Christmas is coming! Christmas is coming! Christmas is coming! You know what that means? Whip out the red velvet!
Red Velvet Cupcakes or Cake
For the cake:
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup hot (but not boiling) water
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons white vinegar
For the frosting:
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter two 9-inch cake rounds; dust with cocoa, tapping out excess. Set aside. Whisk together flour, salt, and cocoa in a medium bowl; set aside.
Mix sugar and oil on medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk until combined. Add eggs one at a time; mix well after each addition. Mix in food coloring and vanilla. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with flour, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
Stir together baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl. Add baking-soda mixture to batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds. Mix in the hot water until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake until a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean, 18 to 23 minutes. Let cool completely in pans on wire racks.
While the cakes are baking, prepare the frosting. In a large bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, mix together the softened cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract. Add the confectioner’s sugar in batches until the frosting comes together and there are no lumps. Let cool in a refrigerator until the cakes are ready to frost.
Frost your cake as you normally would, using about a third of the frosting for between the two layers, the top, and the sides of the cake. Finally, sprinkle the cake crumbs around the sides of the cake, spreading evenly.