Saturday, April 14, 2012

Red Velvet Cake

What is the deal with Red Velvet? 

Does everyone love it because it is red? Because of the cream cheese frosting? Which, by the way, I heard is not true to the original recipe.  
What is it that draws people to this cake? If you are one of those that love this cake, please leave a comment and let me know. Yes, it is delicious, but I seriously want to hear your thoughts.

I have tried numerous recipes, all of which were so-so. Nothing that really stops traffic.
I live in the south now so I really need a great Red Velvet recipe. It's requested quite a bit.

I usually dislike making it because it has so many little steps... make a cocoa/red dye paste, make a vinegar and baking soda fizz... really... is all that necessary. I aimed to find out.

I went to the Queen of Southern cooking, Paula Deen. On she has her cousin, Johnnie Gabriel's recipe listed. It looked different and has received rave reviews so I thought I would give it a try.

Wow! So much easier to make and sinfully delicious. That is exactly what my friend said when she took a bite. This is officially my go-to recipe now!

Let's talk about it shall we.

You will need:
(slightly adapted from here)


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (recommended: White Lily)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cocoa (could probably use a little more)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups canola oil
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 (1-ounce) bottle red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk

1 cup butter 
2 (8-ounce) package cream cheese 
1 1/2 -2 boxes confectioners' sugar, sifted 
(just depends how sweet you want it)1 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) round layer cake pans.

Sift flour, baking soda and coco together.
Next time I will try a bit more cocoa, maybe 1-2 Tbls. 
1 tsp. just didn't seem like enough.

Beat sugar and eggs together in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl mix together oil (next time I may use a litte butter as well here, about 1/4 cup), vinegar, food coloring, and vanilla. Yes, I know, there is nothing pretty about this photo.
But very important to note, this is nothing like the usual recipes I have used. Usually you make a paste with the dye and cocoa. Usually you make a fizz with the soda and vinegar. But not here, and I love that. 
Seriously, so much easier and the cake is super yummy.
Ok moving on...

Add the oil mixture to the bowl of eggs and sugar
and beat until combined.
Another not so pretty photo, but you get it.

Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the wet mixture by alternating the buttermilk and dry ingredients. Always start with the flour and end with the flour.
And yes, I always use White Lily if you can find it near you.

Pour batter into pans. Tap them on the table to level out the batter and release air bubbles. This is important because as you see in the photo the batter was quite bubbly. The bubbles didn't completely go away, but I tapped it a few times to release most of them. 

Bake for about 25 minutes
or until a cake tester inserted near the middle comes out clean. 
Be careful not to over bake or you'll end up with a dry cake.

Let layers cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before turning out of pan. Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:

Let butter and cream cheese soften to room temperature. Cream well.

Add sugar and beat until mixed but not so much that the frosting becomes "loose". I had never heard that term before, but makes so much sense and probably why my frosting gets too gooey sometimes.  

Add vanilla. 


I do apologize for not getting a better picture of the finished cake. I went into cake making/decoarating mode and didn't get a picture until it was cut. Then I got so busy cutting and everyone got busy eating that I didn't get a better picture.

I did make some taste tester cupcakes though, so I will share those photos so you can see how they bake up and look. They actually made cute dome cupcakes and had such a pretty color.

The most important aspect is the taste. These were Delicious! 
I didn't miss those tedious steps and they were just as good if not better than any Red Velvet I have tried.

I definitely recommend trying this one.
I promise I will make it again with my minor modifications and come back and update this post.

Baking from my heart to your kitchen,

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