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Hands-on Time
40 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 5 Mins
Yield
Yields 24 cupcakes (serving size: 1 cupcake)
Photo: Jonny Valiant; Styling: Ed Gallagher

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350° F. Place paper liners in 2 12-cup muffin tins.

Step 2

Make cupcakes: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, red coloring, vinegar and vanilla. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl. Alternate adding dry ingredients and buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Beat until just incorporated.

Step 3

Divide batter evenly among paper liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pans to rack to cool completely.

Step 4

Make frosting: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese and butter until creamy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Gradually beat in sugar and cocoa powder until well combined.

Step 5

Spread chocolate-cream cheese frosting on cupcakes and arrange on a platter in a tight, circular formation. Use decorating gel to pipe concentric circles, starting with small circle in center and getting larger toward outer edge. Starting in center, drag a toothpick through circles, as though you were making spokes on a wheel, to complete large web design.

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