Red Velvet Cake

For me, there was always a mystique and aura of decadence associated with Red Velvet cake. Perhaps it was the alluring color, the subtle flavors that unraveled on my tongue, or that people always seemed to order it for some special occasion. By constructing the cake in a stack, it humbles the cake’s presentation. It also reduces the amount of frosting needed by half and still makes for a stunning cake to serve up. Which means you can revel in Red Velvet a little more often than just on those special occasions. Because we all deserve a bit of decadence every now and then.

For the Cake
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ounce red food coloring

For the Frosting
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pecans (chopped)

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In another large bowl, whisk together the sugar, vegetable oil, buttermilk, eggs, vinegar, vanilla, and red food coloring until fully homogenized.
3. Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until a smooth batter just forms. Do not over mix.
4. Evenly divide the batter among the three cake pans. Bake at 350F, rotating halfway through cooking, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Remove cakes from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely before frosting.
5. Prepare the frosting: In a medium bowl, beat the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth, light, and fluffy.
6. Build the cake stack by frosting the top of one cake layer with a third of the frosting. Place a second cake layer on top of the first and spread the top with another third of the frosting. Place the last cake layer on top and spread the remaining frosting on top. Lastly, evenly cover the top with a layer of crushed pecan pieces.
7. Wasn’t that easy? Now go eat!

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