Red Velvet Cake is one of my all time favorite things. And, cakes are one of my favorite things to bake. But, until this weekend, I had never made a Red Velvet Cake. The reason is… it was just too emotional.
From the moment I was introduced to Red Velvet Cake and started talking about it, I realized it was one of those foods that is always under debate. What makes a true Red Velvet Cake? Who has the BEST recipe? If it isn’t the traditional Southern recipe, is it even Red Velvet Cake? I have seen many different recipes and it was too overwhelming to decide which to try.
The other emotional barricade to making my own Red Velvet Cake was that I just love it too much. I have a problem. When I love a certain food too much and I look forward to eating it and the recipe or flavor is disappointing, I get upset. I cry. No kidding. There are a few good stories here but I will not digress.
Inspired by this beautiful dessert, the need to bring something to a Super Bowl party and the impending Valentine’s Day holiday, I decided to saddle up this weekend, brace myself and bake my first Red Velvet Cake.
I started by searching the web and continued to find some serious debate here. I have to admit that when I saw a credible source write “Red Velvet Cake is nothing more than white or yellow cake with food coloring” I felt angry. Not just perturbed. Angry. What about the touch of cocoa, the buttermilk… vinegar?! Anyway, I like oil cakes over butter cakes usually so I started with a recipe, increased a few things… decreased a few things, added my favorite Cream Cheese Frosting and made a layer cake as well as a few cupcakes.
The result was really quite good, especially when I popped the first warm cupcake in my mouth which was oozing with warm, melting cream cheese frosting. It was not amazingly GREAT. But, I didn’t cry.
So, there are a few courses of action for the readers that I will propose:
1. If you don’t care that much about this cake, move on.
2. If you love Red Velvet Cake but don’t like to bake, mail order one from here. You will not be disappointed.
3. If you have this Red Velvet Cake thing figured out, send me your recipe!
4. If you are a baker, try this recipe and please send your honest criticism or praise.
Red Velvet Cake with Nutty Cream Cheese Frosting
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temp
2 large eggs
2 T red food coloring
1 t white distilled vinegar
1 t vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 – 9 inch cake pans or make cupcakes. Sift flour, sugar, baking soda, slat and cocoa. In another bowl whisk oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla together until combined. Mix wet and dry ingredients together in a stand mixer with paddle attachment just until combined. Fill pans and bake about 30 minutes for cakes, 18-20 minutes for cupcakes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Nutty Cream Cheese Frosting
(this makes a lot of frosting – use half for cupcakes)
1 lb. cream cheese
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
Mix softened butter and cream cheese together until fluffy. Add powdered sugar little by little. Mix in vanilla and then fold in nuts by hand. Put frosting in refrigerator until stiff enough to frost the cakes.PRINT RECIPE