Thursday, March 1, 2012

Red Velvet Cake

I have been having love affair with Red Velvet Cake for about 5 years now.  I discovered the wonderful that is the red velvet cake when I was visiting family in Florida.  And now, I love anything red velvet (except for this red velvet latte I tried last Christmas...lets just say that my taste buds were offended by it...).   There is something so deliciously perfect about the combination of red velvet cake and cream cheese icing.  It's not often that we find red velvet cakes in the supermarket or bakeries here in Canada (it's just not as popular here as it is in the USA) so I have been on a mission to spread the 'Red Velvet Word' ever since.

After discovering red velvet, I also set out on a quest to find the perfect red velvet cake recipe.  There were so many out there that I had a problem finding one that was (1) A rich deep red colour - not brown-ish red (2) Had a hint of cocoa that was not overwhelming (3) Perfectly moist, because really, who likes a dry cake?!?  I used a recipe I found here and here as a base and adapted it to my liking. 

So, I am not a cake decorator (can't be good at everything).  I took a cake decorating class with my best friend a couple of years ago and I failed miserably.  I have always had a *very slight* tremor in my hand.  It's not noticeable, but has meant that I would never have had a career as a surgeon...and apparently also meant I would never be able to write well with icing on a cake - the instructor couldn't understand why my 'Happy Birthday' looked like a font out of a 1950's horror movie.  But one day I stumbled across this rosette icing technique on 'I am Baker'.  I found it super easy and not incredibly time consuming.  I love the look of the rosettes clustered on cakes and cupcakes.  I used a 2D tip instead of the suggested 1M (because that's what I had from the cake decorating class) and it worked fine. 

These are not roses...they are cupcakes!!!
(I have only made this cake using a scale to measure out the ingredients.  The next time I make it, I will convert the measurements to cups and update... )

Red Velvet Cake
Makes 2 9"cakes or 24 cupcakes


5 1/2 ounces all purpose flour
4 ounces cake flour
1/2 ounce natural cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup low fat buttermilk
1 fluid ounce red food colouring
1 tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
10 1/2 ounces dark brown sugar
4 ounces of unsalted butter, room temperature
2 whole eggs, room temperature

Cream cheese frosting (recipe follows)


(1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees
(2) Line the bottom of two 9" pans with parchment paper, rub the sides of the pan and the parchment paper down with butter or line 2 standard muffin tins with paper liners, set aside
(3) In a small mixing bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside
Flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda & salt...
(4) In a separate bowl, whisk buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla extract, almond extract and red food colouring; set aside
Buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla, almond & red food colouring...

(5) With an electric mixer on medium speed, combine butter and sugar and mix until light and fluffy
(6) Add the eggs one at a time, mix until combined
(7) Turn the speed on the mixer to low, add the flour mixture in 3 instalments, alternating with the buttermilk mixture; mix on low speed until smooth (about 30-45 seconds)
(8) Divide the batter between the two 9" pans or two muffin pans
I love the deep red colour of this batter....
(9) Bake 9" pans for 30-35 minutes or muffin pans for 18-20 minutes, until the center of the cake springs back when pressed
-Cupcakes will take less time to bake then a full cake. 
(10) Remove the pans from the oven and let sit for about 10 minutes before removing the cake from the pans. 
(11) Let the cakes cool completely ( at least 1-2 hours) before frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting


1 pound icing sugar
12 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
3 ounces unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
Pinch of salt


(1) Combine the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until just blended
(2) Add the vanilla and salt, mix until combined
(3) Turn the speed of the electric mixer to low (or you will have a big powder-y mess) add the powdered sugar in 4 batches beating until smooth. 

***If icing is not stiff enough to decorate with, place in fridge for 1/2 hour or add more powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.  (I do this 1/2 cup at a time if needed)
***Alternately, if icing is too stiff, add a tiny touch of water until desired consistency is reached. 

Sometimes I double the recipe for the icing depending on how elaborate I am going to be with the icing of the cake.  The extra icing can always be refrigerated and frozen, for the next time....

Happy Cooking!


  1. This is a classic favorite that has one many baking competitions here in the US. The version I have calls for vegetable oil rather than buttermilk, but I am curious as to the texture with the buttermilk. I may have to try this version. Your pictures really are stunning-well done!

    1. Tina! Thank you for the kind words. When you get a chance to try it, I'd love to know how it turns out.
      Have a great day!

  2. I don't know if I've tried velvet cake (I am not a big sweet eater), but decorations on your cake sure looks very artistic. Those roses are superb!

    1. HI Marina..If you've never tried it before, I'd say give it a chance. I know people who don't like desserts that've become Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Very nice pictures! I agree that red velvet cakes should be red, not brownish red.

  4. The Roses look amazing, so different and creative

    1. Thank you for the lovely comment and for stopping by. Have a great day!

  5. What a beautiful cake - flavoursome with gorgeous unique presentation :D
    Happy to have found your blog!

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Giant Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Stuffed Peanut Butter M&M Cookie For One

  6. your cake really pretty and I love those rose decorating!those shaped are major amazing! did you burn the frosting?

  7. Your cake is stunning! I love the roses, very very pretty!

  8. This one is seriously looking beautiful. As the post shows the epic way to make the same taste Red Velvet. It's vitally looking one of crucial featured source to make the same. I am totally surprised. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Hello,
    cake so dilicious and beautiful, I really really enjoyed it.
    Thank you
    Sharmini ( I work with your mom)

  10. Yum! I came across your blog and I am now following! Love your posts! :)