Red Velvet Swirl Muffins - made with lush red velvet sponge and swirled with a cream cheese filling for a marble effect. These muffins make the perfect treat for any special occasion!
If you love red velvet and cream cheese, you're going to love these muffins. These red velvet swirl muffins are soft, moist, and so full of flavor. They're simple to make. They make a great treat at any time of day, and are perfect for special occasions or holidays, such as valentine's day.
The base of these muffins is lush red velvet sponge and then swirled with a simple, rich cream cheese filling for the ultimate marble effect.
Ingredients and Variations
For the red velvet muffins sponge base, you will need:
The Dry Ingredients: You will need flour (cake flour or all purpose flour both work fine), cocoa powder (natural unsweetened cocoa powder), salt, and baking powder. For accuracy and best results, weigh your ingredients using digital kitchen scales.
Vegetable Oil: Use neutral-flavoured oil such as canola oil.
Egg: For texture and binding. Use eggs at room-temperature.
Sugar: Granulated or caster sugar work well for these muffins. You can also use a mixture of brown and white sugar for the muffin base.
Buttermilk: Use room temperature buttermilk. If buttermilk is not available, you can make your own by adding some white vinegar to dairy milk.
Red Food Coloring: You can use liquid or gel food coloring.
For the cream cheese swirl filling, you will need:
Cream cheese: Use full-fat or low-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature. Do not use cream cheese straight out of the refrigerator.
Sugar: For the cream cheese swirl, you will need granulated or caster (white) sugar.
Vanilla Extract: Optional, for flavoring.
Egg Yolk: For binding.
How to Make Red Velvet Cream Cheese Muffins
Preheat the oven to 220°C (428F) and line a muffin pan with muffin liners (you will need 8-10).
Prepare the Dry Ingredients
Sift and mix the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt).
Make the Red Velvet Batter
Place oil and sugar in a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. You can also use a handheld electric mixer. Mix on medium speed until combined.
Add the egg and mix for 1-2 minutes. Then, add the red liquid food coloring. You want to go for a deep red color - but not too dark - the color will darken once you add the flour and cocoa mixture.
Add half of the dry ingredients, alternating with half of the buttermilk and mix the batter on slow speed until just combined. Repeat for the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk.
Make the Cream Cheese Swirl Mixture
Place softened cream cheese in a large bowl. Add granulated/caster sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. You can use a hand mixer or spatula for this step.
Place around half a tablespoon of red-velvet muffin batter at the bottom of a muffin liner. Top with ½ to 1 teaspoon of cream cheese mixture, followed by another tablespoon or so of red-velvet batter (or until muffin liner is ⅔ full). T
Top with 1 teaspoon of cream cheese batter. Use a wooden skewer or chopstick to lightly swirl the muffin batter and cream cheese together. Repeat for the remaining muffins, without overfilling.
Bake at 220°C for 6-7 minutes. Without opening the oven, decrease the temperature to 175°C (350F) and bake for another 10-18 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool & Serve!
Let the muffins cool for 5 minutes in the muffin tin. Then, transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling and serve!
Tips for the Best Muffins
- Weigh your ingredients using digital kitchen scales for accuracy and best results.
- Use room temperature ingredients. These include buttermilk, flour, cream cheese, and eggs.
- Do not overfill the muffin cups with batter. Fill ⅔ or ¾ of the way. Filling all the way to the top will result in overflowing of the batter whilst baking.
- If you're feeling adventurous, feel free to add some white chocolate chips to the red velvet batter for a sweeter twist!
Can I Used Milk Instead of Buttermilk?
This is a common question amongst those wishing to bake red velvet desserts. The short answer is yes, but you'll need to add some white vinegar. Just stir in 1 teaspoons white vinegar into ⅓ cup of milk. I would not suggest using milk on its own (without adding vinegar), because buttermilk (or its substitute) is what gives red velvet bakes their unique taste!
Making Ahead and Storing
These red velvet marble muffins keep well for 3-4 days when stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Make sure the muffins have cooled down completely before storing.
The batter and cream cheese mixture can be made up to 1 day ahead and stored in the refrigerator (covered). Bring out both mixtures to room temperature 30 minutes to 1 hour before baking.
Assemble the muffins and cream cheese swirl right before baking (this cannot be prepared ahead!).
Other Red Velvet Recipes:
Red Velvet Swirl Muffins
Red Velvet Muffins
- 166 g cake flour or AP flour (1⅓ cup)
- 1½ tbsp. cocoa powder unsweetened
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 120 mL vegetable oil e.g., canola oil (½ cup)
- 130 g granulated sugar (⅔ cup)
- 1 medium-sized egg
- 1 tsp. red food coloring + extra as needed
- 80 mL buttermilk (⅓ cup)
Cream Cheese Swirl
- 113 g cream cheese softened
- 60 g granulated sugar (⅓ cup)
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 220°C (428F) and line a muffin pan with 8-10 muffin liners.
- Sift and mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
- Place oil and sugar in a large bowl of a sand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (you can also use a handheld mixer). Mix on medium speed until combined.
- Add the egg and mix for 1-2 minutes until incorporated. Mix in red food coloring (gel or liquid - you'll need enough to achieve a deep red color, not dark).
- Add half of the dry ingredients, alternating with half of the buttermilk and mix on low speed until just combined. Repeat for the remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk. Do not overmix.
- Make the cream-cheese mixture: Place softened cream cheese in a medium sized bowl, add granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and the egg yolk and beat until well-combined and smooth.
- Place around ½ tbsp. of red-velvet muffin batter at the bottom of a muffin liner. Top with ½ to 1 tsp. cream cheese mixture, followed by another tablespoon or so of red-velvet batter (or until muffin liner is ⅔ full). Top with 1 tsp. of cream cheese batter. Use a wooden skewer or chopstick to lightly swirl the muffin batter and cream cheese together. Repeat for the remaining muffins, without overfilling.
- Bake at 220°C for 6-7 minutes. Without opening the oven, decrease the temperature to 175°C (350F) and bake for another 10-18 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let muffins cool for 5 minutes in muffin pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.