Red Velvet Cupcakes

Ingredients for the cupcakes:

15 1/2 oz. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
13 oz. granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
3 eggs

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons red food coloring

1 1/4 teaspoons vinegar (white or apple cider)
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 cup water

For the cream cheese frosting:
12 oz. cream cheese (1 1/2 8 oz. packages)
1/2 lb. butter
1 lb. sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

For the cupcakes:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a bowl and set aside.
3. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the 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 overmix, or the batter will come out tough.
4. Line a 16-cup cupcake pan with paper liners, scoop the batter into the liners and bake at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

For the cream cheese frosting:
1. Whip the butter and cream cheese together in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until creamed.
2. Gradually add powdered sugar to the mixture and scrape down the bowl as needed.  Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
3. The frosting can be used right away or stored in the fridge for up to a week.

Frost the cooled cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting.

Note: I halved the ingredients for the frosting, and there was plenty left over.  The cake comes out really moist.

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