Today we’re making a delicious red velvet cake. So let’s get started. To make this red velvet cake recipe you’ll need eggs, salt, butter, cocoa powder, baking soda, a little sugar, buttermilk, vanilla, vinegar, red food coloring, all-purpose flour, cream cheese, and powdered sugar too. You wanna prep your pans before you get started on the batter. So you can use baking spray, a little butter, and either flour them or add cocoa powder, just to dust them and make sure they release easily.
Now we’re gonna start that amazing batter. Into a large bowl, I’m adding 300 grams, or two and a half cups, of all-purpose flour. That was too much. The nice thing about a scale is you can always take it away. I’m adding almost a teaspoon of kosher salt. As well as one teaspoon of baking soda. This is gonna react with one of the ingredients later on. Our scale is done.
Red Velvet Cake Ingredients
We’re gonna give this a mix and just set it aside before we get our room temperature butter out. Into the bowl of my stand mixer, I’m adding half a cup of butter. This is room temperature, but I’m gonna give this a nice mix. Any kind of darker cake like red velvet cake, something you’re gonna notice, clumps of unmixed nonsense in, so we want the butter to be well creamed up.
Now to that, I’m adding 150 grams or one and a half cups of granulated sugar. Red velvet is a classic and delicious cake. It’s one of my favorites because I love chocolate, I love cream cheese. It has the best of both worlds. Traditionally, it’s a light chocolate cake. There’s buttermilk, cocoa powder, and vinegar in it. They react and you get a light pinkish cake. It’s like a dusty pink, very cute.
Adding Eggs and Flavorings
But with the advent of photography and amping things up, it’s become a red velvet cake. Some versions don’t have any chocolate in them, but I think this red velvet cake needs a little kiss of chocolate. Now we’re gonna add the eggs in one at a time, let them incorporate in between. There we go. Beautiful color. For me, not you. So let’s scrape that bowl down.
This is why we scrape, totally firm butter packed down on the bottom, and it’s very watery and eggy on top. We want a homogenous mixture, the same throughout. Mix that up until it’s nice and smooth. Now we can drizzle in two teaspoons of a nice vanilla. While that’s mixing, I’m gonna measure out one cup of buttermilk. And I’m mixing in a tablespoon of vinegar. The vinegar, of course, is an acid, and that’s gonna give our red velvet cake a huge lift.
Incorporating Dry Ingredients Cocoa Powder
When the batter comes together, you’re gonna see the bubbles, and it’s gonna be so light and dreamy. And pausing this to talk about the red situation. As I said, historically, red velvet cake was naturally a dusty pink from the chocolate, but we’re gonna amp it up with a little bit of food coloring. You can skip this.
And I like to do a little bit of red food coloring for the batter, and then we’re gonna separate some batter, cook it as a cupcake because a cupcake that’s gonna get crumbled for the outside so it looks dramatic without adding all the food coloring. Does not look red at all. A little more food coloring. That looks pretty red right now. It will become less red when we add the flour and mix it with the butter and everything else.
Using Cocoa Powder
I’m about to mix the cocoa powder into our light chocolate cake, but a word of caution. So we’re using natural cocoa powder, not Dutch-processed cocoa powder. Dutch-processed cocoa powder has less acid in it, less acidic, which makes fudgy baked goods, good for brownies. But for this cake, in theory, you want the acidity in the cocoa powder to react with the buttermilk.
In practice, we’re amping things up because we added some vinegar, more acid, and we added baking soda, which will react with the vinegar. Baking soda is what you add to baked goods that have some acid, like brown sugar or buttermilk, in them, and they’ll get fluffy and just amazing. I’m adding three tablespoons of cocoa powder. You could add in a little bit more, if you want it extra chocolatey, or even go as far as not adding any if you don’t like chocolate for some reason.
Prioritizing Mixing Techniques
I’m mixing this in a bit before I add the third tablespoon. We’re just sifting it in because cocoa notoriously has many lumps in it. Now we’re gonna mix our cocoa powder in and get it well mixed before we go onto the next step. You always wanna mix well until you add the flour in. Once the flour’s in, you’re mixing until combined, ’cause you don’t wanna activate the gluten in the flour and get a cake that is just kind of dense and gummy.
I’m adding half of the dry mixture in right now. Mix that until it is almost combined. Add the wet mixture in, half of it. The remaining dry, and the remaining wet, red mixture. It looks like a science experiment. I did so much recipe testing on this. When I originally made this, and I tried everything, I tried beet root powder, the works, and it just didn’t cut the mustard, so to speak. I’m glad we prepped our pans first because this is foaming up already.
Pan Preparation for Baking Cake Recipe
This is foaming up, so get that into your prepared pans, divide it up evenly, and I’m using three, six inches. You could use two, eight-inch pans, both work fine. If you want three, eight-inch pans, double the recipe. I tried eyeballing it, did not work out, so I popped them onto a scale and made sure they were all roughly equal. And before these go into the oven, I’m putting on my ancient cake strips.
These guys are just wet fabric strips that you wrap around your red velvet cake. They give you a nice even bake with almost no doming. I wanna take a little bit of batter. So I’m gonna steal some batter from each pan. It makes decorating the cake way easier. So here, gonna add a little bit more food coloring, and this is gonna be super red because I’m mixing it up with such a small amount of batter.
Best Red Velvet Cake Recipe
It’ll bake up in 15 minutes, ’cause it’s not very much. This batter’s for crumbling over the cake just to give it a nice red decoration at the end. Cake strips are on, and these guys are ready to go into the oven. 350 for, oh, close to 35 minutes. You wanna see that the edge is pulling away from the pan and the center is springy when you touch it.
First of all, though, you should see here, the cake separated from the pan. That’s how you know your cake is done. You can also listen to it. Shouldn’t be popping off and making a bunch of sounds. It should be fairly quiet. All right, here’s the deal, wait for it to cool down just enough so it’s touchable, and then tap it. You’re giving it a lateral tap, and it’s breaking free of the bottom if it’s at all stuck. So tap, tap, tap.
Creating Cream Cheese Frosting
I can even see my cake jump in the pan. Pop it out. And it is nice and ready. Repeat for the other red velvet cake layers and set them aside to cool completely before we assemble them. Two tablespoons of cocoa powder, you could even go down to one, and a little bit more food coloring in the red. Okay, a little bit more food coloring in the butter.
While they’re cooling we’re gonna make the most amazing cream cheese frosting ever. It’s so easy too. Into the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, or a big bowl if you’re using a hand mixer, add one cup of butter, that’s 226 grams, and it should be room temperature and preferably unsalted, although you can use salted butter in this. Just don’t add any more salt. Now we’re adding two, eight-ounce blocks of cream cheese, 452 grams.
Red Velvet Cake
And by the way, the cream cheese in this instance, doesn’t have to be liquidy, because cream cheese frosting is amazing and delicious, but it can be a little soft, which is frustrating. You don’t wanna add tons and tons of sugar to it to stabilize it because then it’s too sweet. If you use cooler cream cheese it just has a little bit of a thicker consistency, and your frosting will set up nicely.
We’re gonna mix this up for a few minutes until it is nice, creamy, and homogenous. Once it’s nicely mixed, we’re gonna add a teaspoon of vanilla and a pinch of salt, unless you use salted butter. Now it’s time to add the powdered sugar, six cups or 680 grams, and that’s gonna be added in a couple of batches. Don’t dump it all on at the same time, because that will be a sugar explosion.
Red Velvet Cake Frosting
This isn’t a frosting, by the way, to decorate a three-layer, six-inch cake, or a two-layer, eight-inch cake easily. Mix on low in a few batches. When you make frostings, you do not wanna beat on high. That’s gonna give you a lot of air bubbles, which in this instance is just not great for decorating. So low and slow is the way to go with frostings. I’ll be so proud of myself if there’s no sugar everywhere. Wish me luck.
Just be patient and this will get worked in, and be a wonderful silky consistency. At first, it looks a little bit granular and weird, but it’ll get fixed on its own. Do yourself a favor and scrape the bowl down at least once. Important to scrape the bowl down because otherwise, you’ll have some amazing frosting, some frosting that’s too sweet, some that’s too buttery. You want it to be all good. Everyone gets an amazing bite. A couple of minutes of mixing on low and pure silk. It is amazing. The consistency you get is just wonderful.
Building and Decorating the Red velvet cake
This is ready to go onto my red velvet cake now. It is a little soft. That’s fine. We’re gonna build it carefully and then chill it. I’m ready to build. I like to make my cakes directly on a cake plate, but this one isn’t getting transported. If you need to move it, get a cardboard round. A little bit of frosting on the bottom for glue, and we’re gonna center it, and now build it up. Maybe like half a cup of frosting in between each layer. That’ll be about enough.
This cake is happy with the cream cheese frosting on it, so don’t skimp. A lot of people get intimidated by layer cakes, and they are so easy. if this started getting wobbly, or something was going awry, the only thing you need to do, is put a skewer through the middle and then just chill it up. So it’ll firm and fix itself. Heat is the enemy of cakes until they’re fully built. Nice and tall and proud. I love a three-layer cake.
Adding Crumbs Of Little Red Velvet Cake
I’m doing a really simple but beautiful decoration scheme on red velvet cake. Plop some frosting on top. One of the key elements will be that reserved, little cupcake of frosting. That reserved an extra red cupcake. So that’ll get crumbled up, and we’re gonna add it onto the side. Now we’re gonna go for some coverage all down the side. And here, if you have a turntable, you could use that.
I’m tempted to crumb coat this, and crumb coating just means that you’re gonna add a thin layer and chill it up before adding a final coat. But I think we can get away with not doing that. Well, this is going into the fridge for a minute, just until I get my piping bags. Normally, this is what I do, to begin with. I just find it easier. Fill up a big piping bag with the frosting and you can pipe it onto the side, get some good coverage, and then smooth it out.
Toping red velvet cake
Snip the tip off your piping bag. And now this is so much easier. Watch this. Just going to pipe along the edge, and I should have plenty of frosting left over for a little flourish on top. Cream cheese frosting is so delicious, but do not stress about getting perfectly smooth, it’s not that kind of frosting. Use a small knife and just smooth the side out a little bit up and down. We’re gonna have excess. That’s fine, that’s for the top. So, now we’re just gonna give it more of a smooth.
Do not stress out about it though, because we’re adding crumbs all over it, there are more decorations, it’s not supposed to be like a mirror-smooth cake. This can hang out in the fridge for a few minutes while we do something else. I reserved a little batter and baked one cupcake, which was red and had more red food coloring in it.
Now you can crumble it up or you use a cheese grater and just grate it up to get little crumbs that we’re gonna decorate the side with. Here we go. Lots of nice red crumbs to decorate our red velvet cake with. I plopped on an 846 tip, that’s a large, closed star, but you can use anything you’d like. And now I’m just gonna decorate this with kind of a little scallop pattern. Just go back and forth, and try and get some height and definition, but not so much that it’ll fall over.
Delicious Red Velvet Cake Recipe
So I am pulling it off ten going back over, and then pulling it off. Cute. Grab a handful of crumbs, and we’re just gonna make a nice crummy skirt, just like that. It lets people know what’s inside the cake and gives it a little bit of extra contrast. Whenever you do a skirt, get some coverage on the base, and then add a little bit on top, so it’s kind of a gradient of the material.
Yep, that looks nice. Just a couple of extra pieces on top make a huge difference. Your cake can be enjoyed right away or chilled. Make sure you keep it in the refrigerator it’s hanging out for a while. Melt in your mouth chocolate red velvet cake with that luscious cream cheese frosting. This is a must-make recipe. I hope you enjoy this red velvet cake recipe.