Red velvet cake

  • Serves: 12
  • Preparation time: 45 minutes
  • Cooking time: 25 minutes
  • Total time: 1¼ hours

Ingredients

  • For the cake:
  • 500g/1.1lb caster sugar
  • 375g/13½oz plain flour
  • 250g/9oz butter
  • 250ml/½ pint buttermilk
  • 6 eggs
  • 4 tbsp. red food colouring
  • 3 tbsp. cocoa powder (Don’t use one which is too rich and dark!)
  • 1 tbsp. bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp. malt vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • For the icing:
  • 350g/12½oz soft cream cheese
  • 350g/12½oz quality white chocolate
  • 200g/7oz butter
Red velvet cake

Red velvet cake is a very vibrant, indulgent cake that makes a smart addition to a summer spread, or a rewarding treat with a warm drink in the colder months.

Take care not to use a dark cocoa powder or the red colouring doesn’t stand a chance! I would also suggest you use an artificial red colouring as the vibrancy is stronger – don’t worry this cake is not an everyday cake!

If you don’t have three cake tins, don’t worry as you can wrap them in cling film once baked and cooled and then assemble once all three are ready.

As you can imagine by the indulgent ingredients and topping this certainly isn’t a recipe for calorie counting – but enjoying such a pretty cake will do wonders for your smile!

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C / Gas mark 3 and grease three 20cm/8in cake tins.
  2. Using a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and the sugar until they are light and fluffy
  3. One at a time, add the eggs to the mixture – making sure you stir well after each one.
  4. Add the cocoa powder to the batter and stir well.
  5. Add the flour and the buttermilk a little at a time, alternating as you do so.
  6. Mix in the vanilla essence and the salt, before adding the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar.
  7. Add the red food colouring to the mixture and mix through.
  8. Divide the mixture between the three cake tins and place in the oven for 25 minutes, – or until a cocktail stick can be stuck in and removed cleanly.
  9. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before icing.

For the icing:

  1. Melt the white chocolate using a bain-marie (an oven-proof dish over a bowl of simmering water) – being careful not to let the chocolate boil!
  2. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until soft before adding the butter, then mix together.
  3. Into the cream cheese mix, add the melted chocolate – ensuring that it is spread out evenly all the way through.
  4. Use the icing to make the layers of the cake sit on top of each other (as seen in the picture).
  5. Cover the top and the sides of the red velvet cake with the remaining icing.
  6. Serve, and enjoy!
Traditionally, red velvet cake is iced with a french-style butter roux icing (also called ermine icing) which is very light and fluffy but unfortunately time-consuming to prepare.

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