Healthy Red Velvet Cupcakes (Vegan/Gluten Free/Low Carb/Paleo)

by Kelly M

Cupcakes can make me rich too you know.


If Sprinkles can make gazillions of dollars turning bakeries into cupcakeries (deal with it. spellcheck), turning vending machines into cupcaking machines of bliss and happiness and unicorns, and turning people into walking cupcake-eating smily rainbows, then the least I can do is post a recipe for healthy red velvet cupcakes and buy myself some good chocolate.

Or a car. I do like Mercedes.

And chocolate! Let’s not forget about what’s important here. Mercedes and chocolate and cupcakes. Understood?


It is only fair to the public that I give fair warning, so consider this your official call to duck and cover. Assuming I’m not really as uncoordinated as I think I am, (I think I have the coordination of a particularly uncoordinated hamster. A very cute, somewhat clumsy hamster.) then I will be allowed to take on the streets with my very own motorized vehicle in a matter of months. Yikes.

I know this may be considered mutiny against teenage kind, but I’m actually not counting down the days until I reach a time frame in which I can reasonable count down the days until my driver’s test.


Quite on the contrary, I’ve grown quite accustom to this whole being chauffeured places thing, especially when my mother wears a white shirt, black pants, and a cap. (All we need is darker tinting for the car windows and my sunglasses and I’m literally the long-lost twin of insert name of Hollywood celebrity here.)


Does anyone have an extra Mercedes lying around? Perfect! Just send it my way. I wonder if it will fit in a P.O. box…

Oh, and do you accept cupcakes as payment? That’s a pretty crucial part of the “get rich quick on cupcakes” master plan. Sweet (but not too sweet), warm, moist, healthy red velvet cupcakes are worth their weight in cash right?



Like, $100 bills cash?

Yes. You do not understand how amazing these cupcakes are. THEY ARE LESS THAN 70 CALORIES EACH. WITH FROSTING. OH MY GOSH.


Those $100 bill are sounding pretty reasonable right around now?

I’ll make this easier, don’t even bother with the cash. Just drive the car over!

No? The hypothetical scenarios are over? Okay. FYI, my half birthday is coming up and I still like chocolate.

Meanwhile, I’m working on becoming that gazillionaire. Feast your eyes on my fortune.


Dedicated with love to Marleen. Marleen, you have been so kind to me. Thank you.

Nutritional information calculated with white whole wheat flour, erythrtitol, and mashed banana.

Very Important Note: The following recipe is NOT gluten/grain free and paleo. Click here for a version that is.

Healthy Red Velvet Cupcakes (Vegan/Gluten Free/Low Carb/Paleo)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Serving Size: 1 cupcake

Calories per serving: 67

Fat per serving: 1 gram

Healthy Red Velvet Cupcakes (Vegan/Gluten Free/Low Carb/Paleo)


    For cupcakes:!
  • 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup erythritol OR cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup mashed banana or oil
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Red food coloring (Natural, such as beet juice, is absolutely best)
  • For frosting:!
  • 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt OR 1 cup vegan-friendly yogurt
  • 3 packets of NuNaturals stevia, to taste (Feel free to substitute ½ cup erythritol OR cane sugar)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


    For cupcakes:!
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, erythritol or sugar, sweetener, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in almond milk, vanilla extract, banana or oil, and vinegar until uniform and no pockets of dry ingredients remain. Add in food coloring until batter is desired color. (Note that it will lose some of its color during baking.) Using an ice cream scoop, divide the batter evenly among the 12 cups of the muffin tin. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.
  3. For frosting:!
  4. Meanwhile, stir together the yogurt, the sweetener, and the ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. Place in the freezer for 20-30 minutes, or until thickened.
  5. For assembly:!
  6. Spread the thickened frosting over the cooled cupcakes. (Sprinkling chocolate chips over the top doesn’t hurt.) Once frosted, the cupcakes are best served immediately. If you want to serve them later, refrigerate the cupcakes, keep the frosting in the freezer, and frost the cupcakes right before serving. Devour.

Recipe Notes and Substitutions

Feel free to use any kind of wheat flour in place of the whole wheat flour.

To keep vegan, use vegan yogurt and egg replacer.



What is you favorite kind of cupcake?

I love me my red velvet, but I’m a coconut gal. What about you?


Leave a Comment

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ellen April 10, 2013 at 1:54 am

Well, I am more of a cake person than cupcake person-due to cakes having more frosting and being eaten on a plate…but in the cake GENRE, which cupcakes thoroughly fit into, I’d say pumpkin cupcakes are my jam…
Hope you get that car, you could come visit me here in LA:)


2 Kelly M April 10, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Pumpkin cupcakes. Brilliant.

Get the Mercedes, not get the Mercedes. Well, I want to go visit Ellen. Get the Mercedes!!

Thanks for making my decision easier. ;)


3 Meg @ A Dash of Meg April 10, 2013 at 6:14 am

HEY KELLY! <3 Just wanted to let you know I'm always reading your blog and love it dearly <3 you always impress me babe!


4 Kelly M April 10, 2013 at 9:59 pm

MEG!!! I miss you so much. We really do need to talk more!

P.S. I do LOVE your blog and the graphic design.


5 McKel | Nutrition Stripped April 10, 2013 at 7:53 am

These look great!


6 Kelly M April 10, 2013 at 9:20 pm

Thank you, McKel!


7 Camilla April 10, 2013 at 8:16 am

Yum! No eggs in the recipe/egg substitute?


8 Kelly M April 10, 2013 at 9:57 pm

Yup! No eggs or egg substitute in this recipe.

If you’re looking for a version with them, there are egg whites or egg substitute in the grain free version (link above this recipe).

Hope this helps!


9 Emily April 10, 2013 at 9:31 am

Love your healthy recipes, but how is this gluten free or paleo with the whole wheat flour?


10 Kelly M April 10, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Hi Emily! Above the recipe I state that this recipe is not grain free, but I leave a link to the grain free version. (It’s best for me to put multiple recipes on separate pages for SEO purposes.)

Hope this helps!


11 Emily April 11, 2013 at 10:31 am

Ahh thanks! I skimmed through it on my phone and didn’t see the embedded link:)


12 Liz April 10, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Can you make a note of which ingredients you used to calculate the nutrition stats?

Also, how much batter was portioned into each muffin tin? From the photo with the fork, the cupcakes looked mini, but you say to use a regular-sized tin.


13 Kelly M April 10, 2013 at 10:10 pm

Hi Liz! Yes, I updated the recipe to say “Nutritional information calculated with white whole wheat flour, erythrtitol, and mashed banana.”

The fork I used was just rather giant. The cupcakes are pretty standard-sized. Thanks!


14 Mary April 11, 2013 at 5:37 am

This recipe is NOT gluten free or Paleo. Wheat is gluten!


15 Kelly M April 11, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Hi Mary. Above the recipe, I state that this recipe is not grain free, but I leave a link to the grain/gluten free and paleo version. It’s best for me to put multiple recipes on separate pages for SEO purposes.


16 Anna @AnnaTheApple April 12, 2013 at 7:53 am

Ahh these look delicious!! Love red velvet.
Oooh how exicitng about driving as well. You’ll be fine, and at first it’s lots of fun. And then very mundane and dull haha.


17 Danielle April 12, 2013 at 2:33 pm

White whole wheat flour is definitely not gluten free!


18 Mary May 2, 2013 at 5:18 am

I said the same thing Danielle, there is a “very important note” just above the recipe that has a link that takes you to the gluten free recipe!


19 Lia May 17, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Is it possible to use Soy milk instead of almond milk?


20 Kelly M May 17, 2013 at 11:14 pm



21 Brittany May 19, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Can you use soymilk instead of almond milk?


22 Brittany May 19, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Ooh! Just saw the comment above me!


23 Nikki G May 20, 2013 at 8:57 pm

how many calories per cupcake minus the frosting?


24 Kelly M May 20, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Hi Nikki! There are about 52 calories per cupcake minus the frosting.


25 The typist May 26, 2013 at 6:21 pm



26 Nousha July 18, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Sorry hun I just had to comment on your misleading title. These are definitely not gluten free because of the wheat flour. As well I follow a paleo diet and you cannot claim that these are paleo, especially if you use cane sugar and red food coloring, but the biggest anti paleo culprit again is the flour. Other then that the cupcake looks amazing. It’s too bad I can’t try it though. Wish it used coconut flour :(


27 Kelly M July 27, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Hi Nousha! I’m sorry for the confusion. I noted above the recipe in all caps to prevent misleading people that this recipe is NOT gluten free/grain free/paleo, and I leave a link to the version of this recipe that is. Hope this helps!


28 Libby August 7, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Hey Kelly! I made your gluten free red velvet cupcakes– they say that the calorie count is around 45 but when I counted with the frosting and everything it ended up being closer to 70. Still a steal but just btw!
And they were DELECTABLE. I’ve inhaled two and my sister said they were 10000 better than sprinkles. Plus, they cost me approximately $7 to make. Yeah. Take that Sprinkles!


29 Kelly M September 14, 2013 at 9:57 am

Libby, I read this comment to my mom because it made my day! Thank you!


30 Betty September 12, 2013 at 2:42 am

Thank you for this recipe!! I can’t wait to treat myself with these guilt-free cupcakes.

However I was wondering how many calories those cupcakes have if I use cane sugar? I don’t really like the taste of stevia.


31 Kelly M September 14, 2013 at 10:01 am

Hi Betty! There are about 110 calories per cupcake if you use cane sugar. Erythritol is a great alternative. It tastes more like sugar and it’s calorie free! It is pretty expensive though.


32 Mary Jo September 22, 2013 at 7:19 pm

I haven’t tried these yet but have to comment that they are not gluten free and cannot be low carb or paleo. I’ll give you vegan but that is all. Unfortunately I must be gluten free so I will never know how these taste.


33 Patchooli October 2, 2013 at 10:21 am

whole wheat flour isn’t gluten free.


34 Kelly M October 4, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Sorry for the miscommunication! I give a gluten free version above the recipe.


35 marleen davis November 8, 2013 at 2:11 pm

My Dear Sweet Kelly,
Sorry I haven’t written in a while. (been under the weather) Glad you seem to be bearing up better and writing again. Thanks for the kind words in the Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe, much appreciated. I grew up in your neighborhood, near La Cienega and 3rd St–just thought you would be interested in that unimportant bit of trivia. Take care of yourself and keep up the great work. You are already a big success but I expect you will be a huge leader in whatever industry you choose. Much love from your other mother. marleen


36 monica November 18, 2013 at 3:34 pm

white flour isn’t paleo… dairy isn’t either…


37 Kelly M November 30, 2013 at 8:04 am

Hi Monica! I state above the recipe that this recipe is not gluten or grain free, and then leave a link to the version that is. Hope this helps!


38 Lara November 22, 2013 at 12:18 am

I’m a bit lost… how can a gluten free cupcake have whole wheat flour?


39 Kelly M November 30, 2013 at 7:39 am

Sorry for the confusion Lara! I state above the recipe that this recipe is not gluten or grain free, and then leave a link to the version that is. Hope this helps!


40 Jenny December 13, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Just made these and i must say, they are pretty incredible. My daughter’s first birthday party is tomorrow and I was making a batch ahead of time to test them, My family includes vegans, soy/dairy free and gluten free folks and it is very hard to find something good for everybody. This was super easy to make and I had to make zero adjustments. Great job lady!


41 Claire December 19, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Would simply subbing the flour in this recipe for all-purpose gluten free flour work? I know there’s a gf version of this recipe but i dont have all of the inredients.


42 Kelly M December 23, 2013 at 11:36 pm

I haven’t tried it but I think it should work just fine!


43 Naomi Nguyen December 30, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Hey Kelly, I’m in love with your blog! Its amazing, I was wondering is it okay if I sub the cane sugar with stevia? Do you think it will taste the same?


44 Kelly M January 4, 2014 at 10:07 pm

Thank you so so much Naomi! I’m not sure if stevia would work, but are you up for using erythritol? Maybe Truvia would work?


45 Naomi Nguyen January 5, 2014 at 8:04 am

Unfortunately, Whole Foods or Trader’s Joes isn’t around where I live, but I am about to place an order on iHerb ^.^. I can’t wait to try your cinnamon rolls, only 40 calories! It make me want to hug you because I was so close to going to CiCi’s…


46 Chelsea January 24, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Hi Kelly.. which of your cupcakes are better these ones or the ‘Ultimate Healthy Vanilla’ ones???? I cant decide which one to make!!
Maybe I should make both….. :)


47 Kelly M January 24, 2014 at 11:07 pm

Hey Chelsea! I personally prefer the vanilla ones, but other lovely reader folk have seemed to love the red velvet ones more. Perhaps both is in order…;) Good luck!


48 Cait February 24, 2014 at 12:28 pm

This sounds delish but the recipe is definitely not GF. I was hoping to know if you need to add xantham gum or what would be best to make these rise


49 Kelly M June 15, 2014 at 9:30 am

Hi Cait! I leave a link to the GF version above the recipe.


50 Navpreet Kaur April 15, 2014 at 11:09 pm

what could you substitute the erythritol or cane sugar with in the red velvet cupcakes? would honey or maple syrup work? and can the recipe be used for a whole cake? please get back to me :) -Nav


51 Kelly M May 16, 2014 at 6:21 pm

Hi Nav! Maybe you could use coconut sugar? Some other readers seem to love it. I’m not sure how liquid sweeteners would affect the texture. You could totally make this as a cake! Bake in an 8-inch cake pan for 25-30 minutes.


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