Red Velvet Cake – small edition
I am a cake person, I am not sure I could pick a favorite, but Red Velvet is definitely at the top of the list. For a long time I had a conundrum, and I think many people have this same issue…making homemade cake taste better than boxed mix cake. Boxed mixed cake is always so moist and sweet and turns out well every time. There is nothing wrong with using the boxed version, but I wanted to accomplish making a from scratch cake that was as good as boxed. Often times the recipes I came across were dry, hard and crumbly. I did not want any of that. Nobody does when they are eating cake. This recipe, in my opinion, has accomplished that. It is moist, soft, delicate, but not so much that they are difficult to handle, stack and frost.
The other predicament I found myself in is…I want cake but I do not want a 2 (perhaps 3) tier 9 inch cake. We are a family of 3, one of whom is yet to be full grown, so we will say a family of 2.5 for eating purposes. We do not need a large cake lying around, because the only place it will go is to our stomachs and then move on to our love handles after that. So I wanted to make a smaller 6 inch cake that we could enjoy, but not enjoy so much that we are eating way too much cake in one weekend.
I based this recipe off of Deb Perlman’s Red Velvet Cake and Molly Yeh’s Red Velvet Cake. Red Velvet cakes are sometimes not too chocolate tasting, which is a disappointment because chocolate is definitely a worthy ingredient to be showcased. If it’s going to have a slight chocolate flavor, you should be able to taste it. So in this recipe I wanted to make sure there was a strong chocolate flavor. I did not want too much sugar, I think often times cakes do not need to be too sweet because the frosting provides plenty. I also added instant coffee granules to the batter, which helps accentuate the chocolate flavor. Butter provides great flavor, but it just is never as moist as when you used oil as an ingredient. It is hard to beat the moistness that comes from using oil rather than butter. The only thing I do not like about oil based cakes is when the oil is really prominent. I felt that this recipe provided a balance of being moist without feeling like you could squeeze the oil out of the cake if you tried.
Makes 1: 2 layer 6-in cake
RECIPE – Red Velvet Cake
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 Tbsp red food coloring
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup of buttermilk
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp instant coffee granules
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 6 in cake pans. If you only have one cake pan you can use one at a time.
- Place flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and sugar into a large bowl. Whisk well to combine.
- In a separate large bowl combine oil, egg, food coloring, extract, buttermilk, vinegar and coffee granules. Whisk well to combine.
- Using a wooden spoon fold the wet batter into the dry, slowly until there are no flour streaks. Try not to over mix. This batter will be thick. It is thicker than typical cake batters.
- Divide the cake batters among the two pans.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes (mine took 25) until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool in pan for 10 minutes.
- Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake. Remove cakes from pans and cool on a wire rack until completely cool.
RECIPE – Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp whole milk
- In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat butter and cream cheese for 2 minutes.
- Add powdered sugar and mix (low speed recommended) until combined.
- Next, add salt, extract and whole milk. Whip frosting to desired consistency.
- When cake is cool, add the frosting to the cake and enjoy.