Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

>> Friday, 16 April 2010

Maybe you are like me...I have a tendency to start doing things late at night. Not because I've procrastinated doing them (although that is often the case), but usually because I get these grandious ideas late at night. So when most people are debating what time to set their alarms for the next morning or flossing, I am scouring the cupboards for the makings of...whatever I might be able to make. 

Company was coming to visit in the form of relatives the following day and my mom had requested that I might  'make something'. Ever since I ate red velvet cupcakes in London from the Hummingbird Bakery and consequently bought the cookbook this past winter, I knew more of these were in my some form, any form!

 Which is why when I was asked to 'make something', I knew what I needed/wanted to do and I set about making this around midnight.  The crumb of the cake is deliciously moist and the cake is not sweet at all (the icing is a bit sweet, but suits the cake perfectly)  I made the cakes the night before and made the icing the following morning.  It all came together rather well and I would definitely suggest taking this cake to any sort of party.  Very impressive and not all that hard to make!
Red Velvet Cake 
(Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)

  • 8 tbsp of unsalted, room temperature butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp red food colouring (yep, it'll take about 2 bottles!)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups (plus 4 tbsp) of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp of white vinegar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  1. Preheat oven to 325deg F
  2. In one bowl, mix the food colouring, vanilla and cocoa powder in a bowl to make a thick paste.
  3. In a bigger bowl (you can use an electric mixer..although I didn't and it turned out fine) mix the butter and sugar together until fluffy.  Add the eggs and beat until well blended.
  4. Add the coloured paste to the butter mixture and combine..taking care to scrape the sides of the bowl so it mixes evenly.
  5. Slowly pour in half the amount of buttermilk and half the amount of flour.  Beat until well blended and then repeat the same process of adding the rest of the buttermilk and the flour and beat.
  6. Batter should be smooth and even...the add the salt, baking soda and vinegar.
  7. Beat again to combine.
  8. Meanwhile, grease and flour 3 8-inch pans
  9. Pour the batter into the 3 pans (1/2 way up the side of the pan) and bake for approximately 25 minutes (checking to see if a knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean)
  10. Let cakes cool and make the icing.
Cream Cheese Icing
  • 4 2/3rd cups of icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
  • 6 tbsps of room temperature, unsalted butter
  • 8 oz (1 block) of cold cream cheese
  1. This time I did use a freehand mixer!  Beat the icing sugar and the butter together until it is well mixed.
  2. Add the cold cream cheese (I cut in cubes to make it faster and easier to mix) and beat until it is all mixed in,well blended and the icing is light and fluffy.
  3. Taking care not to overbeat as the icing will melt slightly with too much work.
11.  Ice between each layer and stack the layers.
12.  Then finish icing the sides of the cake.
13.  If you are making cupcakes, this recipe will make 24...otherwise, divide all ingredients (including icing) by half for 12 cupcakes.
Serve to family and know that when you sneak into the kitchen later that night to cut a tiny slice to have with will have already been devoured by someone else with the exact same idea.  :(


Wendi 17 April 2010 at 18:13  

The projects I start when I should be in bed sleeping NEVER turn out this well. I've learned that I should not be doing anything in the kitchen after 9pm. That's one beautiful red velvet cake.

Webgrrl74 20 April 2010 at 21:51  

Hey Wendi!! My problem is that I start them late and night and then try to speed up the process because I am ready to go to bed, get bored or realise I am in WAY over my head..and therein lies my problem. *L*
I've been meaning to email you! (will get to that tomorrow!)

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