Tag Archives: frosting

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


Changing Scenery {recipe: carrot cake cupcakes}

17 Mar
From carrot cake cupcakes

I recently changed desks at work. In three years, this is the fifth cube that I have occupied. I think I am the most-moved one on the team, and I like it. I love changing desks, even if it’s just a few yards over, or swapping with someone on the next row. Management likes to keep us all sitting near the people we are working directly with, which helps collaboration and discussion, and I like new things. Not bright-shiny new, but just new-to-me things. New cube neighbors, a new view.

My current cube is somewhat in the middle of our department, technically on a row with people who I am not on a team with.

They are nice enough to let me sit here. So I made them cupcakes.

I took photos of these cupcakes because they were soooooooo pretty (probably because they weren’t my idea, but they were Deb’s), but I have had them for weeks and forgot that I had not posted the recipe.

From carrot cake cupcakes

These are very, very good. The carrot cake is moist and the frosting is creamy and sweet. Smitten Kitchen used maple in the frosting, but I did not have maple syrup, so I used honey and all was well.

From carrot cake cupcakes

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting

yields 24 cupcakes

2 c. all purpose flour

2 t. baking soda

1 t. salt1 T.  ground cinnamon

1 t. ground nutmeg

2 t. ground ginger

2 c. sugar

1 1/4 c. canola oil

4 large eggs

3 c. grated carrots (I used a food processor to grate them)

1 c. coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.

Place liners in 24 muffin cups.

Stir sugar and oil together until incorporated.

Add in eggs one at a time and stir after each addition.

Add spices,  salt, and baking soda and stir well.

Add in flour and stir until blended.

Stir in carrots and nuts.

Drop into cupcake cups.

Bake 12 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.

Let the cupcakes cool in pans for about 10 minutes then transfer cakes to a cooling rack.

The cupcakes should cool completely before you frost them.

Honey Cream Cheese Frosting

16 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1 stick unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

2 1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar

1/4 c. honey

In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat all the ingredients on medium until fluffy (this will take about 10 minutes).

Chill the frosting for 10 to 20 minutes, until it has set up enough to spread smoothly.

For the spikey frosting, I used a Wilton #129 tip and just kept dolliping, dolliping, dolliping!