Giant Red Velvet Birthday Cupcake

March 1, 2010 at 10:10 AM | Posted in cupcakes, wilton | 75 Comments
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Yesterday was my Hubs birthday.

He’s now the ripe ol age of thirty one. (He says when I spell it out it doesn’t seem so bad.)

(Shout out to my friend, Stephanie‘s boy toy, John, who shares the same birthday too!)

I can’t believe I’ve known him for the last 12 birthdays. And I bake him a cake every year. I wish I had kept pictures of all those cakes. I’m certain I’d be LAUGHING MY A$$ OFF over them.

Let’s just say… I wasn’t a cake baker back then. There were a lot of box mix in a 9×13 pan with sprinkles and cheap $0.99 candle days. But since Hubs wanted to get in my pants make me happy, he ate every one.

He’s a good man. I think I’ll keep him around a little longer.

But I’ve been spoiling him. My cakes are getting progressively better (I hope?) but all he wants is Red Velvet. I offered him chocolate variations, Funfetti, Rainbow, Coffee flavored but he turned his nose up at all of them. His MO (modus operandi) is always the same. It’s Red Velvet or nothing. Ok fine. FINE. I’ll give you your Red Velvet but I’m doing it MY way.

In a GIANT cupcake pan.

It had to be a GIANT cupcake b/c I’ve been playing around with the idea of making a chocolate “liner” for it. And this was the perfect opportunity to try it! Can you believe my horror when I realized that my chocolate liner idea wasn’t as original as I thought?? Wilton had the idea first. I guess my idea was so 2008. I hate when that happens. It makes me feel old. Like when people tell me that side ponytails and leg warmers with heels are out. Say it aint so!

But but but… I can redeem myself. I have ideas on how to expand the original idea. Different color candy melts. Combining 2 colors to make a design… Polkadots, swirls, stripes. I just have to find someone who needs a GIANT cupcake first. Hmmm… My godsons’ birthday is 2 months away. That’s not too early to make his birthday cake right?

Giant Red Velvet Birthday Cupcake
Recipe adapted from Confetti Cakes

Print this recipe

Makes 1-Giant Wilton Cupcake + 12 cupcakes


For chocolate cupcake “liner”
3 cups candy melts* (I used 2 cups Merckens Cocoa Dark & 1 cup Cocoa Lite)

* You’ll probably have some chocolate leftover but I’d rather start off with more than less

For red velvet cupcakes
3-1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hersheys)
1-1/2 tsp salt
2 cups canola oil
2-1/4 cups + 1 tbsp granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/3 cup (3 oz) of red food coloring (I used 2 oz)
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tsp baking soda
2-1/2 tsp white vinegar

For cream cheese frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
8oz cream cheese, room temperature
8 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract


To make chocolate liner—
Place candy melts in a heatproof bowl and melt in intervals of 30 secs in the microwave. Stir between intervals until chocolate is melted and smooth. Dollop some chocolate into the bottom of the Giant Wilton Cupcake Pan and using a food dedicated paintbrush pulled the chocolate up the sides.

Coat the sides liberally and let set in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes or overnight. Feel free to add a second coat if you desire for good coverage. (Just remember, the thicker the layer of chocolate the more you’ll have to trim down your “cake” to make it fit inside.) Unmold the chocolate by using your hand and wiggling slightly until it slips out.

To make cupcake—
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray the inside of the Giant Wilton Cupcake pan with PAM and lightly dust with flour. (I forgot to oil+flour my pan and it still came out with a little jiggling.)

In a large bowl, sift the cake flour, cocoa and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, fitted with a flat beater, combine the oil and sugar. Beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly dd the food coloring and vanilla extract. (Be careful of splashing!)

Alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk in three additions, ending with the flour mixture. In a small bowl, stir the baking soda and vinegar and add to the mixer. Beat for about 10 seconds so everything is thoroughly combined.

(1) Fill “bottom of cupcake” about 2/3 full and bake for 20 minutes. Fill “top of cupcake” and bake the whole thing for an additional 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. (This is the method that works for me b/c the “top” tends to come out overbaked if you do both at the same time.)

(2) Fill cupcake liners about 1/2-2/3 full and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

To make frosting—
In a stand mixer, fitted with a flat beater, combine the butter and cream cheese. Add 1 cup of powder sugar. Mix well. Add the vanilla and milk. Slowly add the remaining powdered sugar until everything is well combined and you get a smooth stiff consistency. (Note: You may not use all the powdered sugar.)

To assemble giant cupcake—
Carefully hold the “bottom” above the chocolate liner to estimate how much you will need to carve off to fit inside the liner. Using a serrated knife, carve around the circumference as needed. Then level out the tops of the “bottom” cake and “top” cake. To make a layered cake, cut the “bottom” in half and then each half in half again. (Don’t worry! No leftovers were trashed in the making of this cake. *burp*)

Frost the top of each layer but do not assemble “bottom” yet. Frost the “top” with a crumb coat and put in the refrigerator to set for about 15 minutes. Gently assemble the “bottom” layers inside the chocolate liner one layer at at time.

NOTE: Trust me. I tried to assemble the cupcake bottom layers first and then put the whole thing inside and it DID NOT work out very well. The weight of the bottom was so heavy from the frosting that when I “dropped” it inside, the whole chocolate liner cracked and broke. I think I remember screaming.

Place the “top” on the “bottom” and frost the top with a 2nd layer of frosting in any method you like. I decided to go with the simple uncomplicated spatula “spackled” look rather than dirty up my piping bag+ tips.

Add some sprinkles and sparkler candles and it’s just what a 31 year old needs to feel 1 year older but still young at heart.


Husband rating: A+
He is a self proclaimed Red Velvet connoisseur so he KNOWS red velvet. And he had nothing but raves for this one esp with the chocolate liner. I think he said something like “… I don’t mind getting older if I get cake like this every year. This might have to be the go-to recipe, Honey.” What? Oh you have no idea how HUGE this moment is.

Wifey rating: A+
This “cake” recipe was moist+fluffy just the way I like cake. It was great with the cream cheese frosting but I J’DORE the chocolate liner. I have a feeling you’re gonna see many GIANT cupcake liners in my future.

Other rating: A+
Our family and friends were smitten with the chocolate liner. There were many raves for the red velvet and all that was left at the end of the celebration were crumbs. That’s always a good sign!



  1. I’d give it an A++!
    Love the chocolate liner idea – and my daughter would SO love a giant cupcake for her birthday. Now I have the next 9 months to plan it all out, hehe ;)

  2. I love the look of that cupcake with the liner! I’ve been trying to avoid buying the giant cupcake pan, but I’m beginning to think I might really need it :)

  3. you are so adorable! what a great idea.. 2008 what? i give you all the credit. i have never seen wilton make something so creative, tastey, and unique, PLUS it was made out of pure love, thats extra points.

  4. Clara, that is SWEET!! I am inspired by your humongous cupcake!!

  5. What a great idea! I have that pan and have made a couple of cakes with it and always find it difficult to frost the “liner” part. I think I’ll try this next time!

  6. I’m sold. I’ve held out on the giant cupcake pan b/c I didn’t really like the way they looked so messy when iced. But… this is adorable. I will refuse it no more.

  7. wow i loooove the chocolate liner! what a cool idea! also, how do you get the google docs link to pop up so that it’s so easy to print the recipe?

  8. That looks amazing and delicious! I had never thought of making a liner, brilliant! I will give you full credit since I heard it from you first ;) Wilton doesn’t need it lol

  9. Love the chocolate liner idea. Ooh..with flavored candy melts..the possibilities are endless!

  10. ‘my cakes are getting progressively better i hope’? they definitely are! This cake is amazing! what a lucky husband you have! I love the way you’ve covered the bottom of it in chocolate! and split the cake into layers with frosting in between, I always wondered if giant cupcakes would be a bit dry in the middle but not your way! this is so awesome!

  11. I have the giant cupcake pan, but I have never thought to make a chocolate liner. What an awesome idea! I’ll have to try it!

    Happy birthday to your hubby!

  12. Love, love, LOVE the chocolate liner! You are so brilliant! It all looks so good!

  13. I have seen this beofre, and like you said…sucks when you think you are genius and come up with a brilliant idea only to be told NO, you are just an ordinary thinker by google! BUT I will say THANK YOU for posting a tutorial on this..I was super scared about the “shell” cracking and you have shown me the light!

  14. I make a text only version of the recipe via Google Docs and link it to the words using HTML. Some information on “Creating a hyperlink” (here). Shoot me an email if you need more precise instructions.

  15. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! Might be the coolest cake I’ve ever seen…I love it. And I refuse to acknowledge the fact that Wilton did that in 2008….I’m saying it a CB 2010 all the way! You’ve also cemented that I DO need one of those pans…’s decided..I will have one. :)

  16. Oh this is awesome. Who is Wilton? O:-) You are the queen of originality hehe. But seriously, that’s a great way to make the giant cupcake more believable, not to mention delicious to boot I’m sure.

  17. That;s a huge cupcake.. How many people can actually eat that?

  18. Well it probably depends on how big a slice you cut per person but I’d say 6-8 servings. My husband says if it’s red velvet it’s only 1 serving though. Just his! HA!

  19. Wow what a fantastic idea – it looks amazing. I haven’t seen one done with a solid chocolate liner before – very impressive.

  20. I love your cupcake Cake! It turned out beautiful!

  21. wow what a great idea to ice between the big cupcake layers! ive seen a few of these mega cupcakes around and was worried about the icing to cake ratio but yours looks great :)

  22. Thanks for the tutorial!! I’m trying it soon!!

  23. May I ask what is the best way to cut a cake like this for serving? I just purchased this cake pan and will be serving it at my sister’s baby shower along with some matching “average-size” cupcakes. LOL. I am worried about how to cut it for serving. Thanks for the great tips and recipe!

  24. I’d say it’s a little bit of trial-and-error and personal preference. I tend to cut it the way you see in this post like a traditional slice of cake but after you get past the half way point it may topple over so I rarely make the giant cupcake unless I know I’m passing out every slice! Hope that helps!

  25. How many does the giant cupcake serve?

  26. Well it probably depends on how big a slice you cut per person but I’d say 6-8 servings. My husband says if it’s red velvet it’s only 1 serving though. Just his! HA!

  27. thank you!! :)

  28. I love the way you cut the bottom of the cake into layers. It add that extra little something to the cake! I’ve been meaning to try making one of the chocolate “cupcake liners,” but just haven’t gotten around to it. When I do, I’m definitely going to be doing the bottom part of the cake like you did. Super idea!

  29. Making a cupcake shell of this magnitude is probably one of the best ideas I’ve seen around!

  30. […] now I’m a fan of Shelly Kaldunski’s Vanilla Cupcakes, Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Cupcakes and Elisa Straus’ Red Velvet Cupcakes.  I tend to use these basic cupcake recipes and spruce them with my own […]

  31. absolutely wonderful!!

  32. Do you have any idea how many cupcakes this would make? And how long I would bake this for in normal cupcake form?

  33. I’m totally guessing from memory but I think 24-30 cupcakes? I usually bake cupcakes for 17-20 minutes. Sorry I can’t be more accurate. Hope that helps.

  34. Hi, How much wuld you reduce the recipe just to make the one giant cupcake? I am looking for a recipe to make one for a charity event for the British Heart Foundation.


  35. Oh wow. I’m not really sure. This is purely a guess but maybe by 1/3 or 1/2? If you make it, I’d be interested in how much you reduced it by to make it work for you. Good luck with your charity bake sale.

  36. Hey CB! I recall loving this idea before, but I’m actually on a bit of a quest to find my “perfect” red velvet recipe right now. I’m about to try my 7th recipe, and I realized around attempt 4 that I’d have to adapt my own version because the famous ones weren’t working out. The versions with only 4 Tbsp butter per dozen cupcakes were coming out terribly dry for me. I was hoping you might give me your take on the difference between this oil recipe and the butter recipe used in your previous red velvet cupcakes? Do you feel that one is more “traditional” or “authentic” than the other type? Also have you tried red velvet with all purpose flour and did you notice a big texture difference? Sorry for the barrage of questions and thanks in advance!

  37. Hi Xiaolu! So sorry it took me a few days to reply. Things are little crazy at mi casa. I’m on a quest for the “perfect” red velvet too! It’s a never ending quest. lol. I personally think the oil is better than butter. It seems to make the ‘cake’ more moist IMO. Traditionally I believe the red velvet is made with oil, buttermilk and beet juice. But I have yet to try it with beet juice! haha. I have tried with both cake flour and AP flour but I feel that the cake flour gives it a moist smooth crumb that I enjoy more than the AP flour. Check out THIS blog post from my friend, Bridget, that compares a few red velvet recipes. Maybe it will help sway you one way or the other. Good luck!

  38. Thanks a lot CB! No worries about the time of response. I actually have read and reread that comparison and found it very helpful. I also actually just obtained my “perfect” red velvet recipe. If you’re interested in trying it, I’d be happy to email it to you. I probably will post it also on my blog at some point. Have a great day!

  39. Oh I’m definitely interested. Email me: iheartcuppycakes@gmail

  40. Hi, I was just wondering how long you left the cake for before icing. My cakes always seem to fall apart when I try to Ice them.

  41. I really don’t time it. I just let it cool so that it’s room temperature. HTH

  42. Hi the red velvet looks great!! Just wondering if you have a recipe for a carrot cake version?

    Many thanks

  43. Even though I am not big fan of vegetables in my cake, I do have a favorite carrot cake recipe by Dorie Greenspan. It made me a believer in veggie cakes. HA HA! You can find the link to the recipe on my food blog ((here)). If you make it, let me know what you think! HTH.

  44. Thanks for the great ideas……I can’t wait to try it. One question, how is it cutting through the solid chocolate bottom…easy? Tricky?


  45. Hi Wendy! I used a serrated knife and it worked fine. You might not get a perfectly straight cut but it wasn’t any more difficult imo. HTH!

  46. Fantastic, thank you very much…i will try it this weekend for my daughters 3rd birthday :)

  47. Using my giant cupcake pan today for first time. I used your red velvet recipe. Thanks for posting it. Here are some substitutions that I used: 1.75tsp white vinegar plus enough milk to make 1.25c was substituted for buttermilk; 7Tbsp corn starch plus enough flour to make 2.5; 1oz liquid red food coloring + 1/4to1/2 red gel coloring to make batter red (I improvised since I didn’t have 3oz red on hand..and cakes are plent red! So are hands lol). I put 2.5c batter into top and 3.5c batter into bottom. Cakes are in oven and being watched for doneness; Wilton says bake 60mins (we’ll see).

    Can u tell me how much candy melts you used for liner? I have one 14oz bag. Do I need whole bag?

    Thanks so much for all the instructions and especially the hint about splashing the red color…I still got red everywhere but didn’t mind. :)

  48. Just read your blog again and found the candy melts amount 3c. I didn’t see it earlier…oops! My cupcake pieces stayed in oven 60mins. I think the top was done in 55 mins and bottom in 60mins. Both parts slipped right out of inverted pan. Since I used more batter in each part than you did, I have more cake to trim. Both pieces have a thick crust and I wonder if the bake time was too long; I’ll find out tomorrow when I trim the pieces to fit them together. I hope they aren’t overdone. So tomorrow is liner and icing day. I wonder if I can leave the cake at room temp with a buttercream icing. I prefer cream cheese frosting but too perishable for a bake sale cake.

  49. Hi Allie, so glad you were able to find your answers. Yes, buttercream frosting is more forgiving at room temperature than cream cheese frosting. I look forward to hearing how it all turns out! Good luck at your bake sale :)

  50. Hi CB, I put the big cupcake together today! And I made the liner. I have some insight for next a couple weeks for my son’s 11th birthday. Firstly, the cake wasn’t over cooked–Yeah! However I saw some real advantages to making the cake smaller like yours. A smaller cake has a seam between the top and the bottom that falls inside the liner; whereas my larger cake would nerd more trimming to hide the seam (I don’t think I could have trimmedit more than I did without it becoming a crumbling mass..definitely don’t want to remove too much crust). I was phobic of the candy melts liner; really thought it wouldn’t work and was positive it would crack. Ive melted chocolate before but never used candy melts. I got some extra pointers at this site: (hope it’s ok to post a link). Great tips about lean pan, double boilers, layers and freezing between layers. I cleaned and dried my pan well and put on 3 layers of dark cocoa candy melts which was 2 cups of candy melts. I was amazed at how easily the candy liner slipped off the pan and thankfully I was prepared so I avoided breakage. Since this cake may sit out for n entire day gor the bake sale I opted for store bought Betty Crocker whipped cream cheese frosting–it’s what DH brought home from grocery store so I went with it. I used 2 containers. One container for the single layer I cut into the bottom and for top layer of bottom. Then about half or two-thirds for decorating the top. I put a crumb coat on the top just like you instructed. Then I tried piping frosting with 1M Wilton large tip. That didn’t go so well with the oft whipped frosting. After getting equal parts frosting on cake and floor I quickly traded the bag for a spatula and spackled the top with frosting. I added Neco wafers for decoration; pressed each one into frosting. Then I put a big red gumball on top. It’s pretty darn cute. I, of course, think it should sell for $100…lol. I’ll settle or $25. If we don’t sell it we will eat it Sunday morning after church. I ‘m glad I did this trial run before making my son’s cake. Really learned a lot. Thanks so much for your very insightful blog and the gret whit you interject into your descriptions! I took a ton of photos and think that I need to start blogging too.

  51. Thanks for taking the time for the great review!! Now you have me all curious?? How much did it sell for? I hope you got $100!

  52. Hi CB, great to hear from you. The cupcake cake didn’t sell– I priced it @ $25. I knew it probably wouldn’t sell and planned to donate it to church coffee hour. We had it Sunday morning. It was very good. Now my son is in love with red velvet! I just bought 5oz of red gel food coloring…I really wanted to buy a gallon of liquid red but hubby was convinced a would spill, he’s probably got a point! Imagine! I’m making my son’s bday cupcake cake this week. I bought the Wilson tasty-fill mini cake pans to make the base for the cake. I’ll put it inside a chocolate liner. Have you used a tasty-fill pan? I’m looking for some reviews/insight. My thought is that I’ll make red velvet cake and cream cheese frosting (going to use Sara Phillips baking911 red velvet & cr cheese frosting recipe this time) and a white chocolate cream or mousse filling for the tasty-fill (looking for a recipe). Would love to hear your thoughts/suggestions.

  53. thankxxxxxxxx really sweet :)

  54. Hi I am making a giant cupcake I have made the liner and the cake, but want to ask if I assemble it all today will the candy liner hold out until tomorrow. I will be covering the top with buttercream. Thanx

  55. Hi CeeCee, I’ve made the liner for 3 giant cupcakes. Each time I used candy melts and coated the pan with 3 layers. I made the giant cupcake at least a day in advance with no problems with the liner.

  56. Thanx…..I have made it now so fingers crossed it holds out until tomorrow

  57. […] liner was inspired by I heart cuppycakes, with tips from here, and just crossed my fingers and hoped for the […]

  58. So glad I found this! Just tried my humming bird red velvet recipe in my Wilton pan and it broke when turning out :(

    It was a practice run for my daughters 7th birthday. Love the liner idea will be giving hhis a go! Xxx

  59. Does anyone know what substitution I could use for the red using Wilton no taste gel?

  60. Dissolve 1 tsp red gel coloring in 1 Tbsp water or vodka.

  61. Thank you, going to try it!

  62. Would I still need to replace the 3oz volume?

  63. Your cupcake looks awesome! I’m thinking of making a chocolate liner by putting the bottom half of the cake upside down and pouring chocolate over it.

  64. OMG, That is the most beautiful cake we have ever tasted, i made it for my daughters 18th birthday and everyone was in heaven.
    I made the chocolate liner on the inside and the outside of the tin, sadly the outside one cracked when i took it off so luckily still had the inside one, the presentation of the cake was fantastic although my piping skills could be a bit fancier. I have tried several red velvet recipes and this is the best by far, i think its the canola oil making it so moist as other recipes have butter in them instead.
    Thanks so much for sharing

  65. Preparing to make this for my daughter’s 8th birthday – tomorrow – am nervous!! We have a little family so I was going to make the big cupcake for us and turn the 12 into mini cupcakes to take for her class at school. Fingers crossed it all goes well.

  66. my liner is stuck to my tin *sigh* freaking out…..I added another layer of chocolate in case it was too thin – as I didn’t paint in on but used another – clearly inferior method :)

  67. Natasha, Put a couple layers of towel on the counter to cushion. Turn the pan with the chocolate over on top of the towel so that the chocolate will land on the towel. Then tap on the pan. You may have to tap kind of hard. Don’t be too afraid to tap. Also, you can try to run hot water over the outside of the pan for a short time if tapping doesn’t work.

  68. I got it (after the extra coat) – turns out it was too thin – but then I noticed my base was like half an inch thick! So I am in the process of melting it down and doing it all over again :) At least I know it works now! Thank you

  69. The cupcake turned out very crumbly and dry. It started to fall apart as i was trimming. Not sure what I did wrong as I followed the instructions.

  70. Carla, Sounds like the cake is over-baked. This cake should leave the oven when slightly under baked. Chocolate cakes can be dry when baked too long.

  71. Thanks for the reply- going to re-try again :)

  72. I was looking all over for a red velvet cake for my giant cupcake, im going to give it a try this weekend, thanks for posting. :0)

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  75. Thank you! Thank you!! I just bought the Wilton giant cupcake pan and couldn’t find a recipe to bake in it. I didn’t want to make the dense-sounding chocolate pound cake recipe that came with it.

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