Sunday, September 26, 2010

Weekend Cooking: Red Velvet Cake and Cream Cheese Icing

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If you are anything like me, you are/were nervous about making a red velvet cake for the first time.  I kept hearing from people how hard it was, how it never turned out right, etc.   I finally decided to make one because the husband loves red velvet cake and it was for a special occasion, maybe his birthday, I can't really remember.  So I went searching online, I read several different recipes.  I read some from unknown people, I read some from famous people (such as Paula Dean and Martha Stewart).  There were always raving reviews and bad reviews.   I finally picked one from an unknown person on for one reason.  The directions.  The directions to make the cake were different from all the others.  The reviews were all positive, although there weren't very many.   I figured, all good reviews, this person does something different, it's worth a try.  I tell you was easy peasy and came out great!  I will never fear making the red velvet cake again.  In fact, I made it again today for my husband. (I needed a cake for my cake decorating class and he got a new job, so I let him pick since it's a celebratory cake). 

Red Velvet Cake

1/2 cup butter
2 whole eggs **
2 tbsp (heaping) cocoa
2 1/4 cup cake flour **
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 oz red food coloring **
1 cup buttermilk **
1 tsp vanilla 
1 tsp baking soda

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar, then add eggs.  Make a paste of food coloring and cocoa, then add to the creamed mixture.  Combine flour and salt.  Add buttermilk and the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, alternating.  Add vanilla.  Add the baking soda to the vinegar, HOLD OVER THE BOWL BECAUSE IT FOAMS.  Then add the soda and vinegar to the mixture, blending instead of beating.

Bake 25-30 minutes in 2 8-inch round cake pans, greased.   Cool on racks.

** - If possible, use eggs that are room temperature.  I used normal flour.  I only use one container of red food coloring.  I use a powdered buttermilk.   You can buy it in the baking aisle and then keep in fridge once open.  It lasts a long time. There are directions on the container on how to get the correct amount of buttermilk for your recipe.

Cream Cheese Icing

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
8 cups (about 2 lbs) confectioners' sugar
1 tbsp milk

In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese with mixer until light and fluffy.  Gradually add the sugar and milk.  Beat on high until smooth. 

**This makes a ton of icing.  I had enough to ice the cake and a lot left over.  I am ok with that since I have to make it stiffer and use it to decorate the cake for class on Tuesday.  Normally, it would be a waste though. Today is the first time I have made cream cheese icing and it does taste good, but thinking there has to be another recipe out there that doesn't make as much.  This recipe came from Wilton's website.

( I was starting to ice the cake I remembered I wanted to share a picture of how red it looks with just one thing of red food coloring.  As you can see, there really isn't a need for 2 of my recommendation is to save your money and only use 1).


  1. The cake looks delicious - you could have stopped frostign right there and I still would have been happy - just be sure I got a big scoop of that pile on top!

  2. I made Red Velvet cake on saturday. I love the cream cheese icing recipe I have and it makes just enough to frost the cake with maybe a little extra not always. I'll post it here later. :) Got a sleeping kiddo in my lap. FINALLY!

  3. I've never made a red velvet cake, but you've just about convinced me to give it a shot!

  4. Just Moms - You have no idea how hard it was to not dig in and eat some cake last night! haha!

    Lover of Books - That would be great!

    JoAnn - give it a try! I've made this cake twice now, and followed the steps exactly and the cake has come out great.

  5. Sorry I didn't get here sooner; I've been out of town since Friday morning.

    OMG this looks great. You know, I've never made a red velvet cake, so I'm happy to have a tried and true recipe to add to my files. Thanks.

  6. Beth F. - Hope you had a good trip! I hope the cake works out for you if you do give it a try. The husband loves this type of cake but in the past I was always too scared to try it. lol!