Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving and a birthday means Red Velvet Cake

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving as much as I did. The opportunity to cook an immense amount of dishes always inspires happiness within me. I am proud to say that I made most of the Thanksgiving feast: turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin and pecan pies. Mmm... I shall post the recipes for pumpkin and pecan pies close to Christmas (since they are still relevant).

This post is not dedicated to traditional Thanksgiving fare, but instead I decided to focus on the one extraneous item I made over my holiday: Red Velvet Cake. My brother's birthday occurs only a few days after Thanksgiving every year, and this year he requested a cake from me. I decided to make an old-time favorite. Seriously, who can resist delicate, bright red cake covered in a delightfully smooth cream cheese frosting? I know I can't.

Red Velvet Cake
Adapted from Bon Appetit magazine


For the cake:
  • 2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour (sifted, then measured)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
For the frosting:
  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans and set aside. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into medium bowl. Whisk buttermilk, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla in small bowl to blend.
  2. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Beat in dry ingredients in 4 additions alternately with buttermilk mixture in 3 additions.
  3. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 27 minutes (I know this seems oddly exact, but it really did take 27 minutes. Your times could vary depending on your oven, so watch closely!). Cool in pans on racks 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto racks; cool completely.
  4. For the frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
  5. To frost cake: Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on platter. Spread 1 cup frosting over top of cake. Top with second cake layer, flat side down. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake.
This cake needs to be stored in the refrigerator. You can make it the day before, just make sure to bring it to room temperature before serving. Otherwise, your cake will seem dry and your frosting will be solid. A room temperature cake is very moist and smooth on the palate.


Angie said...

Your cake looks delish! Isn't it great how cooking brings great joy into foodie's lives?! Cheers!

stephchows said...

Ally this cake looks amazing!! Thanks for the information about calculating sugar, I'm not a trained nutritionist by any means but always want to learn more! Do you have any links that I could read more about how to calculate % for sugar?? I'd be really interested to learn and share the information with my readers.


Erica Anderson said...

Aly I demand you post more. Everything here looks delicious :<