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Red Velvet Cupcakes

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Red Velvet Cake is my weakness and I can’t think of a better cake to eat on Valentine’s Day. Topped with low fat cream cheese frosting you wouldn’t even know these are light.

Red Velvet Cake is my weakness and I can't think of a better cake to eat on Valentine's Day. Topped with low fat cream cheese frosting you wouldn't even know these are light.Red Velvet Cupcakes

Perfect for Valentine’s Day or birthday parties. A few other Valentine’s Day recipes I love making for the occasion are Homemade Chocolate Cake, Mixed Berry Pie, Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta and Chocolate Crepes with Strawberries. You can also check out this full list of Valentine’s Day recipes.

My 16 year old daughter (she’s the baker in my house) made her red velvet cupcakes are amazing! I made it my mission this week to make a skinnier version of them for this week’s post. It’s always a challenge to lower the fat in baking so when these came out of the oven (fingers were crossed the whole time) I was so happy to see perfectly baked cupcakes. Topped with low fat cream cheese frosting you wouldn’t even know these are light.

Skinny Red Velvet Cupcakes

5 from 2 votes
Red Velvet Cake is my weakness and I can't think of a better cake to eat on Valentine's Day. Topped with low fat cream cheese frosting you wouldn't even know these are light.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Red Velvet Cake is my weakness and I can't think of a better cake to eat on Valentine's Day. Topped with low fat cream cheese frosting you wouldn't even know these are light.
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 1 hr
Yield: 26 servings
Serving Size: 1 cupcake


  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour, or GF flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened dutch-process cocoa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cup light buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp red food coloring

Low Fat Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz 1/3 fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Line cupcake tins with liners.
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together flours, salt, cocoa, and baking powder.
  • In another large bowl beat sugar, applesauce and butter.
  • Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl mix baking soda and vinegar.
  • Add half of the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, mix well.
  • Add buttermilk, red food coloring and mix well.
  • Add the remaining dry ingredients and fold in vinegar and baking soda.
  • Pour in prepared cupcake liners 3/4 of the way.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Cool, then frost with low fat cream cheese frosting.

Low Fat Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.

Last Step:

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Makes 26 cupcakes.


Serving: 1 cupcake, Calories: 137 kcal, Carbohydrates: 23.5 g, Protein: 3 g, Fat: 4 g, Saturated Fat: 2.5 g, Cholesterol: 18 mg, Sodium: 170.5 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 13.5 g


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125 comments on “Red Velvet Cupcakes”

    1. Now, I’ve made these cupcakes. I just used regular sugar. I wasn’t thrilled with the actual cupcake because it didn’t have a lot of flavor/taste. I did use whole wheat flour though. The icing was super sweet. A little too sweet for me. Wow! My child really liked the icing on the cupcakes though.

  1. Can someone post the nutritional values and serving size if you’ve figured it out? I love her recipes because I can check the macros before making the recipe to see if it will works for my diet. But for some reason a lot of her dessert recipes don’t seem to list the nutritional value Info. Is she moving entirely towards a weight watchers recipe collection maybe?

    1. I was wondering this too! I used the recipe nutrition analyzer on and it said:
      2.6 g Protein
      22.1 g Carbs
      5.2 g Fat

  2. I always used to make your daughters recipe and now its gone 🙁 is there somewhere else I could find it?

  3. Avatar photo
    Simply Jessabells

    Making these for Valentine's Day. Put the entire recipe in the recipe maker for WW using Sp and it comes up with 6sp. I can't wait to try them tonight. I'm having one and the rest are going to work with me tomorrow.

  4. Hi Gina, I'm loving all your recipes. I was just wondering because I live in Australia. I'm not sure of unsweetened dutch-process cocoa if I can buy it here is there any other substitute – can I use normal ordinarily coco. Also the recipe says to use cake flour – what other flour could be used instead and white whole wheat flour – what can be used instead. thanks

  5. Hi Gina,

    I've been searching the web for low fat red velvet cake and I think I found what I am looking for! Except these are cupcakes will it still work that I am using this for a cake recipe I couldn't find any other low fat recipes like this for red velvet I am going to try it out do you think it will be fine

  6. Just tried these and i really recommend them ! They are delicious and not too sweet so you dont feel guilty after eating one.. or more 🙂 Thanks these are for sure a winner !!

  7. Hi Gina,

    Love your blog! I made this for my husband for valentines day as a cake and some extra cupcakes and it is fab! You can see the result on my blog

    Thank you 🙂
    The Cake Tart

  8. I am going to try making this as a Cake this weekend. My husband wants a Red Velvet Cake for his B-day. Has anyone ever made this as a Cake?

  9. I am not familiar with the Weight Watchers points plan. Coud you please tell me what the nutritional value is per cupcake?

  10. I had to use all purpose flour. I have a very large grocery store near me, but they did not have white whole wheat OR cake flour. They were good, a little edry, but I am thinking that has more to do with the type of flour. Would love to know the fat, carb, fiber, and protein values for these though.

  11. made these tonight… found them very dry and stuck to the cup cake foils… frosting was great but probably not making the cakes again

  12. What size cakes ? Regular? Can I third the recipe AND still get good results?
    ANd what is dutch pressed cocoa?

  13. @ Anonymous, I was also unable to find light buttermilk so I actually used coconut milk with a little vinegar in it and it worked just as well. I'm not sure how that changes the WW points.

  14. Mmmmm… I am definitely going to make these, and they are only 4 points for 1 🙂 Does anybody know where I can find light buttermilk? Apparently in all the local grocery stores I've been to they only sell regular buttermik. Is there a substitute I can use instead of light buttermilk?

    How much of the light philladelphia cream cheese is required? 1/3 cup? Thanks 🙂

  15. i just made these this evening and they are delish! one question though, how did you get the frosting to set up? mine turned out very runny and not nearly as photogenic as yours!

  16. How difficult would it be to turn these into red velvet bars/brownies… that heart shaped cookie cutters could be used… for valentines day?

  17. How can this be adapted to make Red Velvet Pancakes? I've been craving a skinny version for weeks and no dice.

  18. Hi Gina, My niece introducted me to your recipes in July and I have been hooked ever since. I make one of your recipes at least 3 times a week. The Skinny Red Velvet Cupcakes calls for cream cheese, buttermilk and butter. Since I am allergic to ALL DAIRY is there a good substitute I can use and still come out with this fantastic cupcake? Marcy in VA.

  19. This recipe looks amazing!
    I'm making these for Christmas this year, with out a doubt. However, I think I am going to turn these cupcakes into cake pops, their so much fun!

    I was just wondering though, would this recipe still work if i used 2 1/2 cups of cake/pastry flour instead of what you have written in the ingredients?

    Thanks so much, keep up the great work.

  20. hi gina, just a question about substituting the red food colouring. my friend is quite particular about consuming natural products only and i am making these for her birthday. i was wondering if 1tbsp of beetroot juice would work just as well or if there is a better substitute? thankyou and i just lovelovelove your site!

  21. Mad props! This is great!! I'm not even a big fan of Red Velvet and I thought it tasted great. I made it for a birthday for my sister-in-law who is a big Red Velvet fan and her and my husband's entire family loved it! My father-in-law who turns his nose up on anything we try to turn "skinny" or "light" or if it has whole wheat loved it. We never told him the ingredients…..
    I did use regular whole wheat flour as I couldn't find the white.

  22. LOVE red velvet and I love that these are skinny!! Now they are definitely the best cupcakes ever. I am going to have to sneak these into Thanksgiving! 🙂 thanks!

  23. I'm not usually a fan of red velvet because of all the red dye. But I have a friend who loves it so I made them for her as a surprise. Everybody LOVED them! They were super moist and the cake was almost creamy. No one believed me that they were Skinny.

    Thank you Gina!

  24. hey, mine tasted like playdough , i used unsweetend cocoa powder instead of the dutch processed?? thanks!

  25. Made these for my best friend's baby shower (she's going through major cream cheese cravings) and everyone absolutely loved them and had no clue they had no oil in them! It was so nice to have a points friendly dessert there so I wasn't tempted by others. Thanks for the great recipe!

  26. So I made the diet soda version of these and they are DELICIOUS!! The only problem is that they fall apart really easily. Any suggestions to fix that for next time?

  27. Hey, just wondering if I could sub the flour in this recipe with 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour?

  28. Just made the cupcakes an hour ago! LOVE it! I've been looking for a skinny red velvet cupcakes recipe! Im so glad i found your site earlier today….I can't wait to bring them for easter gathering tomorrow!
    Thanks for sharing the awesome recipe!

  29. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    Cake flour is sifted and lighter, better for baking cakes. It's in the baking section where you find flour.

  30. Avatar photo

    Hi Gina…these look amazing! My 7 year old has requested red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting for her birthday tomorrow. I've already made her cupcakes for school, so this would be a cake for the family. Do you think I could use this recipe in a bundt pan? Or another shape?

  31. Hey Gina! Remember me?
    I was the one with the oily and fattening red velvets.
    I made chocolate cupcakes and they turned out great!
    The frosting looks and tastes sooo good.
    Cupcake wishes,
    RJ (I'm a girl:D)

  32. I made these the other day for two friends that were celebrating their birthdays and this was their request. I recently joined WW and said that I will make them but they are going to be skinny. They were a hit across the board!!! Great job Gina!! Thank you so much for keeping my love for cooking and baking alive even though I must to it a little bit healhier!!

  33. Hey Gina! : )
    We made Martha Stewart red velvets and they are sooooo fattening!
    Yours are so much better!
    I am making your cream cheese frosting tommorow.
    Do you beat them with an electric mixer or hand beat them!

  34. Hi Gina
    made these using your diet soda recipe & Duncan Hines Red Velvet box mix(used diet A&W root beer)they were yummy, but I think the icing made the cupcake, Thanks!!vbellz

  35. I make so many of your recipes…and this one I will never make again…the cupcakes are pink (I used liquid food coloring and not paste).

    I did everything you said to do and in the correct order and didn't change a thing and they are horribly dry.

    I guess I shouldn't be baking and cooking instead.

  36. Im sorry but Im at little confused with the points is it 3 or 4 poins total for this. Also is the cup with the icening on top a total of 141 cals for both.

  37. I made these for my hubby yesterday. They turned out so good!! I'm not a baker and this is the first cake type thing I've made without a box mix. I was so happy when they turned out delicious! Thanks for the recipe Gina!

  38. Hi Gina! I will be making these this weekend for my sisters birthday! I was just wondering about the baking soda and baking powder! I didn't see in the instructions when to add the baking powder, but you did mention adding baking soda twice, so I am assuming you mean baking powder somewhere! Can you clarify? thank you much!

  39. Are these regular sized cupcakes or mini? I have a 12-cupcake tray and I am hoping to make these over the weekend!!

  40. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    Anonymous, sounds like you want a sweeter batter, adding more sugar is probably what you are looking for.

  41. Gina, was thinking about using the low fat cream cheese frosting on diet soda cake. I don't have the ingredients on hand. Do you know how many points just the frosting is? Thanks! 🙂

  42. I tried to make this for my Fiances and my annivsary. I did a test run to make sure it would taste okay and everything. I tasted it (with out the icing because the icing turned out too wet) It had no flavor what so ever. Before baking I added a little more cocoa powder because it did not seem to be enough and it still came out bland. I love the texture. Is there anyway to get more flavor?

  43. Gina – Thanks for the recipe! These tasted really good but mine came out really dry 🙁 Do you think maybe I could've over mixed the batter?


  44. I was just about to ask for Points+ but I see the previous person left it. I'm very excited to make these for my first graders and use the green sprinkles to make it Christmasy. Thanks for all these recipes! They're fabulous!

  45. Hi Gina, I just plugged this into my recipe builder and they are 4 Points+ per cupcake. Hopefully that will save you some time. I'm planning on making these for my work Christmas party this Friday 🙂

  46. I'm going to try making these as a dessert on Christmas this year. I'll use little green sprinkles instead of the red ones on the frosting! VERY excited to try them out!

  47. Avatar photo
    Danette Larson

    Hi Gina! I made these tonight for a Cooking Light Supper Club I host…and they did not turn out…can't fingure out why. I didnt have any unsweetend dutch process cocoa so I looked on the internet to see what I could substitute and it said I could use unsweetend cocoa powder but omit any baking soda if called for so I did that but I am not sure if that is my problem. They didnt bake up/rise really and were very dense and hard even after 15 min in the oven 🙁 Idea's/suggestions?!?!

  48. hi gina i just started weight watchers again for like the 5th time. but i am really enjoying it thanks to all your recipes! i made these cupcakes tonight and i LOVED them. i used reg whole weat instead of white and i used nuefestel cheese instead of cream cheese all of which was an accident lol but i wanted to say THANKS A LOT!

    – Allandria

  49. Hi-

    Is there a difference between white whole wheat flour, and regular whole wheat flour? Is it ok to substitute?

  50. Hey Gina,

    I've been in WW's for 3 months now. Your blog has saved me from boredom in the kitchen! These turned out fabulous the first time I made them! I have cooked a handful of your recipes successfully and have been enjoying learning about the joys of cooking!



  51. OMG!!! These were AMAZING!!! I recently made these and my 5 year old and I loved them. They were delicious, and I was glad to be able to eat two (being on WW)as well as give my son something healthier than the normal fatty cupcake!!

  52. Thank you! Yes, Two ways- I figure out the total points for each ingredient, then divide by servings. Or, I figure out the calories, fat, fiber for the total recipe, then divide by serving and plug numbers into ww calculator.

  53. Hi Gina,love,love,love!!! your recipes,how do you figure the points for your recipes,do you add each ingredient together then divide the servings.

  54. I cant seem to find the diet soda cake recipe – please help!! I need cake or cupcakes asap!!!
    Thanks 🙂

  55. I cant seem to find this….unsweetened dutch-process cocoa. Is there an alternative I can use or what store do you get this at? Thanks

  56. Avatar photo
    Mandi @ Finding Home

    I'm so excited to try these! I'm restarting WW and my birthday is on Sunday. I've been looking for something sweet as an alternative to cake. I'm so making these!! thank you!

  57. @Kate- Thanks for sharing your way around the lack of low fat products in the UK. I wasn't aware of that. Baby food makes a great substitute in baking! I'm happy you enjoy my emails!

    @Faith- Thanks for sharing!

    @Heather- Thanks for the award!

    @Sandi- I'll check it out 🙂

  58. i can't wait to try these! ive been looking for a lower fat version! you have an award too!

  59. I made these wonderful cupcakes for 9 teenagers this past weekend and they were a huge hit! WONDERFUL!

  60. These were great and also quite an easy version- some call for more mixing and alternating of the various ingredients. As an English fan of your blogs sometimes I can't do the sweet ones because we don't have so many fat free dairy products. As I usally make my own buttermilk with 0% milk and a tablesppin of vinger this was easy to do. Also, I couldn't find just plain apple sauce but did find a fancy apple and bannana puree baby food which yielded great results. I added a little extra cocoa to compensate for the sweetness of the bannana and it worked really nicely.

    Thanks Gina- your email outs are the highlight of my colleague and mine's day. A really great resource!

    Kate Bradbury xx

  61. Avatar photo
    Future Athlete

    My roomie and I made this today for V-Day and it was PERFECT! Thank you so much for posting this wonderful recipe 🙂

  62. Just baked these today and they came out FABULOUS. The delicious smell that filled my apartment while they were baking was absolutely unreal. Agreed that you would be able to pick out the full-fat version in a blind taste test, but I couldn't eat four of the full-fat ones and still stay within my weight watchers points…not that I've eaten four of these skinny ones…yet… 🙂

  63. The texture should be that of a regular cupcake, not sure how dense you mean? Nothing beats the full fat version for taste but these are pretty close. Perhaps adding more sugar would make them sweeter, but also more points.

  64. Avatar photo
    mrs schneider

    how dense are these supposed to be? i just made them and they weren't dense at all and also a bit bland. i have been over the recipe/instructions a couple of times and can't figure it out. maybe it's just bad luck. maybe it's just me? ):

  65. Avatar photo
    Catie Ronquillo

    I love Red Velvet cake! Especially in cupcake form, and they are totally my weakness too. Thanks so much for sharing this skinnier version 🙂

  66. Avatar photo
    Catie Ronquillo

    I love Red Velvet cupcakes, they are totally my weakness too! Thank you for sharing this skinnier version.

  67. Hi Sandy, did you use a box cake? I have to try baking with yogurt, I haven't done that. Do you ue eggs? Thanks!

  68. Avatar photo
    Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe

    Brilliant minds think alike.
    I made red velvet cupcakes this week too. I used yogurt in place of the oil and buttermilk… they were very tastey. (well just one of them was!)

  69. I was lazy and used your diet soda cake recipe with red velvet box mix and a can of diet cream soda. It was easy, much lower in points and really good.
    Thanks for the idea

  70. Avatar photo
    Sarah @ Daily Nibbles

    These LOOK awesome. I wanted to make red velvet cupcakes this weekend…..and a skinny version is even better.

  71. What is your altitude? I always have problems with cake recipes not working at 7600 feet. Any suggestions?

  72. MFebber- I never use Splenda but you can probably use the splenda/sugar blend.

    Weight Watchers has a recipe builder, there are other sites with points like Fat Secret and

    Doli- We give them all away to friends and neighbors! 🙂 I might have one or two, I won't lie! I can't resist her red velvet cupcakes!

    Adriana- have they changed them?

  73. Just wondering where I can find a place to plug in my recipes in so I can find my points. Do you happen to know a website for that?

  74. Oh my! I love red velvet cake and am getting that for my bday on Sunday! Your daughter's blog looks amazing! I would become too fat if I was at your home eating all those goodies!

  75. If these taste as good as they look, you have a winner!

    Ask your daughter to try to come up with a substitute for the delicious 1 point WW Lemon Cakes which they have recently replaced with a very inferior version :<(… (I'm guessing 2 mini-cupcakes would equal one WW cake.)

  76. Yes, points and calories include the frosting.

    Holy moly, 24 points a piece!! No wonder it's so good!!! It's not easy living in the same house as a skinny 16 year old who bakes! I'll keep that in mind next time she makes another batch! lol

    Regular cream cheese would make this a little less than 3.5 pts each.

    If you don't like baking and prefer cake mix, you can always use my diet soda cake recipe!

  77. Big Fan of your blog!!!
    Can I just use red velvet cake mix? If I do, how to make wet ingredient?

    I made your black been brownies and share with my ww friends… it was amazing…

  78. Wow thank you for posting this! I wanted to make a yummy treat with my kids for V-day without tons and tons of calories. These look so good and I am going to make them this weekend. Sure looks like a lot of ingredients but I am sure it is worth it!

  79. These look really good.. just wish I had time to make them before Valentine's Day! Would be a great gift for the neighbors 🙂

  80. …and PS I just checked out your daughter's blog! I don't know how you manage to stay motivated with all of those goodies in the house! She seems to be a baking queen! I'm sure you're very proud 🙂

  81. Gina, you are amazing! I planned to bake my boyfriend his favorite cake this weekend for VDay – Red Velvet! When I plugged my recipe into the calculator, it was 24 Points per piece! SERIOUSLY – not even joking! Then I check your blog and see exactly what I'm looking for! Thank you, thank you! I'll be trying these out on Sunday 🙂

    I did already buy full-fat cream cheese…do you know what this will do to the Points off-hand? (I'm lazy…)