Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

a moist red velvet cupcake with a light texture and a slight chocolate flavor. Topped with a rich and creamy cream cheese frosting.

· 3⅓ c. cake flour (not self-rising)
· ¾ c. (12 Tbl.) unsalted butter, room temperature
· 2¼ c. sugar
· 3 large eggs, room temperature
· 2 Tbl. liquid red food coloring
· 3 Tbl. unsweetened cocoa powder
· 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
· 1½ tsp. salt
· 1½ c. buttermilk
· 1½ tsp. white vinegar
· 1½ tsp. baking soda
· Cream Cheese Frosting:
· 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
· 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
· ¼ tsp. salt
· 2 tsp. vanilla extract
· 4½ c. powdered sugar
· 1 Tbl. milk, plus more if needed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and spray with cooking spray; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and sugar and mix on medium speed until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk the food coloring, cocoa powder and vanilla together; add to the butter/sugar mixture and mix well. Stir the salt into the buttermilk and add to the batter in three parts, alternating with the cake flour, starting and ending with flour. In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar and baking soda; add to the batter and mix well.

2. Fill cupcake liners ⅔ full with batter and bake in preheated oven for 17-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not over bake. Repeat with remaining cupcakes. Cool completely and top with Cream Cheese Frosting. Makes about 3½ dozen cupcakes.

3. For the Cream Cheese Frosting: In a large bowl, mix together butter, cream cheese, salt and vanilla until smooth. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. If frosting is too thick, add a little milk. If you are planning to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, you want it thick enough to hold its shape. This makes enough frosting to pipe a big swirl on the top of each cupcake. I used a Wilton 1M piping tip.

4. *If you do not want to pipe a large swirl onto each cupcake and prefer to spread a small layer on top instead, the amount of frosting can be cut in half.

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