Is it Friday Yet? Time to Bake: Red Velvet Cake

One thing standard on most Fridays in my house is baking. I try to whip up something sweet right before my children get home from school. A small treat for the end of the school week. Since, this Friday was extra special – my dear friend’s birthday; having a soft spot for Red Velvet, I chose to bake that as his birthday cake.

Red Velvet Cake is a moist, sweet, beautifully red cake with its tangy white frosting is a wonderful treat; not quite birthday cake, not quite chocolate cake, but something completely different. The reason I relish this particular recipe is as the cake itself is super moist and the frosting isn’t too sweet. It is the perfect blend of flavor and sugar.

Without further adieu, here is my second try at Red Velvet.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 recipe Creamy Vanilla Frosting (recipe below)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour three 9- by 2-inch round cake pans, and then line the bottoms with waxed paper.
  2. On medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the red food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat well.
  4. Add salt and buttermilk in a bowl. Add to the batter in three parts alternating with the flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat.
  5. In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.
  6. Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the layers cool in the pans for 1 hour. Remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. When the cake has cooled, spread the frosting between the layers, then ice the top and sides of the cake with creamy vanilla frosting. Decorate as you desire.

Vanilla Frosting

  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. In a medium-size saucepan, whisk the flour into the milk until smooth. Place over medium heat and, stirring constantly, cook until the mixture becomes very thick and begins to bubble, 10 minutes. Cover with waxed paper placed directly on the surface and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  2. On medium speed beat the butter for 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating continuously for 3 minutes until fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat well.
  3. Add the cooled milk mixture, and continue to beat on medium high-speed for 5 minutes, until very smooth and noticeably whiter in color.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes (no less and no longer—set a timer!). Use immediately.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious.com.

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