Last month, it was my birthday that set the ball rolling for all of the others, a family of Aries we are, though I don’t give the stars too much credit for who we are. I tossed the idea around of this cake or a fantastic carrot cake recipe that I have, and given that I’ve never made Red Velvet before, this one won out simply because I wanted to give it a try. This is good cake and the i-phone photo doesn’t do it justice. Also, this cake freezes well. After we enjoyed a piece, I sliced it up, separated out the pieces with wax paper and placed it in the freezer. When we wanted another one, we took out a slice, let it thaw about an hour and it was good to go.
For the cake:
- 3 cups cake flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup canola oil (I used melted & cooled refined coconut oil)
- 4 eggs, at room temperature & separated
- 1 1/2 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. distilled white vinegar
- liquid or gel red food coloring
- 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
For the frosting:
- 16 oz. cream cheese, (I used Neufchatel) at room temperature
- 1 stick butter, at room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 tbsps. milk or cream
- 2 tsps. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 9 inch round pans with parchment paper and grease on the bottom and sides; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside. Beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy – about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for 2 minutes until creamed together fairly well. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the oil and beat on high for 2 minutes. The butter may look “piece-y” and not completely combine with the oil. This is normal and ok.
Add four egg yolks and the vanilla. (Set the egg whites aside.) Beat on medium-high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vinegar and the food coloring– until you reach your desired color. I used a small container of the red gel and a bottle of red food coloring. On low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mixing each addition just until incorporated. Do not over mix. Vigorously whisk or beat the 4 egg whites until thick and foamy, about 3 minutes. Fold into cake batter. The batter will be silky and slightly thick.
Pour batter evenly into prepared cake pans. Bake for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan before removing and transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar and 2 Tablespoons of cream. Beat for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and 1 more tablespoon of cream if needed to thin out. Beat on high for 2 full minutes. Taste the frosting and add a pinch of salt if it is too sweet.
First, using a large serrated knife, slice a thin layer off the tops of the cakes to create a flat surface. Set these thin pieces of cake aside. Place 1 cake layer on a plate or cardboard round, and frost evenly, covering the cake with frosting. Top with 2nd layer and spread remaining frosting all over the top and sides. Crumble the thin pieces of cake you sliced off in a large bowl. Decorate the sides and top edges of the cake with these crumbs, if desired.