Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
Line 2 standard cupcake pans with paper baking cups.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together
Unsalted Butter (3/4 cup)
Granulated Sugar (1 3/4 cups)
on medium speed for 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
Lower speed and add
Large Eggs (2)
, one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.
In a small bowl, whisk together
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (2 1/2 Tbsp)
Red Food Coloring (1/4 cup)
Pure Vanilla Extract (1 tsp)
. On low speed, slowly add this to the stand mixer bowl, mixing until well incorporated.
In a small bowl, combine
Salt (1 tsp)
Whole Milk (1 1/2 cups)
On a low speed, alternate between adding a third of the
All-Purpose Flour (3 1/4 cups)
, followed by a third of the milk, and mix. Repeat and mix until incorporated, and stop to scrape down the bowl as needed.
In a small bowl, quickly stir
Baking Soda (1/2 Tbsp)
Apple Cider Vinegar (1/2 Tbsp)
together (it will fizz!) then pour this reaction into the batter. Mix until just incorporated.
Using a standard-size, spring-release ice cream scooper, scoop batter into the lined cupcake pans so each well is 2/3 full.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat
Cream Cheese (3/4 cup)
Unsalted Butter (1/4 cup)
on medium to high speed until light and fluffy.
Pure Vanilla Extract (1/4 tsp)
On a low speed, slowly mix in
Powdered Confectioners Sugar (4 cups)
until well combined.
Then beat on a high speed for at least 2 minutes to ensure a light and fluffy frosting.
Transfer frosting into a plastic piping bag fitted with a round metal tip. Make sure cupcakes are completely cooled before piping the frosting on each cupcake.