red velvet cake

I can’t pinpoint exactly when I drank the red velvet kool-aid, but it’s been downhill ever since. I think about it all the time. I go through withdrawals if I don’t get my weekly fix. I scour cities for the perfect, moist, fluffy bite of this crazy-colored, pseudo-chocolate cake. And the frosting? The more cream cheesy tang, the better. More recently, after discovering the best red velvet cupcake in DC and consequently going over my cake and cupcake budget, I’ve been on a mission to find a go-to recipe.

Yesterday was the perfect opportunity to debut my first attempt. In honor of a friend visiting the States from Romania, I whipped up an all-American dinner and finished it off with this Southern classic. This recipe from Visions of Sugar Plum totally delivered and the result was moist, fluffy, and flavorful.


Red Velvet Cake
adapted from Visions of Sugar Plum

2 3/4 cups cake flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (room temp)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 ( ounce) bottle red food coloring
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs (room temp)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 (9-inch) round cake pans.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt; whisk until combined.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk, oil, food coloring and vanilla until combined.

In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs until well combined. Gradually beat in 1/3 of flour mixture, alternating with 1/3 buttermilk mixture (scraping down sides of bowl occasionally). Repeat until all ingredients are combined; continue to beat until ingredients are well incorporated and batter is smooth.

Divide batter into prepared cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees F, for 32-35 minutes, or until center of cake springs back when lightly touched, and outer edges pull away from pan. Cool pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes; run a knife around outside edges and invert cakes onto wire racks to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting
by me

24 oz softened cream cheese (3 packages)
6 oz softened butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1 tsp vanilla extract + more to taste
4 cups of powdered sugar + more to taste

With a mixer on medium speed, mix cream cheese and butter together. Add vanilla. Mix in sugar gradually.

Assemble the cake: Spread 1/3 of the frosting on the first layer, place the second layer on top and press lightly to secure. Spread 1/3 of the frosting over the top of the cake, and use the remaining 1/3 for the sides.

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posted by christine in Food + Drink,Recipes and have Comments (19)
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19 responses To red velvet cake

  1. Ella says:

    I am addicted to the red velvet cheesecake @ the cheesecake factory. If you have not tried it….YOU MUST!

    p.s. Sugarplum is a blog I too visit frequently :) I’m gonna email you a few others I found that u might like

  2. andrea says:

    omg this looks so stinkin good man!

  3. Diana Lupu says:

    I’m SO trying this at my sister in law’s bachlorette party. Notice… the key word: TRYING. =)

  4. […] them. After going back and forth for a while on which deserts to serve, I settled on a red velvet cake, coconut cupcakes, and strawberry shortcake cupcakes. Because of work and prior engagements, we […]

  5. Emily says:

    So pretty! I love it!

  6. Jenn says:

    I love red velvet cake too!! I bet this recipe is amazing with the butter and vegetable oil. I have only tried recipes with one or the other. I guess I better try this one to see what it tastes like!! Ha Ha! The cake layers look really thick?

  7. Brittany says:

    I just made this for my little brother’s birthday, and it was AHHHHHHMAZING!!! Everyone’s tummies are still stuffed :) Thanks for this recipe! I will definitely be busting it out for future birthdays!

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Hi, Any recommendations for changes to oven temp/time for a large sheet cake? Thanks!

    • christine says:

      Elizabeth, I can’t say for certain since I haven’t tried it this way, but I’d probably leave it at the same temperature and check after 25-30 minutes, then every 5 minutes or so until the sides start to pull away and a cake tester comes out clean.

  9. Naomi says:

    I made this cake the other day, in the form of cupcake. Delicious and amazing!

  10. Ashley says:

    I feel terrible when posting a less than stellar review, but I feel as if I should , to let people know what they might get as a result of this recipe. I found it to be extremely un pleasant. It is very very dry and resembled corn bread in texture. I am from the south and know my red velvet, I am also a baker that caters and is planning to open a bakery (i.e, i did not mess up the recipe) I would keep searching if you are thinking of making this particular recipe.

    • christine says:

      Hi Ashley – thanks for posting your results. Too bad this didn’t work out for you. :\ If you have a go-to red velvet recipe, I’d love to try it! I’m always looking for the perfect one.

  11. Krystal says:

    Just tried this recipe this weekend for my friends birthday and it was amazing! LOVE IT

  12. marica says:

    can I divide this in half for cupcakes please?

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