RED Red Velvet Cake
February 17, 2012
I realize that I’ve already posted a red velvet cake recipe, but I’ve found over the years that there are two red velvet cake camps: people who like their cake more chocolate-y, and people who want it to look very RED. Well, actually, make that three camps…I’m in the very small and unpopular “red velvet cake is kind of silly” camp. I personally don’t get the hype. Plenty of cakes have cream cheese frosting on them, and besides, GIVE ME CHOCOLATE! The other red velvet cake I posted is my favorite one, because it has more chocolate in it. But I have to say, this recipe is also pretty stellar. There is only a hint of chocolate, but the cake is so delicate and light, it just melts in your mouth. So when a red velvet cake is requested by someone in the “RED” camp for their birthday, I make this one. Just a warning, though…there is A LOT of red food dye in it.
The birthday girls that I made this for were born on Valentine’s Day, so of course a heart shaped cake is called for!
Before you really glob on the frosting, I highly recommend doing a thin layer of icing all over the cake first, which I’ve heard called “dirty icing” the cake. When frosting such a dark cake with white icing, it’s best to do this in order to get all the crumbs held into that first layer. Then when you add the second layer, the crumbs dont pop through. I normally don’t take time for such trivial things, but it’s really necessary with this cake, in order to have a nice looking finished cake.
My heart-shaped pans are only 8″, so we luckily had leftover batter to make cupcakes to give out as valentines. And to taste-test, of course!
He likes to eat cupcakes with a spoon-he’s always very careful not to get messy. Oh, and careful to get all the frosting!
RED Red Velvet Cake
adapted from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum
6 egg whites, room temperature
4 tablespoons red food color (two 1-oz. bottles)
3 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups sifted cake flour
2 cups superfine sugar
6 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola or safflower oil, room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup buttermilk
1. Grease bottom of two 9-inch heart-shaped or round cake pans; top with parchment paper cut to fit. Spray with baking spray with flour. Set oven rack in the lower third of the oven; heat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk egg whites, food color and vanilla in a medium bowl until lightly combined. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa and salt in a medium bowl.
2. Mix oil and butter in bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, 1 minute (they won’t completely mix together, and that’s okay). Add flour mixture and buttermilk; mix on low until dry ingredients are moistened. Raise speed to medium; beat 1 ½ minutes. Lower speed to medium-low; beat in egg mixture in two parts, raise speed to medium and beat 30 seconds each. Pour batter into the prepared pan; smooth the surface evenly.
3. Bake until cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and cake springs back when pressed lightly around the edges, 25-35 minutes. Let cake cool in the pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Carefully invert the cake onto a greased wire rack. Reinvert the cake so that the top side is up. Cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
I made a double recipe of this in order to ensure that I had enough to fill and frost the cake AND for my extra cupcakes I made. I ended up with a little too much. I think a single recipe would be enough for one 9″ cake, unless you like your frosting really slathered on…then maybe I would make a recipe and a half.
1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium-high until completely combined. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, and first beat on low until combined. Scrape down sides with rubber spatula, then mix on medium high until smooth.
For my son’s 3rd birthday, which was Spiderman themed, I made a red and blue velvet cake. I made each layer in a separate batch of cake batter, and in the blue velvet cake added almost 2 tbsp blue food coloring, and a few drops of violet, in place of the red. The few drops of violet give the cake that royal blue hue.