February 14, 2009

The Best Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake: the perfect dessert for Valentines day, or perhaps, the birthday of your favorite Southern friend, which as luck would have it falls on the day after Valentines day. I, of course, made this cake for the latter reason.

This was my second time making Red Velvet Cake and my second time using this recipe which, with a few easy changes, is definitely a keeper. The cream cheese frosting is incredible and I'm not even a big fan of cream cheese frosting. It's silky, tinged with vanilla and just down right awesome. The cake has a supremely moist crumb and a subtle, yet rich chocolate flavor due in part to the fact that I upped the cocoa content from 2 tbsps to 1/3 cup (not to give myself all the credit or anything since epicurious reviewers were instrumental in that change).

The recipe is a little finicky- dirtying three separate bowls for ingredients and alternating wet and dry in three and four additions, respectively. And maybe all this attention to detail isn't necessary but I always try to follow the recipe because there must be some reason behind it, right? Plus, I wouldn't want to be at fault for bad tasting cake, but I will surely take the praise for a good tasting (and looking) confection.

And there is nothing quite like Red Velvet Cake. It has such a distinct flavor that is worth every bit of time you may devote to making it. It's always been a crowd pleaser and it's also a cake that not everyone has tried, so if you're on the market for something a little more out there than chocolate cake, Red Velvet is surely the way to go.



Red Velvet Cake
Adapted from Bon App├ętit
*My only regret is that my cake didn't turn out as red as I would have liked it to be because I only bought 1 package of food coloring, which equaled about 1 tbsp of red coloring. So if you want a redder cake, splurge on two packs of color.


Ingredients

2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour (sifted, then measured) [I used all purpose, see note*]
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2- 3 tablespoons red food coloring (depending on the color you want)
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs

*substitution: 1 cup - 2 tablespoons all purpose flour is equal to 1 cup of cake flour

Frosting
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature [I use 1 regular, 1 reduced fat]
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preparation

For Cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Sift sifted flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into medium bowl. Whisk buttermilk, oil, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla in small bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Beat in dry ingredients in 4 additions alternately with buttermilk mixture in 3 additions.

Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 27 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto racks; cool completely.

For Frosting:
Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth.

Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on platter. Spread 1 cup frosting over top of cake. Top with second cake layer, flat side down. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.)

1 comment:

Olga said...

OH MY that looks AMAZING!

Thanks for checking out my blog and I'd love to add you to my blog roll! Your recipes look FANTASTIC, looking forward to reading more =)