Red Velvet Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
  • 8 tablespoons
  • (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups
  • granulated sugar
  • 2large eggs
  • 1 ounce
  • liquid red food coloring (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon
  • distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon
  • vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups
  • cake flour (see Recipe Note)
  • 3 tablespoons
  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon
  • baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon
  • kosher salt
  • 1 cup
  • buttermilk

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 2 sticks
  • (8 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces
  • cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons
  • vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon
  • kosher salt
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups
  • powdered sugar
Place 1 stick unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Let sit at room temperature until softened, about 1 hour.
Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 standard 12-well muffin pans with paper liners.
Add 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar to the bowl of butter. Beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 2 large eggs and beat until pale and smooth, about 30 seconds. Add 2 ounces red liquid food coloring, 1 tablespoon white vinegar, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and beat until combined, about 15 seconds.
Place 2 1/2 cups cake flour, 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine, making sure there are no clumps of cocoa powder.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Add 1/2 cup of the buttermilk and beat until just combined. Beat in half of the remaining flour mixture, then the remaining 1/2 cup buttermilk. Finish beating in the remaining flour mixture until just combined. Divide the batter between the muffin wells, filling each well a little more than halfway full.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool on wire racks for 5 minutes.

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