2 1/4tablespoonsliquid red food colorI like Durkee brand
Cream cheese frosting
1package8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature (I recommend Philadelphia brand)
4cupsconfectioners’ sugarabout 1 pound*
Milk or cream
Make the cakes: Preheat the oven to 350° F.
If making cupcakes, line a muffin tin with baking cups. If making cakes, grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and vinegar.
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar.
Sift the cocoa into a small bowl and add the red food color. Stir until a paste forms (this will take a couple of minutes to incorporate). Add to the creamed butter mixture.
Add alternately the dry ingredients and the buttermilk mixture to the creamed butter mixture. Make sure you scrape down the bowl when adding the ingredients.
For cupcakes, scoop out the batter into lined muffin tins, about 2/3 of the way up, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cake springs up when touched.
For cakes, divide the batter between two pans making them both the same to ensure even baking. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched or pulls away from the sides of the pan.
Make the frosting: In a large bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar. Beat on high until smooth for about 2 minutes. If the mixture seems too lax (a common problem with cream cheese frosting), add more confectioners’ sugar a little at a time until thickened. If the mixture seems too thick, add milk or cream a little at a time until the desired consistency is achieved. Spread the frosting onto the cupcakes or transfer it to a piping bag and pipe mounds of frosting onto the cupcakes.
If making a layer cake, level the cakes with a serrated knife or cake leveler before filling and frosting the cake.
Garnish as desired.
I often use more confectioners’ sugar in my cream cheese frosting so it stands up well when piping. Have a little extra icing sugar on hand if you plan to pipe on the frosting using a piping bag and decorator tip.