red velvet cake
Is it chocolate? Is it vanilla? WHAT IS IT! Essentially it’s a chocolate cake made with little cocoa powder. The cocoa reacts with the acidic vinegar and buttermilk, and in turn keeps the cake moist, light, and fluffy. The chocolate taste is fairly mild but the flavours are delicately rich.
Products I use to make this cake
9-inch cake pans – these high quality cake pans help my layer cakes bake beautifully. Some of you asked me on Instagram how come my cakes are so flat. There are a few tricks for it, and you can read about it in this helpful guide, but I’ll be honest that I don’t bother with this. I get good results with these cake pans, and if the cakes have a dome, I slice it off with a sharp knife. It’s less trouble, and no one would notice.
Red food coloring – I always prefer using gel than liquid. I’ve tried many and this one has the best vibrant red color.
WHAT GIVES RED VELVET CAKE ITS FLAVOR?
The distinct flavors of red velvet cake come from the buttermilk, vinegar, cocoa powder, and cream cheese frosting. Some red velvet cake recipes use only a tablespoon or two of cocoa powder, giving virtually no chocolate flavor. This leads some people to think that red velvet cake is simply a white cake dyed red. A true red velvet cake is a distinct chocolate flavor in addition to a slight acidic flavor.
What Does Red Velvet Cake Taste Like?
I used to be unsure about red velvet. I don’t really trust a cake that has a mystery flavor. What is red velvet? Is it vanilla, chocolate, or just a butter cake tinted red? From red velvet brownies and red velvet cookies and red velvet cupcakes, I’ve had a lot of fun getting to know red velvet. Red velvet is:
- Mild cocoa flavor
- Tangy buttermilk
- Sweet vanilla
- Very buttery
with all the testing i have a few tips to get you the best results!
- Cake flour — We tried this version with both all purpose/plain flour and cake flour, and the cake flour version resulted in a softer, velvety cake, fooling everyone into thinking we had purchased it from an expensive baker! You can certainly use all purpose though if that’s all you have. You will still get an incredible cake.
- Oil — This addition guarantees a moist sponge. Mix it together with your cocoa powder and red dye so the three incorporate really well into the cake batter. This ensures the cocoa powder is mostly dissolved before being mixed through.
- Buttermilk OR milk with vinegar – We tried one version using buttermilk plus vinegar and one version making our own buttermilk, souring full cream milk with 1-2 teaspoons of vinegar before starting. Both worked INCREDIBLY well!
How do You Make Cream Cheese Frosting for Red Velvet Cake?
- Mix fats: Mix cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer until smooth and fluffy (or alternately use stand mixer).
- Mix in remaining: Mix in vanilla and powdered sugar and whip until light and fluffy. Spread over cooled cake.
- Tip: For a better consistency you can freeze in 3 – 5 minute increments, mixing between increments, until desired thickness is reached.
How do you make buttermilk?
This is available in the milk and yogurt section of most supermarkets in cartons. If you can’t find any, simply mix 1 tbsp of lemon juice or white wine vinegar into 250ml of whole milk, stir and leave for 5 minutes – then proceed with the recipe.
How long can you store red velvet cake? Can you freeze it?
Sponges can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container for two days or frozen for up to three months. When you want to serve, defrost the sponges at room temperature overnight then ice following the recipe