The Beauty Queen of Cakes {recipe: red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting}

13 May
From Blake’s Last Day

I am not a huge red velvet cake fan. I just don’t get it. It’s chocolate-but-not-really, and I say, if you’re only going to do a half-job on something (especially chocolate) then maybe you shouldn’t do anything at all.  Also, red velvet cake seems hard to perfect, it’s often too dry and crunbly, yet still greasy.

However, I was swayed by the deep, red color of a red velvet cake to make one. It is so pretty. I saw a red velvet cake in a bakery recently and forgot that I thought the recipe was ridiculous. I was swayed by it’s beauty. That and the cream cheese frosting. I thought, if my red velvet cake is not great, at least I have a vehicle for the cream cheese frosting, because I have been known to just love the frosting.

From Blake’s Last Day

Ok, ok. So it was also a hard cake to make because I made it for one of the girls who is leaving the office. Blake has been an intern for two semesters now, and I have really just gotten the joy of knowing her over the past three months. Blake is fantastic. Witty, smart and adept in all things melinnial, she will surely be missed this summer as she heads back to Atlanta after graduation this weekend.

I made this recipe into mini-bundt cakes by simply pouring the batter into mini-bundt pans. The cakes held their shape well. Sometimes, softer cakes will crack or stick awkwardly to the pan, but this cake stayed firm and intact. It would be a great cake to cut into different shapes, if you wanted to use a sharp serrated knife and cut a shape into  a heart, or a letter, etc.

Side note:  I also just read that instead of using red food coloring to color your red velvet cake, you can use beets. That gives a whole new meaning to dirt cakes.

From Blake’s Last Day

Red Velvet Cake

from the The New York Times

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3½ cups cake flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch process)
1½ teaspoons salt
2 cups canola oil
2¼ cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) red food coloring
1½ teaspoons vanilla
1¼ cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking soda
2½ teaspoons white vinegar.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place teaspoon of butter in each of 3 round 9-inch layer cake pans and place pans in oven for a few minutes until butter melts. Remove pans from oven, brush interior bottom and sides of each with butter and line bottoms with parchment.

Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl.

Place oil and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well-blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. With machine on low, very slowly add red food coloring. (Take care: it may splash.) Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches. Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine.

Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds.

Divide batter among pans, place in oven and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pans 20 minutes. Then remove from pans, flip layers over and peel off parchment. Cool completely before frosting.

Yield: 3 cake layers.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature

4 oz (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Beat butter with an electric mixer unti light and fluffy. Add in cream cheese, beat until combined. Add powdered sugar in 1-cup increments, beat until creamy. Frosting can e refrigerated for up to two weeks.

Blake’s last happy hour. Blake, Deirdre, Emilie, and myself.

Coming in the next few posts: Baby Showers

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6 Responses to “The Beauty Queen of Cakes {recipe: red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting}”

  1. Kelly May 13, 2009 at 1:52 pm #

    I totally had no idea red velvet cake had any chocolate in it. Wow. Thanks for the gorgeous-looking recipe!

  2. lailablogs May 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm #

    looks really delicious .. Laila .. http://lailablogs.com/

  3. blakesunshine May 13, 2009 at 9:38 pm #

    I love this post! The cakes were amazing and I now I can make them myself 🙂

  4. Daisypicker5 June 10, 2009 at 9:27 am #

    Mini bundt cakes!!! Good idea!! I made a red velvet cake last week using this recipe http://www.howcast.com/videos/139827-How-To-Make-Red-Velvet-Cake and it turned out really well. I did use a combination of beet juice and red food coloring so I could achieve the real red velvet red but I actually did not use butter milk which I think I will need to do the next time I bake this cake.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] at me. I am all Southern with my Red Velvet Cake and Texas […]

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