Red Velvet Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

While considered a ‘southern’ staple, red velvet cupcakes have become a national trend.  The cake is not too sweet and has just a touch of cocoa but the best part, of course, is the cream cheese frosting.  This frosting could also be used to top carrot, banana, or coconut cupcakes or cakes.

Makes 24 cupcakes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk *see note below*
2 extra large eggs
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Cream Cheese Frosting:
12 oz. (1 1/2 bars) Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks ) unsweetened butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Line 2 (12 cup) muffin pans with paper liners (the silver foil cupcake liners look really good with these cupcakes). If you only have one 12 cup muffin pan – bake a batch of 12 and then use that pan again with the rest of the batter.
2.  In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder and sugar.
3.  In a large mixing bowl, gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, red food coloring, vinegar and vanilla.
4.  Add the dry ingredients to the large bowl and mix well until smooth and combined.
5.  Using a large ice cream scoop or 2 tablespoons, divide the batter between the 24 cupcake liners.
6.  Bake 20-24 minutes until a toothpick come out with dry crumbs. (Tops will spring back when gently tested with your finger.)  Remove from oven and cool at room temperature.

Beat together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth.  Add the confectioner’s sugar and beat until fluffy.

Pipe frosting on top of the cooled cupcakes or spread on top with a small spatula.

Cupcakes could be refrigerated for a couple of days.

*Note:  If you don’t have buttermilk, you could make it as follows:  Put 4 1/2 teaspoons vinegar or fresh lemon juice ( prefer lemon juice) in a measuring cup.  Add enough milk to measure 1 cup.  Let stand 10-15 minutes. It will start to curdle.  Use in place of store-bought buttermilk.  This mixture could be refrigerated until it’s needed.  This works very well and avoids your having to throw out the unused buttermilk in the container if you don’t normally use it.

ENJOY !!!!!