What says more I love you than a cake in the color of love! Soft red velvet cake layers paired with the smoothest and most delicious cream cheese frosting!
Red velvet cake is a traditional dessert in the United States and the world. This recipe makes an impressive 3 layer cake with a slightly tangy cream cheese frosting and a simple yet impressive heart decoration - perfect for Valentine's Day!
What flavor has Red Velvet Cake?
When you try Red Velvet Cake for the first time its flavor may seem mysterious. Is it a red dyed vanilla cake? Is it a chocolate cake? Actually it is a flavor combination of mild cocoa, vanilla, tangy buttermilk and rich butter. A good Red Velvet Cake has not only a unique flavor but also a soft velvety texture. For best results use cake flour and sift the flour before adding it to the cake. All in all the combination of flavor and texture create a unique cake experience.
Another surprising ingredient is white vinegar. White vinegar reacts with baking soda and helps leavening the cake. There will be no vinegar taste in the cake after it is baked since the vinegar gets neutralized when it reacts with baking soda.
Red Velvet Cake
Ingredients for a 3 layer 8-inch cake
For the cake batter:
4 1/2 cups (565 g) cake flour
1 1/2 cups (300 g) sugar
6 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 cups (500 ml) butter milk
1/2 cup (113 g) butter, melted or at room temperature
1 cup (250 ml) vegetable oil
1 - 2 tsp red food coloring, gel
For the cream cheese frosting
32 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup (226 g) butter, at room temperature
3 cups (375 g) powdered sugar
3 tsp vanilla
salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 °F and prepare 3 8-inch cake pans. In a mixing bowl whisk eggs, salt and sugar until double in size for about 10 minutes. Mix in the vanilla, oil, butter, vinegar and food coloring. Mix until combined. Scrape down as needed. Sift in half the flour, baking soda and cocoa powder. Fold it in until everything is almost combined. When the mixture gets too dry, add the butter milk. Fold in the rest of the flour.
Divide the batter in 3 lined and greased round 8 inch baking pans. level the batter and bake it at 350 °F for about 25 - 30 minutes. Insert a skewer to check if the cake layer are baked through. When the skewer comes out clean the cake is completely baked. After baking let the cake layers cool down for about 4 minutes before taking it out of the baking sheet. Flip the cake layers on to a lined cooling rack.
While the cake is baking you can make the frosting. In a big mixing bowl cream the softened cream cheese with the softened butter for 2 minutes. Sift in the powdered sugar and add the vanilla. Mix until smooth.
Level the cake layers. Use the scrapes to cut out little heart decorations with a heart cookie cutter. Fill and decorate the cake with cream cheese frosting. After the cake is crumb-coated it needs to be refrigerated for about 30 minutes. Apply a second layer frosting and smooth it with a cake comb. Decorate as desired.
Make heart decorations from the cake scrapes after leveling your cake with a heart cookie cutter
The vinegar helps for the red color in the cake and to activate the baking soda. No worries, you will not taste it!
To make cake flour for every 1 cup all purpose flour remove 2 tbsp flour (fill it back into your flour container) and replace it with 2 tbsp corn starch. Sift the flour mixture for best results!
The cake layers can be made up to 2 days ahead. Cover them with cling wrap and place them in an airtight container in the fridge to keep the moisture in the cake.