Red Velvet Cake

November 16, 2008 § 9 Comments

I have a couple of friends who love red velvet cake. They get all giddy just at the mention of it. After all the drooling stopped, they asked (insisted was more like it) if I would make one with cream cheese frosting. I’ve never made it before so once again, I was on the hunt for a good recipe. I settled on Emeril Lagasse’s “Sylvia” recipe because I wanted a butter recipe and not a traditional shortening recipe. I just prefer butter cakes.

I also took this opportunity to try a homemade marshmallow fondant (MMF) recipe. Why not? Could be great, could be disastrous. I was up to the challenge because I too like to live dangerously! My plan, 2 smaller cakes, one with cream cheese frosting and the other one with buttercream and fondant.

The MMF cake turned out pretty good for my first fondant cake ever. I used only a touch of a red gel color, trying to achieve a pink marble look on the band and the dots. The taste of the MMF is quite sweet but it was good, certainly better than some premade fondants out there (that Wilton stuff tastes awful!). With the MMF being so sweet, I probably could have even gone thinner on the rolling. Next time.

Here is the cream cheese version and you can see how red it is inside. I think if I used 2 oz, the red would have been deeper.

Between the two, I liked the buttercream best. The Mister liked the cream cheese. I think I would have liked it better with my own cream cheese frosting recipe, but next time. Friends split down the middle as to which they liked best.

Here’s the recipe for the cream cheese version.

Cake Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons cocoa powder (Dutch processed recommended)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 – 2 ounces red food coloring
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting Ingredients:
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened (I like LAND O LAKES)
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans. I added parchment paper to the bottom of the pan and greased with butter. To avoid white powdery look on the finished cake, I used cocoa powder to dust the pans instead. Worked great.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, on medium-high speed cream together sugar and butter, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Reduce speed and alternatively beat in the flour mixture and buttermilk (1/3 flour, 1/2 buttermilk, 1/3 flour, 1/2 butter milk, 1/3 flour). Scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add food coloring and vinegar, mix well. Beat in vanilla.

Divide the batter evenly in the pans. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Check it early because you don’t want the cakes to over bake. That would lead to dry cakes and not very tasty.

Cool the cakes in the pans on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Turn out the cakes onto the rack to complete cooling. While the cakes are cooling, prepare the frosting.

For the Frosting:

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese and butter. Beat in confectioners’ sugar until fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Use as the cake filling and frosting if desired.

Once the cakes have completely cooled (about 1 hour or so), fill and frost.

I crumb-coated both cakes and let sit in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. I should have let them sit a little longer. By the time I got to the sides, I was struggling a bit with crumbs. But nothing a thick layer of frosting won’t cover up!

Have a terrific week. And if you haven’t started planning your Thanksgiving dinner yet, maybe I can put the bug in your ear about brining your turkey. Me? I’ve talked the Mister out of a turducken and we’re going to deep fry the turkey this year. Yikes!

Now go and eat well.

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