#1 RED VELVET CAKE
Hey there! So this self imposed recipe challenge has finally begun, woohoo! I wanted the first one to be something special. A reason to celebrate (and eat cake of course). And what could have been better than celebrating a birthday!
Last week it was my brothers last bachelor birthday before he tied the knot :) and that was just the perfect excuse for me to bake a cake.
So what did i choose? A red velvet cake! This first recipe i tried out from my Pinterest board was originally posted on globetrotterdiaries.com. Really like the blog itself featuring a whole lotta good looking, mouthwatering food from around the world.
The plan was to follow the recipe to the tee to see how it goes, but i admit i was kinda reluctant and a teeny bit scared JUST BECAUSE it was going to be a birthday cake and i didn’t want anything to go wrong.
But read on and hear me out and my experience with this recipe.
INGREDIENTS I USED:
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp of salt
NOTE: the original recipe calls for 2 tsp, which i thought would be way too much so didnt take a chance there. Plus if you are using salted butter, you better cut down the salt then.
- 2 tsp of baking powder
- 1/4 tsp of baking soda
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 oz red food coloring
- 1 cup of butter, softened
- 2 cups of sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup of buttermilk
- 225 grams of butter, softened but not melting
- 24 oz of cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3 cups of icing sugar, sifted
NOTE: Now for me the amount listed in this recipe made frosting that would probably be enough for 2 cakes. Next time i would definitely make half of this to frost one 9″ layered cake.
DIRECTIONS I FOLLOWED:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 9-inch cake pans with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate small bowl, whisk the cocoa powder and red food coloring together until it turns into a thick maroon paste.
3. Using an electric mixer beat the butter for about 30 seconds until it is creamy. Add the sugar 1/4 cup at a time, beating for about 15 seconds and scrapping the sides down in between. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla extract and the eggs one at a time, beating the mixture until the egg is incorporated before adding the next. Add the red food coloring and cocoa paste and mix until the it is evenly incorporated and scrape down sides if necessary.
4. Add the flour mixture in thirds alternating with half of the buttermilk. Beat just until it is incorporated. Be careful not to overmix the batter, because it will make your cake tougher.
5. Divide the batter between the two pans and using a spatula even and flatten out the batter as much as possible. Place the pans in the oven on the middle rack. Cook for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through cooking.
6. Allow the pans to cool on a rack for 10 minutes and carefully move a small knife around the sides of the pan to ensure your cake isn’t sticking to the sides. Invert the cakes and remove parchment paper. Be careful that your cake doesn’t break or tear, otherwise it will make frosting the cake a pain as the exposed red crumbs will get caught in your frosting.
Directions for the Cream Cheese Frosting:
In a mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter for about 30 seconds until creamy. Add the cream cheese and beat until evenly incorporated. Add a third of the sugar and start up your mixer but on a very slow speed until all the sugar is absorbed. Repeat until all the sugar is incorporated into the frosting.
To assemble the Cake:
1. When your cakes are completely cooled, use a serrated knife and trim the rounded tops of both cakes so it is flat. Place one cake on the bottom, with the flat un-trimmed side face-up.
2. Put a big dollop of frosting in the center and using a flat spatula (or something similarly long and flat) push the frosting towards the edge of the circle creating a even layer of frosting. Place the second cake, trimmed side down on the frosting. Add another big dollop of frosting on the top and working outwards, frost a layer on the top. Continue to frost the side of the cake by adding and spreading the frosting around with your spatula.
*If you get some red crumbs into your white frosting, do an initial layer of frosting and put the cake into the refrigerator until the frosting hardens. Then add another layer over the first one and your red crumbs will be covered.
SAD NOTE: All sounds good right? no problemo! But no, here is the moment where i was about to curl up in a corner and cry. Yup, believe it or not but i messed up this part of the cake. The MOST important part! ugghh. So i started beating the butter, added the cream cheese and everything seemed fine. The texture was nice and smooth. And then i started adding sugar. And it started splitting :( and in the hope that all will be well, i added all of the sugar gradually but it was a mess. Truly a heart sinking moment. So in a panic i just threw the whole thing into the freezer and crossed my fingers. After about 30-45 mins the consistency was okayish. I was able to spread it over the cake without it melting away. But it wasn’t as pristine as i had imagined. It was just enough for it to survive. SIGH!
So frosted the cake with as much enthusiasm i could muster, sprinkled the top with chocolate shavings and let it sit in the fridge until it was time to serve.
Not the prettiest slice of cake, but that’s all i could save before the entire cake was gobbled up!
So is it a yay? yes it was a YAY recipe because everyone loved it!
Preparing the cake batter and baking it was all smooth sailing. It turned out pretty good just as i had imagined. The cake was melt in the mouth kind with the cream cheese frosting to compliment it. I did manage to mess up the frosting but still it tasted just fine.
Being true to myself i know i will be trying out other red velvet cake recipes until i settle down on the most loved one :) And also must figure out the deepest darkest secrets of perfect frosting!