wilton also makes a ‘no taste’ red food coloring. It has a slight more orange look to it. See my comparison here: Coloring Dark Buttercream I think the Americolor looks best and I haven’t noticed any weird taste to it. The added cocoa powder would help with that anyway.
- You don’t have to add in the mini chips, but I think it adds a nice taste and texture to the buttercream. If you’re piping this on cupcakes or a cake though, either forego the chocolate chips or just use a very large open piping tip. I used a Wilton 8B tip and it worked fine. If you use a smaller icing tip, the chocolate chips can get clogged when you’re piping.
- This is a bright red buttercream, so understand that when you eat it, your mouth will be red and your hands as well. You wouldn’t want to eat it right before say a job interview.
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ITEMS & TOOLS USED TO MAKE THE RED VELVET BUTTERCREAM:
- KitchenAid Mixer or hand mixer
- Flex Edge Beater Attachment (if using a stand mixer)
- Large Glass Mixing Bowl (for stand mixer)
- Wilton Icing Tip 8B
Alright, let’s get to the recipe:
Note About How I Write Recipes: I write recipes using volume (cups) measurements because here in the U.S., this is what people are more familiar with and I don’t want anyone to feel intimidated when baking. For metric measurements, click the ‘metric’ button under the ingredients in the recipe card below. The weights are converted by a program, not me, and it’s just a best guess. Please note that because I develop recipes using volume measurements, I can’t guarantee that weighing the ingredients will produce the exact same results.
Chocolate Chip Red Velvet Buttercream
- 1 ½ cups butter (3 sticks) (softened)
- 1 8oz block cream cheese (softened)
- 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 6 cups powdered sugar (may use up to 7 cups)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon milk (or cream)
- 1 ½ teaspoon red velvet emulsion (optional) (if needed, can use vanilla extract instead)
- 2 teaspoon red gel food coloring (may use up to 3 tsp)
- ¾ cup mini chocolate chips
- If you are using a stand mixer, use the beater (paddle) attachment on your mixer. (If you don’t have a beater attachment or a stand mixer, it’s okay. Just use the whisk attachment, or the attachments that came with your handheld mixer.)
- Make sure your butter and cream cheese are softened. They should be a little cooler than room temperature. (The cream cheese can be a little colder than the butter.) Don’t microwave them though.
- Add the butter and cream cheese to a bowl and beat very well on medium to medium/high speed until creamy.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again until well mixed.
- Add in the cocoa powder and mix well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again.
- Add in three cups of confectioner’s sugar plus the salt and one tablespoon of milk or cream. Beat on low until incorporated and then medium until well mixed.
- Add the last three cups of confectioner’s sugar and mix on medium until well incorporated.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again.
- Add the optional red velvet flavoring and mix on medium high until well mixed. (If you don’t have red velvet flavoring, or do not want to use it, just use a teaspoon of vanilla extract instead.)Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again.)
- Add in two teaspoons of the red gel food coloring and mix on medium to medium/high until well mixed. Add more food coloring if needed and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix again. Do this until you reach the desired color.
- Now, check the consistency. If it’s too thick, add another tablespoon of milk and mix again on medium. If it’s too thin, add in another cup of confectioners sugar. Adjust the coloring if needed.
- Fold in the mini chocolate chips.
- Spread or pipe onto cupcakes. (If you want to pipe onto cupcakes, pop the buttercream into the fridge for it to firm up a bit and use a large opening piping tip like an 8B.)
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I really hope you enjoy this one as much as I do!
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