Red Velvet Cake Recipe Tried And Tested Favourite
This Red Velvet Cake has been taste tested and given a big thumbs up by many people because its a rather large cake and Ive made it 5 times in the last two weeks.
FIVE TIMES??!!, I hear you exclaim . Youre MAD!!
If getting this cake exactly to my taste, as close as I can get it to the cakes you get from posh bakeries, and ensuring it works using both US and metric measures means that Im a mad baker, Ill take that title.
Besides, Im really enjoying baking at the moment. There is something so satisfying about making something as pretty as Red Velvet Cake.
To tell you the honest truth, the reason I made it so many times in recent weeks is because my original recipe got a so-so response from the two toughest taste-testers I know: my mother and brother.
The sponge is zara-zara, my mother declared on first bite.
What the.?? Zara-zara? What on earth does that mean??
Zara-zara means rough in Japanese. The Japanese language has a handful of words which sound like what it means. Zara-zara being a perfect example. Usually it cracks me up. Not that day.
I gasped, indignant, and grabbed a spoon to shovel a bite into my mouth, ready to argue. And I realised she was right. It was not as velvety as it could be. As it should be.
So I improved it.
Tips For Red Velvet Cake
Homemade cake might seem intimidating, but this recipe is super easy to follow! Follow these 4 easy tips and youll have tender red velvet cake mastered in no time!
- Sift the dry ingredients: I am not a devout sifter. Im really not, but when it comes to homemade cake its a must. To get that soft and velvety crumb its crucial to distribute your leavening agent and make sure no clumps of flour remain in your dry ingredients!
- Dont over bake: The last thing you want is a dry cake. Take the cakes out when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean and they are just starting to spring back. Remember that your cakes will continue to bake as they cool, so better to have them a little underdone than over done.
- Dont forget the cream cheese frosting: Classic red velvet cake is just as much about the frosting as it is the cake. Eating red velvet cake with anything other than dream cream cheese icing is simply wrong.
- Use a crumb coat: The red velvet cake is so red that we recommend using a crumb coat on your cake to prevent any pesky red crumbs from getting into your snowy white cream cheese frosting!
How To Make The Best Red Velvet Cake
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How To Make Red Velvet Cake With Ermine Frosting
Red velvet cake is always a show-stopper here is how you can make it at home :
The Reverse Creaming Method Of Mixing
**This Recipe calls for the Reverse Creaming Method of Mixing, which yields a very moist and slightly denser cake. Many of our favorite cake recipes call for this method.
We explain the steps in our recipe below, but if you are unfamiliar with the Reverse Creaming Method, please watch our quick, free video tutorial: Reverse Creaming Method of Mixing.
***If you prefer the fluffier texture of the conventional method of mixing, click over to our Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe!
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Red Velvet Cake Ingredients
All-purpose flour or cake flour? Although cake flour is usually used for classic red velvet recipes to make it light, I wanted to stick to all-purpose flour in my recipe, so that everyone can make it. I use a combination of all purpose flour and cornstarch, so the cake turns out tender and delicious. If you prefer using cake flour use 3 cups of it.
Red food coloring: what makes red velvet cake red is the food coloring. If you dont use it, the cake will have a dark reddish-brown color.
Cocoa powder: I use 2 tablespoons in my recipe, which is just right to get the color and flavor that I look for. Some recipes use 3 tablespoons or more for a bit more chocolatey flavor, but in this case, I like to stick to the classic. Both Dutch-process or natural cocoa powder work here.
Oil or Butter? The first cakes I tried were only with butter, because, well, I love butter. But once I started using oil , I realized my cake was less dry. To enjoy both worlds I use some butter for flavor, and oil for the fluffiest texture and extra moist cake.
Vinegar: I use apple cider vinegar, but any white vinegar would work, like the ones you use for a salad dressing.
I use a classic cream cheese frosting for this red velvet cake.
Products I Use To Make This Cake
9-inch cake pans these high quality cake pans help my layer cakes bake beautifully. Some of you asked me on Instagram how come my cakes are so flat. There are a few tricks for it, and you can read about it in this helpful guide, but Ill be honest that I dont bother with this. I get good results with these cake pans, and if the cakes have a dome, I slice it off with a sharp knife. Its less trouble, and no one would notice.
Red food coloring I always prefer using gel than liquid. Ive tried many and this one has the best vibrant red color.
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Can You Leave Out The Food Coloring
Sure, you can, and the cake will have a very slightly ruddy brown color. But somehow it truly just doesnt taste the same without the food coloring. If you want to make this cake without it, I recommend a different recipe altogether why not try my German chocolate cake instead?
Some people like to use natural coloring like beet juice . Dwight Schrute might prefer his cake prepared this way, but I personally have not tried it and cant advise.
Classic Red Velvet Cake
This homemade Classic Red Velvet Cake is moist, rich and decadent. A luxurious two-tiered ruby red buttermilk cake with a simple cream cheese frosting.
Did you notice how I hit you with a few healthy recipes before I clobbered you with this doozy? Its the only way I can make up for what you are about to see.
Growing up birthdays were always a big deal, still are actually.
When my sisters and I were kids we got to pick out what we wanted to have for our birthday dinner and we even picked the flavor of cake too! My problem was, as a kid I never liked cake. It was a frosting thing. So I always picked chocolate chip cookie bars or cheesecake instead. This is a tradition Ive passed on with my own girls. My oldest, who is just like her dad, requests chocolate-chocolate chip cake with butter-cream frosting. Which is fine and totally delicious.
But my youngest is like me she doesnt love-love cake either. Its a frosting thing for her too. If she does eat it, then its cream cheese frosting and that-tis-it. Thats why the past two years running, shes requested this for her birthday cake. But this year was different. For her 8th birthday she specifically requested a red velvet cake.
What 8 year old dreams of red velvet cake for their 8th birthday? A foodie in the making, thats who. Im so proud!
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What Makes A Red Velvet Cake The Best
Red velvet shouldnt be too sweet, since the cake is often topped with cream cheese frosting. You want a nice balance of flavors.
In more traditional Southern kitchens, you may also find red velvet topped with ermine frosting. This is a cooked frosting made from a roux with flour, sugar, and water.
Its a different style, but I personally prefer cream cheese frosting, especially since I really love my cream cheese frosting!
Ive included that recipe below for you too.
What Size Cakes Will This Recipe Make
You can make red velvet cake of all shapes and sizes! The recipe as written will make:
- 1 9 x 13 inch sheet cake: Bake the cake for ~35 minutes! Youll know its done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean and it springs back to the touch.
- 2 8 or 9 inch rounds: Follow the directions as stated and youll end up with a cake just as its pictured here!
- 3 6 inch rounds: Divide the batter evenly between 3 6 inch cake rounds and bake for 25ish minutes!
- 28 cupcakes: Use a large cookie scoop or a 1/3 cup measurement to make cupcakes! Bake for about 17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean!
We hope you enjoy this delicious red velvet cake recipe just as much as we do!
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Looking For A Doctored Cake Mix Version Of Red Velvet Cake
*If you are looking for the best red velvet cake that starts with a cake mix, we have you covered! This moist, flavorful, and EASY Red Velvet Cake recipe is a great option. It is moist, tender, with a mild chocolate flavor: Doctored Red Velvet Cake Recipe
*We also love this recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting. If you are a fan of peppermint, add a little extract for peppermint cream cheese frosting! Its a great combination.
What Makes The Red Velvet Cake Red
The red color of this cake comes from the chemical combination of different agents that, by joining, determine the color to accentuate the red color you can use food dyes without chemical agents or, as I do, beet extract or strawberry juice.
The secret of a good and soft original American Red Velvet Cake is the processing of ingredients that should not be mixed too much otherwise in cooking they will tend to dry out.
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Pro Tips For This Recipe
- Measure your flour correctly! Adding too much flour to the recipe is the most common mistake. The best, and easiest way to measure flour is by using a scale. If you dont have one then fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off.
- If youre not using 6-inch pans, double the recipe for 8-inch pans or triple the recipe for 9-inch pans.
- Skip the food coloring if you want a great tasting cake that isnt red.
- To get FLAT layers that are moist inside and out try using cake strips! You can buy a set on the shop page or make your own from foil and paper towels at home. I made a whole blog post on it so check it out if youre interested!
- For nice uniform crumbs for decorating use the fine grater, or just whip out that cheese grater!
- This red velvet cake recipe also makes an AWESOME sheet cake! Youll save tons of time and you can pour less sugar into the cream cheese frosting since you wont have to worry about consistency. I would use approximately a 9×13 inch pan if youre making this as a sheet cake.
Baking Tips For Red Velvet Cake
- Be sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature before getting starting.
- Make sure to sift the dry ingredients to remove any lumps of cocoa powder. This will also help to keep the cake soft and light.
- I suggest creaming the butter and sugar together for about 4-5 minutes. Creaming the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy incorporates more air into your cake batter creating a softer, lighter cake.
- Alternate mixing the dry ingredients in three additions with the buttermilk, this will help to prevent over mixing the cake batter.
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Lets Begin Ill Walk You Through The Cake And Then The Frosting
Preheat your oven to 350°
Prepare an 8 round cake pan with a baking spray or shortening and flour pan for easy release.
In a medium bowl mix the sugar and eggs until fluffy, you may do this using a whisk or electric beater.
Slowly add in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix to spread to fully incorporate the ingredients. Then begin adding the buttermilk, melted butter, and oil.
Mix on medium low, then add in the dutch cocoa, vinegar, vanilla, and red coloring, mix to combine so everything is evenly incorporated.
Place batter into a prepared pan and bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Remove cake from the oven, allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Then turn the cake out of the pan onto a cooling rack. A spatula can help in this if needed.
At this point youll want the cake to cool completely before frosting, while it does so, you can mix the frosting.
In a bowl with a whisk or electric beater beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
Gradually add in the powdered sugar as you beat. Then add in heavy cream and vanilla.
Whip until smooth and creamy.
Spread frosting onto the top of the cooled cake, use the back of a spoon to create swirls.
Top with candy or sprinkles if desired and serve.
Store in the fridge for keeping.That is IF you can keep your hands off of it!