A red velvet cake appears very dramatic either in dark red, bright red or red-brown color that is traditionally topped with cream cheese frosting. If you want to try making this beautiful cake, this is your chance.
Well, the reddish color is often enhanced by adding red food coloring but the reaction of acidic vinegar and buttermilk tends to better reveal the red anthocyanin in cocoa and keeps the cake moist, light and fluffy. The small amount of cocoa powder give its mild chocolate flavor with moist and tender crumbs. If you are not familiar with buttermilk it has a nice thick creamy texture with a rich tangy buttery taste that makes baked goods tender. You can make your own buttermilk by adding 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar, cider vinegar, or lemon juice to 1 cup (240 ml) of milk. Let this mixture stand 5 to 10 minutes before using.
I love making this cake during special occasion like Valentine’s Day or Christmas because its color suits the mood of the celebration. To accentuate the cake, I use cream cheese which is a thick, buttery-rich, delicately sweet and velvety, ivory-colored cheese produced from cow’s milk. Besides the cream cheese, this frosting also contains whipped cream so you end up with a soft and creamy frosting.
So let’s start and here are the things you need.
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 stick butter (half a cup), unsalted
- 1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh milk
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 4 to 5 teaspoons red food coloring
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 servings cream cheese (see recipe below)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter two – 8 inch round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Combine fresh milk and vinegar. Mix well. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
- In a bowl of your stand up mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter until the texture becomes smooth (about 1-2minutes). Put-in the sugar while continuously beating. Do this until the texture becomes cottony, light, and fluffy (about 2 -3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each other addition. Scrape down the sides of the bow. Add the vanilla extract. Beat until it mixes well with the other ingredients. Set aside.
- Whisk the milk and vinegar mixture with the food coloring. Set aside.
- With the mixer on low speed, alternately put-in about a few tablespoons of the cake flour mixture followed by a few tablespoons of the milk and food coloring mixture on the bowl of the butter mixture while beating. Do this in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.
- Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25 – 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.
- Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, lifting off the pan.
- Once the cakes have completely cooled, wrap in plastic and place the cake layers in the refrigerator for at least an hour (or overnight). (This is done to make filling and frosting the cakes easier.)
Cream Cheese Frosting
Now, let’s make the frosting, shall we?
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup of whip cream
- 1/4 cup sweet butter, softened
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Here’s how to make the frosting:
- In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
- Add the cream cheese and then continue mixing until the texture is smooth.
- Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar while beating and then pour-in the vanilla extract.
- Using the whisk attachment, gradually add the heavy cream and whip until the frosting is thick enough to spread. Add more sugar or cream as needed to get the right consistency.
Assemble and decorate the cake:
With a serrated knife, cut the doomed part of the cake. Place it on an electric blender or use a fork to make the cake crumbs and set aside.
Place one of the cake layers, top of the cake facing down, onto your serving platter. Spread the cake layer with a layer of frosting. Place another layer of cake on top of the frosting and continue to frost and stack the cake layers. Frost the top and sides of the cake.
You can pat on the cake the cake crumbs using your bare hands. Put extra cream cheese on cake top and garnish with sweetened or unsweetened coconut, or choco chips.
This cake will serve 10 – 12 people.
Note: You must use a brand of heavy cream that whips very easily to stiff peaks. If you are using a brand of heavy cream that does not whip easily to stiff peaks then whip the heavy cream separately to stiff peaks and then fold it into the cream cheese mixture.
There’s goes the lovely, velvety, yummy cake. Hope you enjoy reading this post. Until next time!
Lots of Love,
Riah – The Happy Baker 🙂