Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin pans
with 24 cupcake liners.
together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder
in a medium bowl.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the vegetable oil
, buttermilk, sugar, eggs, food coloring, applesauce
, vinegar, and vanilla on medium speed until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Turn the mixer
to medium-low speed, and add the dry ingredients a little bit at a time, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Mix until just combined.
Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely.
Generously frost the top of each cupcake with the Almond Cream Cheese Frosting.