These cupcakes are bold, beautiful and perfectly fluffy and moiste. The cream cheese frosting is a great base recipe to use with other cake or cookie recipes. These are by far the best cupcakes I've ever made. Use less food coloring for a more pink cake, and more for a rich red cake.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1⁄4 tsp baking soda
1 1⁄4 tsp salt
1 1⁄4 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1⁄2 cups vegetable oil
2 1⁄4 cups granulated sugar
1 1⁄4 cups buttermilk
2 tsp to 2 tbsp red food coloring (less gives more of a pink coloring, more gives a deep red)
1⁄4 tsp vinegar (white or apple cider)
1 1⁄4 tsp vanilla extract
1⁄8 cup water
For the cream cheese frosting
1 1⁄2 lbs cream cheese, room temperature
1 lb butter, room temperature
1 1/2 lbs powdered sugar, sifted
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a bowl and set aside.
2. In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix oil, sugar, and buttermilk until combined. Add eggs, food coloring, vinegar, vanilla and water and mix well. Add the dry ingredients a little bit at a time and mix on low, scraping down sides occasionally, and mix until just combined. Be sure not to over mix, or the batter will come out tough.
3. Line cupcake pan with paper liners, scoop the batter into the liners and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.
For the cream cheese frosting:.
4. Whip the butter and cream cheese together in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until creamed. Gradually add powdered sugar to the mixture and scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
*The frosting can be used right away, or stored in the refrigerator up to a week.
*Frost cooled cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting.