2 and 1/2 cups cake flour
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 and 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons (1 oz.) liquid red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 cups confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup cupcake tins with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combing the cake flour sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt; whisk to combine. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar. Beat on medium speed until well blended. With mixer on low, gradually add dry ingredients and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 18 minutes.
Let cool in pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. While cupcakes cool, combine cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until totally incorporated, increase speed, then beat until smooth.
Frost cooled cupcakes as desired. I used a star-tipped piping tip to pipe frosting, but spreading it works fine too. Top with your favorite sprinkle, candy, or decoration!