Red Velvet Cupcakes

PREP TIME:     1 hour 0 mins
TOTAL TIME:  2 hours 0 mins


2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. liquid red food colour
2 tsp. white vinegar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 c. buttermilk
2 package cream cheese
1 1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar
Red gel or paste food colouring and red and white sanding sugar, for decorating


Heat oven to 180°C. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Using an electric mixer, beat the granulated sugar, food colour, vinegar, 1 tsp vanilla and 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Reduce the mixer speed to low and alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk, mixing just until incorporated.
Divide the batter between the pans and bake until a wooden pick inserted in the centre comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and remaining 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar and remaining tsp vanilla and beat until fluffy, 3 minutes.
Transfer 1/2 cup of the icing to a small bowl and tint red using the paste or gel; transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a writing tip. Transfer 1/2 cup white icing to a pastry bag fitted with a writing tip. Working with one cupcake at a time, frost the cupcakes with the remaining white icing, then immediately dip in the sanding sugar to coat completely; repeat with the remaining cupcakes. Using the icing in the pastry bags, pipe snowflake decorations on top.