Red Velvet Cupcakes

What better way to celebrate a special occasion than with red velvet cupcakes. The texture is light and fluffy. And the flavor is unlike any other.

I've made many different versions of red velvet desserts over the years including this red velvet cheesecake. But, these cupcakes are my very favorite.

The recipe uses both butter and oil so the cupcakes are buttery rich, extra moist, and incredibly fluffy. These single-serve cupcakes taste exactly like a classic red velvet cake.

For the cupcakes
1/2 cup (120 ml) canola oil, vegetable oil can also be used
1/4 cup (57 g) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups (330 g) cake flour, sifted, SEE NOTE 1
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted SEE NOTE 2
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk, room temperature, SEE NOTE 3
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1-ounce red food coloring, (1 bottle), SEE NOTE 4
For the frosting
1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, softened
16 ounces (453 g) cream cheese, softened, cut into pieces
4 cups (480 g) confectioners sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Make the cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the oil, butter, and sugar for 10 minutes on medium speed, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for about 20 seconds after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir with a whisk. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternating with the buttermilk, begin and end with the flour mixture. Beat until well blended. Add the vinegar and food coloring. Beat until fully incorporated and no streaks remain in the batter.
Fill the prepared muffin cups 2/3 full. (There may be enough batter leftover to make 4 extra cupcakes.) Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few dry crumbs.
Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Frost as desired.
Make the frosting
In a large bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth and creamy.
Add the sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat on low speed until just incorporated. Turn the mixer to high speed and beat until smooth.
Make ahead tip
The cupcakes can be made ahead 1 day in advance. Keep covered and store at room temperature.
The frosting can also be made 1 day in advance. Keep covered and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Frosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and frost before serving.

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