Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare muffin tin(s) by adding cupcake cup liners (22-24 total).
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer (or a hand mixer + large bowl), add in butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat on low until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
Keeping mixer speed on low, add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix in the Dr Pepper. Add the other half of the dry ingredients as well as the buttermilk. Mix until just combined - try not to overmix. Batter should be thick and fluffy.
Pour cupcake batter into prepared muffin tin, filling cups 2/3 full.
Bake cupcakes (in batches of 12 or so) for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick tester comes out clean.
Place muffin tin on a wire cooling rack to cool for 5-10 minutes, then pop cupcakes out and allow to finish cooling on the wire rack. Wait until cupcakes are completely cooled before applying the frosting.
Drop speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar. Frosting may be and clumpy at this stage - that is okay.
Keeping speed on low, slowly beat in cream cheese. I'd recommend cutting the cream cheese into 4-5 pieces and mixing in one piece at a time.
Finally, add in the Dr Pepper. This frosting is very forgiving and easy to balance to your tastes. You can add up to 6 tablespoons of Dr Pepper (total) or up to 5 cups of powdered sugar (total) to get the flavor and consistency you'd like.
Decorate cupcakes as desired.
* When baking, it's best to mix eggs that are room temperature. Place whole eggs (still in shell) in a bowl of warm water for 5-10 minutes to bring them down to room temperature quickly.Recipe adapted from Baked by an Introvert.
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