Red Velvet Cupcakes with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

Difficulty: Easy-Medium

Makes 12

Cupcakes are good food all year round but come Christmas time you can make ’em extra festive. Poppin’ a teensy candy cane on top of these babies instantly gives them a festive feel and are wonderful as edible gifts or a Christmas gathering.


  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons red food colouring
  • 3/4 tub Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese, make sure it’s real cold
  • 1/4 cup Nuttelex (or any vegan margarine), this has to be cold too
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint essence
  • 3 cups icing sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a cupcake tray with liners.
  2. Whisk together the soy milk and apple cider vinegar, allow to curdle for about five minutes before adding the oil and caster sugar.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and baking powder before slowly adding the wet ingredients. Some lumps are okay but get out as many as possible.
  4. Add the food colouring, you may want to add more or less depending on how vivid you want the red to be. You may also cut back on the cocoa if you want it super vibrant.
  5. Fill the baking cups 3/4 of the way to the top and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool.
  6. To make your frosting, simply use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese and Nuttelex before adding the essence and icing sugar. The icing should be quite stiff, add more icing sugar if it’s not.
  7. Once the cupcakes have cooled, frost your cupcakes and place a mini candy cane on top.


  • Kim

    Hey hey,

    Where did you get your little candy canes? They’re adorable!

    I could only find the large ones on the Cruelty Free Shop.


    • Chelsey

      Hi Kimberley,

      You can get mini ones at most supermarkets, just double check the food colourings to make sure they’re not animal derived 😀

  • Gabrielle Lederwasch

    My goodness,

    where have you been hiding these little delights? I am going to try and attempt these this weekend!

    Keep cooking and keep it real ; )


  • Sam

    They look lush!
    Which brand of red food coloring do you use?
    I’m getting pretty savvy with the numbers but I’m very suspicious of red! 😉
    I am loving reading all your recipes and I’m slowly working through trying them!

    • Chelsey

      Thanks Sam, I don’t have the brand on hand but it’s from the supermarket. 120 is the big one to avoid but most I come across these days are 129. Of course, if you’re not into artificial colourings there are some natural vegan colours out there too 🙂

  • Sally

    I made these over Christmas and they were awesome. I don’t bake so I was pretty wary about giving these a go but they were super easy and tasty. Red velvet cupcakes for everyone! 🙂 Thankyou!

    • Chelsey

      Yay, that’s great 😀 So glad everybody enjoyed them. Thanks for passing on your feedback!

  • Jessica

    Hi Chelsey! I just made these cupcakes for my b’day and they are super tasty! I think next time I make them, I’ll use 1/2 tub of tofutti better than cream cheese instead of 3/4 tub for the frosting as it didn’t thicken enough and I didn’t want to add more then 3 1/2 cups icing sugar. Also I’ll cut down on the cocoa powder slightly and add more red food dye to make them look more vibrant. I made them in 2 x 12 cupcake patty tins. 🙂
    Thank you for an awesome recipe!

    • Chelsey

      Hi Jessica! That’s great, I’m glad you liked them. Icing can be a funny one sometimes because the temperature of the room/bowl can also influence how it turns out.

      Thanks for letting me know what you thought, those are great ideas 😀

  • sara

    cant wait to make these, is the flour just plain flour?

    • Chelsey

      Hey Sara, sure is! I’ve updated the recipe to make it clear 😀