Red Velvet Cake – always alluring by how romantic and gorgeous it looks. This is a recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction; her method of separating the eggs into yorks and whites in the process rendered the cake extra light and fluffy. Also, given that it’s my second time making it, I’m proud to say that I’ve adjusted the recipe to get the texture, flavour, and sweetness just right to my taste. My apologies, but how can I miss this chance to declare, that it’s indeed a BLOODY good cake :p?
You are the one who’s in control of how red the cake should appear: rose, crimson, or even blood red. Start with a few drops of coloring and eyeball it as you go. Just be extra careful when handling with food coloring; otherwise, you may create a domestic crime scene and end up spending a day trying to clean your kitchen (which i may or may not have done it myself).
In fact , I had difficulties trying to pinpoint what a red velvet cake tasted like. In the most basic terms, its sponge cake’s flavour profile contains three major components, namely vanilla, chocolate, and buttermilk, working with and complementing one another. Essentially, together with the rich cream cheese frosting, a red velvet cake is a light chocolate cake with a little citrus kick. Still a bit confused? Well, I guess the only way to find that out is to try it out yourself, and win the heart of your special someone.
- 3 cups (360g) cake flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3 tbsp (22g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature2
- 1 1/2 cups (300g) white granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup (180ml) vegetable oil (I used canola)
- 4 egg yolks, room temperature
- 4 egg whites, room temperature
- 2 tbsp (30ml) vanilla extract
- liquid or gel red food coloring
- 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk, room temperature/ or 1 cup (240ml) whole milk + 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 500g full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature5
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3 cups (360g) icing sugar
- 3 tbsp (45ml) whole milk
- 1 tbsp (15ml) vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350F (175C)
- Line two 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, thoroughly sift in and combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt (i.e. everything listed under dry ingredients).
- In another mixing bowl, using an electric beater, beat butter and sugar at medium-high speed for 4-5 mins until pale and fluffy. Add oil and continue beating for 2 min until incorporated.
- Add eggs yolks, one at a time, and beat at medium speed until well combined. Meanwhile, use a hand whisk to vigorous beat egg whites until floamy and thick; set aside.
- Add buttermilk (or milk + lemon juice) and vanilla extract to thin out the mixture.
- Add the prepared dry ingredients into the mixture in three batches. Stir gently with a spatula to combine everything until no flour can be seen. Avoid over-mixing.
- Finally, gently fold the prepared egg whites into the cake batter with a spatula.
- Pour the mixture evenly into the two prepared cake tins. Tap the pans several times to break any air bubbles. Bake for 45 mins, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake’s centre comes out clean.
- Cool the cake for 30 minutes in their pans, then take them out and put them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- While the cakes are cooling, prepare the cream cheese frosting.
For the cream cheese frosting:
- Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter (at room temperature) at medium-high speed until smooth.
- Slowly add in the sifted icing sugar using a tablespoon, and beat until smooth.
- Add milk, vanilla, and salt, and beat until light and fluffy.
- Refrigerate the frosting for at least 1 hour to get firm so as to hold its shape while you work on it later.
- Level the cake layers by slicing the top curve of the cakes with a sharp knife to achieve a flat surface (reserve and crumble the unwanted cake parts into small pieces for decoration).
- Peel the parchment paper from the base of the cake layers and place one layer onto a plate or a cake board placed on a revolving cake stand (if you have it).
- Now we do the crumb coat first.
- Put a generous amount of frosting on the middle of the cake layer. Using an offset spatula, spread the frosting carefully and top it with the second cake layer. Frosting the top and sides of the cakes. Get a nice, smooth coat of icing with a bench scraper or a spatula.
- Put the crumb-coated cake in the refrigerator for an hour to get the frosting nice and firm. Once the cake is chilled, frost your cake evenly with another layer of frosting using the same method. Get rid of all the peaks and blemishes in the process.
- Transfer the remaining cream cheese frosting into a pastry bag tipped with a tip that you prefer. Pipe dollops of cream onto the cake, sprinkle cake crumbles, stick thin strawberry slices to the side as garnish if desired.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Enjoy!