Two-Toned Red Velvet & Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

As I’ve grown older and the weary years have coated my hunched back like a film of unwanted snail slime, I’ve come to the wary conclusion that there are two sides of me: the one that you know, and the one that you wouldn’t want to know for all the holy flying bats in the world–though what you would want to do with a colony of holy flying bats, I haven’t the faintest idea. You tell me.

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Of course, unless you’re my mom and have witnessed the stormy tantrums I still throw all the time used to throw as a kid in the Polly Pocket aisle of Toys R Us, I’m pretty much an “As Seen in Stores” kind of girl. Peppy, extroverted, painfully enthusiastic at times, and totally predictable.

But at rare little moments of extreme environmental stress or unceasing irritation, my trigger–like any normal human being’s–will trip. And boy, you don’t want to be the person standing in front of it when it does. If you’re the one who tripped it up, all the bleaker for you. My judging glare is not something you want to experience from the receiving end. Nor is my adult, I-will-smack-you hands-on-hips gesture when I appear, glowering, in your doorway.

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On the latest battlefront, my neighbors have been demons from the darkest depths of Dante’s nine circles of hell. Zac Efron (who, by the way, visited us for the premiere of Neighbors last month) has got nothing on my. Freakin’. Neighbors.

Case in point: One week, I caught about a total of 20 hours of shut-eye because the guys across the way blasted their bass-heavy cool kid rock-alternative-I’m-not-sure-how-this-even-constitutes-music songs until 4 AM three nights in a row. As a consequence, I got really good at writing passive-agressive social media haikus like this one:

Take my class next year–
Bet you will shut up and study
When I flunk your derrieres.

Your future potential teacher/employer/archnemesis.)

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I loved seeing those of my friends who were still awake at 3 AM liking that status and sending suggestions for Taylor Swift-esque revenge. Gotta love ’em. (And in case you were going to point it out, yes–I have since learned that a haiku is based on a meter of five-seven-five syllables, not words……but for the purposes of this demonstration, let’s pretend I did something right.)

Or, when my upstairs neighbor inexplicably started playing The Hobbit at full volume from 1:30 AM until whenever the heck that giant of a movie ends, so that my early morning was filled with the reverberation of dragon roars in Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice telling Martin Freeman he’d never be a famous robber:

I hope Smaug eats you
And when he roars I will think
It’s just you being obnoxious.

(Again, whoops to the syllable count. But still. It was late, and I was irked.)

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The third time my neighbors hosted a building-shaking, brain-cell-damaging party across the way until 4 AM, I was already on the edge. When Miley came roaring through the speakers, however, I just lost it. I generally consider myself a very tolerant person, but when I had to wake up the next morning at 6 AM and actually do real-people things, I was going to bite someone’s head off and chew it into a pulpy mess. Witness the haiku and real-time status updates that preceded utter fire-spewing retribution:

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Dear wonderful noisy neighbors…my third haiku of the week for you:

I like you like I
like raisins in my cookies–
not at all. Shaddup.

3 AM addendum: may have to get up and bake oatmeal raisin cookies to hurl through their open front door….

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And then…

4 AM: All is quiet–because Scary She turned on the lights and walked through the door and the rest is history.

Let’s pretend the knife in the picture had nothing to do with it.

Two-Toned Red Velvet Chocolate Cupcake gif

Yeah. So basically, I busted out a can of whoop-arse on those kids, who are not really that much younger than me.

I actually just sort of stood in their doorway in all my frazzle-haired, baggy-eyed pagan-god-like awfulness and gave them all a look that made everyone rush to turn off the music and slink shamefully out the door.

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On several of those late nights where my second self was raring and ready to come roaring out, though, I turned (unsurprisingly) to baking as a way to calm myself down and keep from absolutely smashing down their door. I’m not kidding about hurling those oatmeal-raisin cookies at them (a suggestion of my friend’s–a second friend told me I should bring over a plate and shame them into quiet), because I did end up making them at 3 AM. And in the spirit of my Jekyl & Hyde complex, I also made these two-toned red velvet and chocolate cupcakes.

These cupcakes are insane, and they are insanely good. A collision of my very favorite chocolate cupcake base and an absolutely fantastic new red velvet base, and I had created a match made in heaven. This cupcake was actually a surprise for my friend’s care package, which she ordered from me for her upcoming anniversary. I wanted to make something fun that would represent the two of them–and what better way than baking two awesome flavors into one epic two-toned cupcake?

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In short, these are not cupcakes I would waste hurling at my neighbors. Not in a million and fifty-two years.

And anyway: they have been warned.

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Now…who wants a cupcake?

I know I could use one!

Printed Cheap Vinyl Backdrops Backgrounds for Photography

Two-Toned Red Velvet & Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Two-Toned Red Velvet & Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 2 dozen cupcakes

The best of both chocolate worlds collide in this incredibly moist two-toned cupcake. My favorite red velvet cupcake recipe meets my very favorite chocolate cupcake recipe, all topped with a gorgeously matched cream cheese frosting. Perfect for anniversaries and weddings!


Chocolate Cupcake:

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

Red Velvet Cupcake:

  • 4 teaspoons butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons red food coloring (liquid)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 (8 oz.) block cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Chocolate Cupcake:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Add remaining ingredients (water, oil, vinegar) and stir in until just combined.
  3. If you would like to bake these as regular chocolate cupcakes, preheat oven to 350 degrees, divide batter among 12 lined muffin tins, and bake for 15-17 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Red Velvet Cupcake:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and very fluffy.Beat in egg.
  2. Add cocoa powder, red food coloring, and vanilla. Mix in until combined.
  3. Alternately add buttermilk and flour, beating each ingredient in until batter is smooth. Add salt, baking soda, and vinegar, and beat in until smooth.
  4. If you would like to bake these as regular red velvet cupcakes, preheat oven to 350 degrees, divide batter among 12 lined muffin tins, and bake for 15-17 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  2. Spoon a large spoonful of chocolate batter and a large spoonful of red velvet batter into each muffin liner, from opposite sides at the same time so that the colors do not bleed too much into each other. Fill each tin 2/3 full (half chocolate, half red velvet).
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 15-17 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  4. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting them (see frosting recipe below).

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. In a medium bowl, beat together all ingredients until smooth and fluffy. Frost cupcakes and store cupcakes in a tightly-sealed container in fridge for up to 4 days.


24 Replies to “Two-Toned Red Velvet & Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. Wooow! These are indeed amazing! Haven’t thought of having two-toned red velvet & chocolate cupcakes! I’ve been meaning to re-visit my recipe of red velvet cupcakes in the next weeks, but that will change – I will be making red velvet using this recipe of yours! Thanks for sharing so many amazing recipes, Ala! 😀

    Hope you have a lovely week! <3

    1. Jhuls, aren’t you the sweetest! I really hope they fit the bill for you and your new dive back into red velvet recipes. It’s so great to see you over here, you show your readers and fellow bloggers so much love–it’ll be great to have you around, and I’m so looking forward to it! (Off to say hello at your blog now, too!) <3

  2. Awww you poor thing! Stupid neighbors, Definitely not worth chucking these delicious looking cupcakes at them! For how noisy they are, I say definitely not worth SHARING. But that’s me, I’m a cranky one without my sleep too. 🙂

    1. Haha! Lindsay, I would most definitely share one (or a dozen) with you for your empathetic words–I’m only dysfunctional when I’m getting like 5 hours of sleep in 3 days, so luckily my “Hyde” side doesn’t come out too, too often. Thank you for stopping by–this reminds me that I need to say hello over at Veggie Balance 😉 I love seeing you around, your comments just perk up my day!

  3. Kids these days! No consideration. 😉 Noisy neighbors are such a pain — sorry you have to put up with that. But glad you shared these treats with us. And we deserve them — we’re quiet!

    1. Heh! I knew I was in trouble when I started calling folks who are basically my age “kids”–but hey, I was born with the maturity of an old granny. You know I’d definitely share these cupcakes with you if I could! Guess I’ll just have to send my thanks for now!

  4. Oh no way. I cannot tolerate noisy neighbors. Especially with a baby! So sorry you had to deal with that! I’m super glad you shared these cupcakes though. They’re simply stunning, and I’m sure they taste amazing too!

    1. Definitely not with a baby–if I had noisy neighbors and had a kid at home, I’d definitely tell them to shut things down! However, you’re right–I did wolf down more than a few of these cupcakes those nights, go figure. I’m so glad you like them, they do taste like a little bit of heaven, Monet! 🙂

  5. Gaaaaaah! Reading your facebook status updates about your shitty neighbours drives me nuts because if I were you in those situations, my head would explode. Like, literally. I would also call the cops and then probably be caught out like Seth Rogan ‘n Rose Byrne in Neighbors (because life is totally like the movies). These cupcakes are brilliant – I always complain that red velvet isn’t chocolatey enough. Problem solved by having it side by side with chocolate. Love your photos, they’re beautiful as always. And I haven’t had time to respond to all the comments on today’s blog post but I will. I wanted to tell you that your comment made me cry (in a good way). Thank you thank you thank you!

    1. Nance, I’d fly you in and let you unleash a can of awesome ownage anytime! I feel like you’d do what I never have the temerity to do (though granted, it’s mostly because I read up on police rules and they do have to visit you before they visit the partyers, soooo…awkward.) Hope my email made it safely into your inbox 🙂

  6. I’m not sure when rudeness and being inconsiderate came into style but I don’t care for it either. Baking is always good therapy and cupcakes are bound to bring smiles just when we need them the most! They are wonderful!

    1. Seriously, Deb! I don’t know if you feel the same way, but I definitely feel like I missed the Adolescence/College Years train (you know, when I was supposed to be a rambunctious, obnoxious youth with no concern for anyone else). I’m not sad I did, though my friends totally call me out for being priggish about certain forms of “irresponsible” displays. Hah! Anyway, thanks for reminding me that baking is therapy, and I’m so glad you like the cupcakes. Cheerios, Deb! Have an awesome week!

  7. whoa two toned cupcakes! I don’t completely love red velvet but i’d be totally up for trying a chocolate/green tea one :O loving your haikus for your loud neighbors btw! haha

    1. Whoooa, do try that green tea combo and tell me how it comes out! I’d probably want to do green tea and white chocolate, yummm. Haha and thanks, the haikus really helped me stay sane during those noisy hours, Shelley!

  8. Hahaha! I love your Smaug reference. Lame neighbors are the wooooorst. Eat cupcakes to drown your sorrows. These ones!!!!

    1. DO TELL–I’m so glad somebody agrees with me. Cupcakes are the best for sorrow-drowning. Are you a Hobbit fan, too? 🙂 (As long as it’s not blasting at a bazillion decibels right above me, I do enjoy it!) Thanks, Karen!

  9. Loud neighbors aren’t the greatest, especially when you got work to do! Shoo. You should just tell them off. But hey, at least Zac Efron sighting is kind of worth it? Kind of?

    1. I love that–next time I’m just going to stand in their doorway and say, “Shoo.” And I didn’t even get to see Zefron–granted, I was too busy pushing fangirls out of my way so I could get home, but sadly no redemption there, Shikha 🙁 le sigh.

  10. These are gorgeous! Red velvet cake is delicious and swirling it with chocolate sounds even more delicious. UGH that would drive me crazy if I had neighbours like that… unless my neighbour was zac efron, because his abs are amazing. I live in the country, far away from crazy parties, but I remember my days in Uni when I would just want to go and yell at people for being too noisy. I’m a girl who needs her sleep! I think these cupcakes would make me feel better though! Mmmm.

    1. Allison, you honestly sound like too friendly a person to yell at anyone–but I definitely could use someone to do it for me! (When I say I stood glowering in the doorway, I think I probably just looked kind of meek and made eye contact with my neighbor friend, who looked very sorry for me. Hah!) These cupcakes made everything sooo much better though, you’re totally right. And you had me cracking up at that Zefron image–I’m trying to imagine if I would mind, but I get the feeling I wouldn’t either 😉 very good point….

  11. Your annoyance is totally warranted, lack of sleep makes us ALL act out! For me it’s more hunger, oh dear, I am one grumpy grumpy bear when I am hungry. All in all, at the end of the day you still made these incredibly moist and gorgeous two toned red velvet chocolate cupcakes sooo it ALL turned out well! Don’t you dare share them!

    1. Daww, all this amazing support I’m getting for my grumpiness has cured it anyway–and HAH I totally get grumpy when I’m hungry (especially if I have the shakes or a headache and NEED food, but folks don’t understand that!). I most definitely did not share these, though if you were around I’d totally send a box your way! <3 thanks, Jess!

  12. Oh my god — that is THE. WORST. There’s nothing like the panic/anxiety/rage that comes from trying desperately to go to sleep in the midst of house-trembling noise, is there? The more you try, the angrier you get, the more awake you are … awful. I’m so sorry you have to go through that (and for DAYS AT A TIME!) I am the most unbearably cranky person when I’m sleep-deprived, so by that measure you’re a saint. And at least you have these freaking gorgeous cupcakes! They look so crazily moist and delicious. And combining chocolate and red velvet is so genius — I remember when I first found out red velvet was chocolate-based and it blew my mind. Putting them together is too awesome. Hope the parties abate soon 🙁

    1. Cynthia, can I just say that I did a little jig when I saw your comment here? I love (love love) reading your writing on TRB, so I’m glad I finally get to meet you over here! Heh, and I see you met my First Comment Thank You page <3 I love that thing so much and it's all 110% true. I am a Grade A grump when I'm kept awake but I guess we all think that about ourselves when we hear other people's horror stories--I sure was no pixie that night. It's finals week (apparently) for the students so fingers crossed that the parties just fade away into summer. Ahh, summer. Thanks so much for stopping by--your comment made my weekend a jillion times better, and I really hope we'll be seeing more of each other around les blogs! Cheerios!

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