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Festive Deep Red Velvet Christmas Cupcakes

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“These cupcakes are absolutely beautiful! Great for holiday parties and get-togethers. The decorating paste is very concentrated compared to typical food coloring. Be careful not to get in on your hands…it is very difficult to wash off. It gives the batter a lovely bright red coloring. The sanding sugar provides an elegant finishing touch. Both items can be found at Williams-Sonoma or similar type stores.”
24 cupcakes

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 (18 1/4 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 5 large eggs
  • 12 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 (3/4 ounce) bottledecorating paste red food coloring
  • 12 cup butter
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 3 cups confectioner's powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon decorating paste green food coloring
  • 6 tablespoons white sanding sugar
  • 6 tablespoons red sanding sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 12 count muffin pan and a 6 count muffin pan with silver foil liners, for a total of 18 large cupcakes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, electrically beat cake mix, cocoa, eggs, oil, buttermilk and red decorating paste for about 4 minutes.
  4. Pour batter evenly between the cupcakes until about two-thirds full.
  5. Bake 19-24 minutes or until toothpick comes up clean from center.
  6. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
  7. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
  8. Microwave cream cheese and butter for around 15 seconds to bring to room temperature.
  9. Beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla and the whipping cream for about 3 minutes until fluffy.
  10. Add confectioner’s sugar and beat until desired consistency is reached.
  11. Frost 9 of the 18 cupcakes with ½ of this white frosting.
  12. Sprinkle white frosted cupcakes with red sanding sugar.
  13. In the remaining ½ frosting, add green decorating paste and beat until blended.
  14. Frost the remaining 9 cupcakes with this green frosting.
  15. Sprinkle green frosted cupcakes with white sanding sugar.

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