Who bakes their own birthday cake?! Well, I did and it was super fun! 🙂
Red velvet cake is one of my favorites…I first tasted this beauty when I was in the USA. Cakes and cheesecakes were one of the best part of my days in the States! Also, I was exposed to cream cheese frosting for the first time and boy, I love it!!!
So, it was one of the top choices for my birthday; and because I have tried baking this once (while in the US; using a cake mix) I was at least somewhat confident of baking this again…
This time however, I used this recipe from The Cake Merchant. Natasha made cupcakes using this recipe; however she mentioned that it can be made into a 8″ round cake too. I did turn this recipe into an 8″ round cake with butter and cream cheese frosting also adapted from that she used.
The cake turned out to be super moist and just sweet enough. However, the frosting is on a more sweeter side – that’s what my husband said when he took his first bite! But, the taste really lingers on – the frosting is totally velvety smooth!
I made this cake and frosted it on Friday while my birthday was on Saturday – and I am still grabbing a slice. The cake is equally moist on day 3 and I feel the taste has matured than the first day. I also kept the frosting simple – just spreading it on top and sides of the cake…I am still to practice my piping skills…however the frosting can definitely be used to pipe and decorate the cake as per your liking… 😉
Oh yes, one more thing – this recipe uses red food color for the cake. There are ways to eliminate the artificial food color and using beetroots to color your cake; but due to lack of time and patience I used the color here. I have read many recipes using beetroots to this use and definitely want to try that out. I will let you know the results if I do try 🙂
This red velvet cake is a one bowl recipe -just what I needed for my birthday! Who wants to do the dishes after baking anyway? 😉
Here is how I made this cake-
What you will need~
- 11/4 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cups granulated white sugar
- 11/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cups neutral tasting oil (such as canola, sunflower)
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- little less than 1 ounce red food color
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Oil or butter for the pan
Step wise instructions~
Most importantly keep all the ingredients ready. Egg, buttermilk and lemon juice have to be at room temperature.
Also, grease sides and bottom of one 8″ pan with oil or butter and keep aside.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C i.e. 350 F
- Sift the flour to break any lumps in a big steel/glass bowl, add sugar, sift in the cocoa powder, soda and salt. Mix with a wire whisk to incorporate everything together (I prefer sifting even soda and salt)
- Add the egg, buttermilk, food color, vanilla extract and lemon juice in that order. Mix using a electric hand mixer on low to medium speed or with hand using a wire whisk until wet ingredients are well incorporated into the dry ingredients and you don’t see any streaks of flour mixture. This will take about 4-5 minutes
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 180 degrees C for 35 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 170 C (325 F) and bake for another 8-10 minutes. Check if the cake is done by inserting a wooden skewer into the middle of the cake. Also, the cake should pull from the edges (as you can see in one of the pictures).
- Remove the pan from oven and let it cool in the pan for about 20 minutes. Remove cake from the pan onto a cooling rack and let the cake cool completely before frosting.
- Cut the cake horizontally in two layers of approximately same height. Place the cake on a dish or cake board and put a small drop of frosting in the middle. Place the bottom layer of the cake, spread the frosting to desired thickness. Put the top layer and cover with frosting. Also frost the sides.
- Keep the frosted cake refrigerated. Take out the cake around half an hour or 15 minutes before cutting/serving. Always clean the knife after each slice to avoid tagging rest of the cake with red cake crumbs.
For the frosting you will need~
- 1/2 cup butter (at room temperature)
- 1/2 cup or less (depending on how sweet you want your cake) icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- 180 grams cream cheese (at room temperature)
Step wise instructions~
- Take the butter in a large bowl and beat on low to medium speed till light in color about 2 minutes (using an electric hand mixer)
- Add cream cheese and beat on low speed for a minute till butter and cheese is mixed together for about minute or so.
- Add the icing sugar and beat on very slow speed. If you beat it on medium or high speed, chances are that the icing sugar will be everywhere – so it is important to beat on very low speed (and also using really large bowl). Beat on low speed until sugar is incorporated with the butter and cheese mixture. Increase the speed gradually from medium to high and keep beating until smooth and fluffy.
- Frost the cooled cake and serve!
Do share this recipe with your friends and family if you liked it! And do let me know if you tried it – I would love to hear back from you!