Red velvet cupcakes have been on my to-do list forever. I’ve never had a red velvet cupcake and I’ve always been intrigued by them. Finally, the other night I had free time and all the necessary ingredients on hand and made them! These came together very quickly and easily. The color on mine is probably a bit off as I ended up not having quite enough red food coloring but they looked red enough to me. Sadly, I did not taste one of the cupcakes before I gave them away but I did taste both the batter and the frosting separately and liked them a lot. Those who did try the cupcakes (my mom’s coworkers) really enjoyed them! People raved about the frosting, which I thought was interesting since it’s such a simple, basic recipe for cream cheese frosting. As soon as I get more red food coloring I will be making these again and I’ll be sure to have one. I also need to convince Shane to try them as he was quite skeptical of red cupcakes…

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
from FoodNetwork.com

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Frosting:

1 pound (16 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting: In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy. Frost the cupcakes with a butter knife or offset spatula or pipe it on with a big star tip.

Makes 24 cupcakes.