O.K...I finally have time to reply to this post!
Cake Man's recipe has become my standard, for cake and cupcakes!!
I first started off using Magnolia Bakery's recipe, which is good...but this recipe is easier and slightly moister.
This man at my mom's job orders RV cupcakes almost every week! He calls them "those red muffins" LOL
Anyway, I did make some changes (subtle), which have definitely made this recipe "my own", but I will share...
Instead of 1 tsp. of cocoa I use 1 Tablespoon; sometimes 2 T.
Instead of 1 tsp. vanilla, I use 2 tsp. (Madagascar Bourbon, of course)
Instead of white vinegar, I use apple cider vinegar! (I really think this is what enhances the flavor...I actually took this idea from Magnolia)
Here's an idea to decorate the cake, too, especially for the holidays. Use the "tooth" side of an icer tip, and make lines up the sides and over the cake to resemble ribbon on a present. Then pipe a bow with the same tip. It looks good with red icing.
Oh yeah, and here is my new cream cheese icing that is so good, smooth and easy to decorate with. I've never used his cream cheese recipe because that is just too much stuff, particularly the fats.
Even when I altered the recipe, I still had what somebody referred to as that "I'm melting" look. So, this is my new recipe, which does not melt and soften!...perfect for decorating.
1 8oz brick cream cheese
1 cup shortening (I now use Sweetex--hi ratio)
2 tsp. vanilla, you can use regular or clear
1/4 tsp. salt
2 lbs. powdered sugar
Cream the cream cheese, shortening, vanilla and salt AT LEAST 5 min. (I now do at least 10). Add all of powdered sugar. Mix on low to combine (watch out for sugar puffs), then crank your mixer to 4 or 6 for AT LEAST 5 min. (sometimes I do 10)
Enjoy! This icing is so stable, it will allow you to do more decorating with cream cheese icing. (Sorry so long