Deliciously soft and tender Red Velvet Cake covered in cream cheese frosting.
Red velvet cake
- 230 grams (1 cup or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 300 grams (1 and 1/2 cups) caster sugar or granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 350 grams (2 and 1/2 cups) plain flour or all purpose flour
- 20 grams (3 level tablespoons) natural cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 300 ml (1 and 1/4 cup) full fat buttermilk*, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon red oil-based food gel*
Cream cheese frosting
- 500 grams (approximately 2 and 1/2 cups) full fat block cream cheese*, room temperature
- 60 grams (1/4 cup) butter, room temperature
- 310 grams (2 and 1/2 cups) icing sugar or powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- Red velvet cake
Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F) standard / 160C (320 F) fan-forced. Grease and line two 8-inch round cake pans with baking or parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, add butter and sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined and then turn speed up to medium and beat until the butter turns pale, creamy and almost fluffy. Don’t rush this step!
- Add eggs, one at a time, and beat briefly to combine – don’t worry if the mixture goes a little bit lumpy at this stage – then scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Then, in a separate bowl, add buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla and food gel. Give it a good stir.
- To the creamed butter, add half the flour mixture and all of the buttermilk mixture. Start to mix on low speed. Add remaining flour mixture and beat briefly until a smooth and creamy cake batter forms (but try not to over mix).
- Divide cake batter between two pans and smooth the top. Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Gently remove cakes from cake pans and leave on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Cream cheese frosting
To make the frosting, add the cream cheese and butter to a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined and smooth.
- Add icing sugar and vanilla and beat again on low speed until combined. Then turn the mixer up to medium speed until frosting is smooth and creamy.
- Use a serrated knife to trim the tops of the two cakes. Set the excess cake aside to crumble and use for decorating.
- Spread one third of the frosting onto one of the cake layers. Add the other cake on top. Spread remaining frosting on top. Sprinkle over cake crumbs.
*Buttermilk: While I often use a buttermilk substitute in some recipes, I recommend using real buttermilk for best results. It aids in producing a very tender crumb. If you absolutely cannot get buttermilk where you live, a good substitute would be half milk and half full fat Greek yogurt or sour cream.
*Food colouring: Make sure you use an oil or gel based food colouring for best results. I tested this recipe using Colour Mill gel.
*Cream cheese: The best cream cheese to use is a block of full fat cream cheese. Don’t use light or spreadable cream cheese. UK readers: If you don’t have blocks of cream cheese available to you, use the next best thing. If you find your frosting is runny, refrigerate it for 30 minutes before using.