Red Velvet Cake

Like most, I’ve got a repertoire of familiar, time-tested recipes that I fall back on to the point of being boring! I decided that I was tired of being a very basic cook, so at 43, I’m just starting to enjoy branching out and finding recipes outside of my comfort zone. In March, my teenager’s school needed baked goods donated for the big parent event, and I figured that I could bake something simple and get “brownie” points for it. Then I was shown some cakes/pastries from the previous year’s event and I was in an absolute panic!!

I decided to attempt a red velvet cake, since it looks beautiful, but it’s basically just a frosted cake. I’d never baked a cake from scratch before, so I really started at the beginning. I went online to find recipes and comparisons, watched YouTube videos to learn the art of frosting a cake, and spent countless hours making batches for my family to taste test for me. Oh, the horrors I made them suffer!!

In the end, I went with a modified recipe that changed things up just a bit, but was based on a recipe I found at the Apple A Day blog. Here’s the recipe, with my modifications:

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 1 8-inch 3-layer cake

For the cake:

2½ cups cake flour
1½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1½ cups vegetable oil
4 tablespoons Saco Cultured Buttermilk Blend
1 cup water
2 tablespoons (1 oz.) red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar

For the frosting:

16 ounces cream cheese, softened
12 ounces butter, softened
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar

For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa, buttermilk powder and salt into a medium bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla, water, and vinegar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  4. Divide batter evenly between 3 greased and floured 8″ round cake pans.
  5. Bake cakes, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Let cakes cool 5 minutes, then invert each onto a plate, then invert again onto a cooling rack. Let cakes cool completely.

For the frosting:

  • Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until combined. Add sugar and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes.
  • Put 1 cake layer on a cake plate, level off with a serrated knife, and spread one-quarter of the frosting on top.
  • Set another layer on top, level, and repeat frosting.
  • Set remaining layer on top, level, and frost top and sides with the remaining frosting.
  • Chill for 2 hours to set frosting.

I’m happy with how it came out…what do you think?Go Knights!