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The Best Red Velvet Muffins

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These gorgeous red velvet muffins with chocolate chips are the perfect treat for Valentine’s Day this year. Tender and delicious and ready in about 30 minutes.

many red velvet muffins on a silver tray overhead view.

I am mentioning those 30 minutes just in case you forgot to get another present for your loved one. Providing you have the food coloring in your cupboard, you can whip up these easy red velvet muffins in no time. 

And if you are looking for more Valentine’s Day food ideas, check out the Red Velvet Mini Cakes, Valentine Sugar Cookies, Heart-Shaped Cheesecake, Mini Red Velvet Bundt Cakes, Strawberry Fudge, Champagne Truffles, or Berry Puff Pastry Cake. Or something savory like these pink Beetroot Crepes or Beetroot Pasta.

Who needs cupcakes when muffins taste just as good, they’re less pretentious and involve less work? Nothing against cupcakes, actually, but why bother with the frosting? These simple red velvet chocolate chip muffins are beautiful, tender, and delicious; they really don’t need the help of any frosting to make them shine. A huge hit for all red velvet fans.

two red colored muffins with chocolate chips.

Best tips for perfect muffins

  • Use a kitchen scale to give you the most precise measure and best results. Measuring flour and butter in cups is difficult; try it five times and have five different results in grams. And that can lead to frustration in baking. Baking is a science, and it requires precise measurements (Amazon affiliate link).
  • Make sure the eggs, butter, and buttermilk are at room temperature. When they are, they form an emulsion that traps the air inside. The trapped air expands during the baking process, making the red velvet muffins fluffy and tender.
  • I recommend using gel food coloring. When using red liquid food coloring, you will need quite a lot of it, at least 1 tablespoon, depending on the brand. And the result will never be as intense as when you use gel coloring (Amazon affilate link). If you use gel or paste, you will only need about ¼ teaspoon of the gel.
  • Bake the muffin batter as soon as you’ve finished stirring it. Ensure the oven is preheated and get the tray inside as soon as the cups are filled. The wet ingredients activate the baking powder immediately, and if the batter sits around waiting, it will lose its power by the time it gets in the oven, and the muffins won’t rise.

Recipe ingredients

listed ingredients for red velvet muffins on the table.
  • Flour: you can use cake or all-purpose flour. I use cake flour for making muffins most of the time, it makes the baked goods a little more tender, but plain/all-purpose is fine.
  • Rising agents: baking soda and baking powder.
  • Sugar: fine sugar (it dissolves quicker) or granulated sugar.
  • Salt: just a little bit enhances the flavor of the other ingredients.
  • Butter: definitely unsalted butter. Use real butter with at least 80% fat, preferably 82%. Don’t use light or whipped butter from a tub.
  • Buttermilk: it gives the muffins their characteristic red velvet tang. It also helps the baked goods rise because it activates the baking soda.
  • Vinegar: a small amount that helps activate the baking soda and helps preserve the red color. I use either apple cider vinegar or white vinegar.
  • Red food coloring: I strongly recommend using gel food coloring again; it is best to make red velvet baked goods look good.
  • Eggs: two large eggs at room temperature.
  • Vanilla: one teaspoon of vanilla extract will impart the red muffins a delicious vanilla flavor.
  • Chocolate chips: semi-sweet chocolate chips, between ½ and 1 cup, it’s really up to you. You can also use white chocolate chips (love it), chocolate chunks, or chopped chocolate.

What did I not use? Cocoa powder. Why? I used to, and once I forgot it. And I didn’t notice any difference in taste at all. What I did notice was that the red velvet color had an even more intense red color than before. So, I let the cocoa be and added chocolate chips for the chocolate taste.

Recipe steps

  • Preheat the oven and line the muffin pan cups with paper liners.
  • Melt butter in a small pan. Set aside while you weigh and combine the rest of the ingredients.
  • Dry ingredients: Sift and combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, a pinch of salt in a large bowl (1).
  • Wet ingredients: Whisk buttermilk, eggs, vanilla extract, vinegar, gel food coloring, and melted butter in a separate bowl. Whisk well to combine the ingredients and dissolve the food coloring well in the mixture (2).
collage of two pictures of whisking dry and then wet ingredients for muffins.
  • Combine: Pour the butter mixture over the flour mixture. Stir gently and shortly until just combined. Don’t over stir, or the muffins will be dense. Look at the picture (3); you can still see small clumps of the flour mixture in the batter. I left the batter, as you can see, and there were no flour clusters in the muffins.
  • Chocolate chips: fold them gently into the batter (4).
collage of two pictures of stirring batter and adding chocolate chips to it.
  • Bake: Divide batter between the prepared muffin cups (5) and bake in the preheated oven (400 degrees Fahrenheit/ 200 degrees Celsius) for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean (6).
  • Rest in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove and let cool on a wire rack. If desired, sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.
collage of two pictures of unbaked and then baked red velvet muffins.

Recipe FAQ

Why is there no cocoa powder in the batter?

There’s a good reason for that. I used to make the classic red velvet cake recipe using it, but I have left it out lately. Why? I can taste no difference when adding one tablespoon of cocoa, and the red velvet color is so much nicer now.

Why are my muffins dense?

You’ve over stirred the batter. Stop before you think you should; if the batter is completely smooth, you’ve gone for too long.

Can I make red velvet cupcakes?

Definitely! If making cupcakes, let them cool completely and frost them with buttercream or cream cheese frosting. Try this white chocolate cream cheese frosting; it is incredible!

How to store?

Room temperature: keep the red velvet muffins in an airtight container for about 3 days.
Fridge: in an airtight container, they will be fine for 4-5 days. They will get a bit denser, but they will still be tasty.
Freeze in an airtight container for 2-3 months. Defrost individual pieces on the counter; it will not take long, about half an hour.

four valentine muffins with chocolate chips around them.

More delicious muffin recipes

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many red velvet muffins on a silver tray overhead view.

The Best Red Velvet Muffins

These gorgeous red velvet muffins with chocolate chips are the perfect treat for Valentine’s Day this year. Tender and delicious and ready in about 30 minutes.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Muffins and Cupcakes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 292kcal
Author: Adina

Equipment

  • Muffin pan

Ingredients 

Dry ingredients:

  • 325 g all-purpose flour 2 2/3 cups/ 11 oz, Notes 1, 2
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 200 g granulated sugar 1 cup/ 7 oz
  • 1 pinch of salt

Wet ingredients:

  • 300 ml buttermilk 1 ¼ cup/ 10 fl.oz
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon red gel food coloring Note 3
  • 2 eggs large
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar Note 4
  • 125 g unsalted butter ½ cup/ 4.4 oz, Note 1
  • 130 g chocolate chips ¾ cup, Note 5

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit/ 200 degrees Celsius. Line the muffin tin with paper liners.
  • Melt butter in a small pan. Set aside to cool slightly while you mix the rest of the ingredients.
  • Dry ingredients: Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl.
  • Wet ingredients: Whisk buttermilk, red gel food coloring, eggs, vanilla extract, vinegar, and melted butter in a medium bowl.
  • Combine: Pour the wet ingredients over the flour mixture. Stir gently and shortly until just combined. Don’t over stir. Fold in chocolate chips.
  • Bake: Scoop the batter into the muffin tin cups and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
  • Rest for 5 minutes. Remove muffins and let cool on a wire rack. If desired, sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.

Notes

  1. Use a digital kitchen scale in baking; it guarantees for best results. Measuring flour and butter in cups is very unprecise (Amazon affiliate link).
  2. I often use cake flour when baking muffins; it makes them a bit more tender. But plain/all-purpose flour is fine as well.
  3. I strongly recommend using gel food coloring (Amazon affiliate link).
  4. White or apple cider vinegar.
  5. You can use between ½ and 1 cup chocolate chips, semi-sweet, white chips, chocolate chunks, or chopped chocolate. Or leave them out if you don’t have them or don’t like them.

Nutrition

Serving: 1muffin | Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 158mg | Potassium: 76mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 341IU | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 1mg
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