With rich red velvet cupcakes topped with black buttercream frosting and decorated with red fondant horns, these cute little devil cupcakes are an impish treat!

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Close up side view of multiple decorated devil cupcakes, showing off the vibrant black frosting and tiny red devil horns.

About Devil Cupcakes

Impishly cute and simple to make, these devil cupcakes are a wickedly delicious treat to serve up at any frightful Halloween party or spooky movie night.

What’s in devil cupcakes?

To make a batch of these devilishly good red velvet cupcakes, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour, unsalted butter, baking soda, salt, granulated sugar, egg, and vanilla – Classic ingredients for baked goods and homemade frosting.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder, buttermilk, and white vinegar – Three of the key ingredients for creating the hue and texture of true red velvet.
  • Gel food coloring in red and black – For accomplishing those bold, devil-themed hues. Gel food coloring is what I tested with and should give the most vibrant results.
  • Powdered sugar and heavy whipping cream – For creating the creamy frosting.
  • Red fondant – Used for making cute red devil horns.

But what, what is red velvet?

Red velvet is thought to have originated in Maryland in the early 20th century. The “velvet” part of the name comes from the uniquely smooth texture when baked (typically from a combination of buttermilk, butter, cocoa powder, vinegar, and four) and the red color is due to the chemical reaction between the cocoa and the acid (the vinegar, in this case). True red velvet has more of a brick-like red hue, so it’s quite common for food coloring to be added to make the red more vibrant and obvious.

Many people may tell you that red velvet either does not have a taste or that it only tastes like chocolate. And, truthfully, they’re not “wrong” – red velvet does have cocoa powder in it – but it’s a much smaller amount than what you’d find in a typical chocolate cake, making the flavor much more subtle. The best way to describe red velvet’s flavor is somewhere between vanilla and chocolate.

Side view of multiple devil cupcakes arranged on plates and wooden coasters, with crumbled red velvet used as decoration all around.

How should these cupcakes be stored?

These cupcakes have buttercream frosting, and this is what determines the best way to store them.

If you plan on eating the cupcakes within 24-48 hours, it’s perfectly okay to store them at room temperature.

If you’d like to keep the cupcakes fresh for longer than two days, store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Keep in mind that the frosting will firm up once chilled, so if you’d prefer a softer texture, allow time for the frosting to soften at room temperature (typically one hour will do).

Can you make these cupcakes in advance?

Certainly! However, I would recommend threading the devil horns on toothpicks to help secure them to the cupcakes. This will make sure the weight of the horns won’t cause them to fall or sink into the frosting over time.

For the best presentation, I recommend making these cupcakes no more than 24 hours in advance.

Side view of a devil cupcake with the cupcake wrapper pulled down, pictured with a fork coming from right side, the prongs resting on the black frosting, about to slice the cupcake in half.

How long are devil cupcakes good for?

When stored in a sealed container on the counter, cupcakes will remain good for one or two days. If stored in the refrigerator, cupcakes can last anywhere from four to six days.

Can you freeze these cupcakes?

Yes, you totally can! However, it’s best to freeze these cupcakes before they have been decorated. If you’ve already decorated the cupcakes, I highly recommend enjoying them while they’re still freshly made.

To freeze these cupcakes:

  • Bake cupcakes per recipe instructions, then allow to cool completely.
  • Wrap cupcakes in plastic wrap. You can either wrap them individually or arrange the cupcakes in a group (single layer) and wrap them together. Note: If you have already decorated the cupcakes and really want to freeze them, chill the cupcakes in the refrigerator until the frosting feels solid to a gentle touch (doesn’t smear) and gently wrap the cupcakes in plastic.
  • Place wrapped cupcakes in a freezer bag or a storage container with a sealable lid.
  • Cupcakes can be frozen for up to three months.

Notes & tips for devil cupcakes

  • Gel food coloring is recommended for achieving the most vibrant hues with the least amount of food coloring used, but feel free to use other types that you’d prefer (liquid, powder, etc).
  • Since these cupcakes are all about the devil design, feel free to use store-bought red velvet cupcakes, make cupcakes from a red velvet box mix, or add black food coloring to store-bought vanilla frosting. These cupcakes can be as easy or as homemade as you’d like!
  • If the frosting becomes too thick, you can mix in one or two tablespoons of heavy whipping cream.
  • Don’t have any buttermilk? No problem! To make 1 cup of buttermilk: Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a measuring cup. Next, pour in milk, filling up to 1 full cup. Let mixture sit for at least 5 minutes or until mixture begins to curdle. Give the mixture a whisk to fully incorporate, then use it in a recipe as directed.
Close up side view of a devil cupcake cut in half, showing off the red velvet color and texture inside the upcake.

More fun Halloween eats

Other great cupcakes to try

How to make devil cupcakes

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – Kick things off by whisking together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set this bowl aside for now.

Step 2 – Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl) whip together the sugar, butter, egg, vanilla, white vinegar, and red food coloring.

Step 3 – Mix in the dry ingredients and buttermilk until a thick and fluffy batter forms.

Step 4 – Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners, then fill each cavity about 3/4 of the way full with batter.

Step 5 – Bake!

Step 6 – While the cupcakes bake and cool, prepare the frosting by using a mixer to whip together the butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, and black food coloring.

Step 7 – On a clean, flat surface, take a small amount of red fondant and roll it into a curved horn shape. Repeat this step until you’ve made 24 horns.

Step 8 – Place the black buttercream frosting in a pastry bag with a piping tip of your choice and decorate the cooled cupcakes. Top each cupcake with two red devil horns.

Step 9 – Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Close up side view of multiple decorated devil cupcakes, showing off the vibrant black frosting and tiny red devil horns.
5 from 1 vote

Devil Cupcakes

45 mins prep + 25 mins cook
412 kcal
Yields: 12 cupcakes
With rich red velvet cupcakes topped with black buttercream frosting and decorated with red fondant horns, these cute little devil cupcakes are an impish treat!

Ingredients 

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Black Buttercream Frosting

Instructions

For the Red Velvet Cupcakes
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners, then set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set bowl aside.
    1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), add sugar, butter, egg, vanilla, white vinegar, and red food coloring. Beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
    3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1 large egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon white vinegar, 8 drops red gel food coloring
  • Drop mixer speed to low add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, then mix for 10-20 seconds. Pour in buttermilk, then mix for 10-20 seconds more. Add the other half of the dry ingredients, then mix another 10-20 seconds or until all ingredients until just combined. If needed, mix in more red food coloring until desired color is reached.
    1/2 cup buttermilk
  • Pour cupcake batter into prepared muffin tin, filling cavities about 3/4 of the way full.
  • Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a tester toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let cupcakes cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
For the Black Buttercream Frosting
  • Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), whip butter and vanilla extract on high speed until fluffy.
    1 cup unsalted butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Drop mixer speed to medium and slowly add sugar to butter, mixing thoroughly in between.
    2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • Keeping speed on medium, blend in black food coloring until desired color is reached. Check frosting consistency; if frosting is too thick, add anywhere from 1-2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream.
    5 drops black gel food coloring, heavy whipping cream
  • On a clean, flat surface, take a small amount of red fondant and roll it into a curved horn shape. Repeat this step until you've made 24 horns.
    red fondant
Putting it All Together
  • When ready to decorate, fill a pastry bag with prepared black buttercream frosting and a piping tip of your choice.
  • Frost each cupcake in a decorative pattern as desired.
  • In each cupcake's frosting, place two red horns on either side to create a devilish look. TIP: If you want to ensure horns stay in place, thread horns on toothpicks, leaving enough length at the end to also spear cupcake within the frosting.
  • Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 412kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 160mg | Potassium: 54mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 745IU | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy

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