I wish I could say I made these beauties from scratch, but I didn't - at least not the cake part. My mother-in-law gave me red velvet cupcake mix in my stocking for Christmas, and I've been so excited to make them. The mix is from Williams Sonoma and is oh so yummy. (For $14 a mix, it better be yummy!) Next time, I will definitely make them from scratch, but if you care to buy the mix, or are interested in the homemade cream cheese frosting I made (I wasn't thrilled with the one it came with), here is what you need:
Williams-Sonoma Sprinkles Red Velvet cupcake mix
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, firm but not cold
1 tsp. white vinegar
2 /3 cups milk
8 ounces cold cream cheese
1 stick unsalted butter, firm but not cold
1/8 tsp. salt
3 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-well cupcake pan with paper liners. Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature, unless noted above.
Beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the cupcake mix and beat on medium-low, just until combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat for two more minutes.
Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the eggs one at a time, until incorporated. In a measuring cup or bowl, combine the vinegar and milk. Slowly add milk mixture, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding more. Stop the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake cups. Bake until the cupcakes spring back when lightly touched (about 20-25 minutes). Let cool for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Beat cream cheese, butter and salt until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat just until incorporated. Do not overmix or the frosting will incorporate too much air. It should be creamy and dense, like ice cream.
Smooth over cupcakes and enjoy! They are just so so good...