This American classic cake is a super simple and straightforward one to make. Today I’m sharing my take on a red velvet cake! I’m not going to try and claim this cake as a traditional version, as it isn’t – it’s my interpretation.
The cake is a staple in most bakeries, cafés and coffee shops. Almost all of them will have this for sale by the slice which is nice but why do that when you can make the cake at home and have fun while doing it?
You may know this cake for being a little different… It uses bicarbonate of soda as the raising agent and has both chocolate and vanilla flavours as well as a bright red cake finished with a thick and creamy cream cheese icing – the perfect combo!
If you like the tangy flavour of the brightly coloured cake partnered with the rich cream cheese icing, this is the cake for you!
Anyway, let’s get started, shall we?
Red Food paste/gel.
20g Cocoa powder.
1 tsp Vanilla extract.
300g Granulated sugar.
190g Plain flour.
1/4 tsp Salt.
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda.
1 1/2 tsp White vinegar.
Simple syrup (optional):
100g Granulated sugar.
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract.
Cream cheese icing:
375g Icing sugar.
105g Soft cheese.
Before you get started on the recipe, you’ll want to do some prep. I recommend you start by weighing up all of the ingredients, lining the 6 inch round cake tins with some parchment paper (or butter and line them), preheat your oven to 180˚c/350˚f and grab any equipment you may need, such as a mixer, mixing bowl and silicon spatula.
To start on the cake, you’ll want to grab a small mixing bowl and place in the red food colouring gel/paste, vanilla extract and cocoa powder. Mix everything together until you have a dark red thick paste and set aside until you need it later on.
Then in another bowl place the butter and granulated sugar, then beat together until they are lighter and fluffier in colour and consistency.
You can then go ahead and give the bowl a good scraping down, just to incorporate any bits that may not have been fully worked in from earlier on.
Now you can take the red cocoa powder mixture you made earlier and add all of it into the mixing bowl and mix on a medium-high speed until the mixture has become a solid red colour.
Add in your eggs, one at a time, beating well in-between each addition. Once all of the eggs have been added and are incorporated, you will want to give the bowl a quick scraping down.
Then you can go ahead and add around a third of the flour, mixing that in until its fully incorporated then alternate with the buttermilk until you have none of either left over. One thing to note is that you should start with dry and end with dry.
Give the bowl a good scraping down, just to incorporate any bits that may not have been fully worked in.
Then you can go ahead and add in the bicarbonate of soda and directly on top add the white vinegar – this should fizzle and react (this is completely normal, it’s a chemical reaction. Fold those two into the cake batter until it’s been fully worked in.
Split the cake batter between your two lined cake tins and place into the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until they are well risen (and a tester comes out clean when inserted into the centre).
While the cakes are in the oven, you can make your simple syrup. To do so, grab a small-medium saucepan and place the sugar, water and vanilla extract, giving them a good mix to combine.
Then place on the hob over a high heat and allow to come to a boil, then simmer for around 1 minute and then remove from the heat and transfer into another bowl/cup to cool down fully.
Now is also the perfect time to make your cream cheese icing!
To start on the cream cheese icing, grab a clean mixing bowl and place in the icing sugar and butter – mix the two together until they come together and the mixture is ‘crumbly’ looking.
Then you can go ahead and add in the soft cheese, start the mixer on a low-medium speed just to allow that cream cheese to incorporate. Once it has been incorporated, crank the speed up to high speed and mix for as long as needed to achieve the perfect consistency – which is when the icing holds its shape. If your cream cheese icing seems a little too thin, add a little more icing sugar and mixing helps to achieve the perfect consistency
Once your icing is made, you can then set that in the fridge until you need it later on.
Now that your cakes are made, you will want to allow them to cool fully before you do anything with them – this gives you time to get washed and cleaned, ready to ice and decorate the cake in a little while.
A couple of hours later, you should be more than ready to finish the cake off. You should start by removing the cakes from the tins and levelling them off but don’t forget to keep the bits you’ve cut off as we will need some of the crumbs later on.
Brush each of the cakes over with the simple syrup on a cooling rack and give them a few minutes.
Take your cake stand/plate/board and spread a small amount of cream cheese icing into the centre of it and place on top your first layer of cake (pressing down slightly to secure in place) and top that with a good amount of the cream cheese icing and then sandwich the second layer of cake on top.
Usually for cake Is like to do a crumb coat but I hardly ever do it with this cake, theres no real reason. I just take my icing and generously slather it on to the sides and top of the cake and roughly smooth it out – it doesn’t have to be perfect. You’ll want to make sure theres enough icing on top to do the swirl… This is commonly seen on a lot of bakery style cakes (its a simple and professional way of finishing the cake).
Then with some of the cake crumbs from earlier on, sprinkle them around the top edge of the cake, like a border of red velvet crumbs.
That’s how I make my red velvet cake – easy right? Why don’t you try it soon – its always a crowd pleaser whenever I make it!
That’s all for today guys, I hope you enjoyed. If you did, don’t forget to share this recipe with your family and friends and enjoy it. I’ll be back soon with another blog post and YouTube video, so join me then. In the meanwhile, don’t forget to check out my other social’s – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube. The YouTube tutorial will be linked down below.