This month for “The Cake Slice Bakers” blogging group, we selected the classic southern “Red Velvet Cake”. I was so excited about baking this classic cake, since it is one of my all-time favorites. My family loves this cake so much, that our daughter also chose a red velvet cake for her wedding cake. It was utterly divine and perfect in every way! We purchased her wedding cake from a local woman who happens to be one of the top 10 American cake decorating bakers . . . and oddly enough she lives in our teeny, tiny town! I’ve never asked her for the baking secrets of her red velvet cake since she’s a professional business woman and I’m fairly certain that the recipe is proprietary and confidential. I love this cake so much that I’ve clipped and saved at least 25 recipes to try, yet never have conquered the challenge of baking and comparing any of them.
So my hopes were very high for this cake recipe, and yet sadly, were not met in this version. In my opinion, red velvet cake needs to be a very dark red color and this cake was not that deep, deep red that I prefer. So I would definitely add more red food coloring to this recipe. The cake was also not as chocolate-y, nor as rich, nor as moist and dense as I’d like. For that I’d add more chocolate, butter and even more sugar.
Since my husband can’t eat coconut, I used the author’s cream cheese recipe instead. The recipe in her cookbook for cream cheese icing was totally inedible to both myself and my husband. There’s far too much cream cheese included which soured the icing and too much vanilla. So I made my own cream cheese frosting recipe that I use for my Zucchini Cake, which is sweet and buttery, with no cream cheese sourness and aftertaste.
Because I’ve been focusing on my weight since the first of the year, I chose to bake cupcakes instead of a full cake. And I’m so glad that I did, since each cupcake plus icing is approximately 420 calories according to my calorie counter that I refer to on the Web. So I have only half of a cupcake.
So with no further critique, here is the recipe from “Southern Cakes” by Nancie McDermott
Adding the egg to sugar-butter mixture
Mix well with beaters
Mix the red dye with cocoa
Blend the cocoa-red dye mixture in with the cupcake batter.
Blend flour with red mixture
Mix well again
Pour into cupcake liners
Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes
Cool cupcakes completely
Prepare cream cheese icing
ice the cupcakes (heavily!)
Red Velvet Cake Challenge
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk (see note below)
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp red food colouring
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar or white vinegar
- What you'll need to make Roz's Cream Cheese Icing:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ½ stick unsalted butter
- 1 small 3 oz. package cream cheese
- 1 tsp. butter flavoring
- Heat the oven to 350F.
- Line cupcake pan with paper cupcake liners.
- Prepare three separate mixtures for the batter.
- Combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl and use a fork to mix them together well. Combine the cocoa powder and the red food colouring in a small bowl, mashing and stirring them together to make a thick smooth paste.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter with a mixer at low speed for 1 minute until creamy and soft. Add the sugar and then beat well for 4 minutes, scraping down the bowl now and then.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating after each one until the mixture is creamy, fluffy and smooth.
- Scrape the cocoa-food colouring paste into the batter and beat to mix it in evenly.
- Add a third of the flour mixture, half the milk, beating the batter with a mixer at low speed.
- Mix only enough to make the flour or liquid disappear into the batter.
- Mix in another ⅓ of flour, the rest of the milk and then the last of the flour in the same way.
- In a small bowl, combine the baking soda and vinegar and stir well.
- Use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix this mixture into the red batter, folding gently by hand.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pans.
- Bake at 350F for 20 minutes until the cupcakes spring back when touched lightly in the centers.
- Cool the cakes in the pans on wire racks or folded kitchen towels for 15 minutes.
- Turn them out onto the racks to cool completely.
And in the meantime, I’m going to continue my search for that perfect Red Velvet Cake, so if any of you kind bloggers and readers can recommend a great recipe for this awesome cake, I would greatly appreciate it and try it!
Seriously, if you have a ‘to die for’ recipe for Red Velvet Cake, I would so appreciate it if you could share it with me!