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1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup sunflower oil (or any other neutral vegetable oil)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled (if using salted butter, omit the 1/2 tsp salt in the recipe)
2 eggs, room temperature
3/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 tbsp.plain white vinegar
2 tsp.pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp. red "no taste" food colour paste
Red sprinkles (optional)
8 oz (1 x 250g pack) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4-1/4 cups icing sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 325°F
Melt butter and set aside to cool
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the sugar, melted butter and oil for 4 minutes on medium speed until the mixture is smooth.
Add half of the dry ingredients into the bowl, reduce to low speed and mix until just incorporated.
Add the buttermilk and blend.
Add the remaining dry ingredients.
Finish by adding the red food colour paste.
Line muffin tins with 15 cupcake liners and spoon the batter 3/4 of the way up into each liner.
Bake the cupcakes for 20 to 25 minutes. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Set aside to cool.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the cheese and butter until well-blended and smooth.
Add the salt and vanilla extract and beat for 1 minute till until completely incorporated.
Last, add the icing sugar 1 cup at a time, making sure to beat well in between each addition.
Let frosting rest for at least 20 minutes before decorating cupcakes.
Assemble the cupcakes by piping the frosting in a spiral pattern over the top of the cupcake and decorate with coloured sprinkles.