Red Velvet is one of my all time favourite cakes and I have tried many different recipes for it – the one below is my favourite and comes from ‘Cakes To Celebrate Love and Life’ by Cakebread team Callie Maritz and Mari-Louis Guy. The wonderful red hue is achieved by the addition of red food colouring or if you have the time, a beetroot reduction.
Red Velvet Cake
Makes one cake or 24 cupcakes
2 1/2 cups (350g) cake flour
1 1/2 cups (300g) sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup (250ml) buttermilk
2 free-range eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sunflower oil
1 tsp white vinegar
5 tsp (25ml) red food colouring or beetroot reduction
1 tsp vanilla extract (use a good brand made from real vanilla)
Cream Cheese Icing
1 tub (250g) Cream cheese
250g butter, softened
2 cups (280g) icing sugar sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Cake: Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease or spray your choice of baking pan. In a large mixing bowl sift the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder and salt together. In another mixing bowl combine the buttermilk, eggs, oil, vinegar, food colouring and vanilla extract. Mix the flour mixture into the buttermilk mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pans ( I used two 25cm baking pans) and bake for 35-4o minutes for a cake or 18-20 minutes for cupcakes. Decorate with cream cheese icing and whatever else takes your fancy.
For the Icing: With an electric whisk beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and beat through. Add the vanilla extract and beat until just combined. Let the icing rest in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes before using.
Note: I find cooking times in my oven always vary from the times stated in the book – so be vigilant of your cake to ensure that it does not burn. The cream cheese icing can be tricky to work with and melts quickly – be sure that your cake is ice cold before frosting it. To avoid dragging crumbs through your icing – chill the cake in the deep freeze for a few minutes – it works!