Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and line a 12 cup muffin tray with liners.
Whisk together the milk and vinegar so that the milk curdles then whisk in the oil, caster sugar and vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, sift together the self-raising flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
Tip the dry ingredients into the wet and whisk gently until just combined.
Gradually stir in red gel food colouring until the batter is a rich red colour. I used about half a teaspoon.
Divide the batter between the liners, filling them no more than ⅔rds full. I got 11 cupcakes using large muffin liners, if you are using regular cupcake liners then there is enough batter for 12 cupcakes.
Bake the cupcakes for about 20 minutes, until a skewer inserted into one of them comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
To make the vegan cream cheese frosting, whisk together the dairy free cream cheese and vegetable shortening until smooth.
Add the sifted icing sugar, fresh lemon juice and vanilla extract and whisk until well combined.
If it is too stiff then add a drop of dairy free milk, and if it is too soft whisk in some more sifted icing sugar.
Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large open star nozzle and pipe swirls on top of the cupcakes.
If you like, reserve one of the cupcakes (un-iced) and crumble it up. Scatter some of the crumbs over the rest of the cupcakes.
The cupcakes will keep for about three days in an airtight container.