Just Desserts

red velvet cake

Posted in cake,Chocolate by nora on November 20, 2011

ok, i know i haven’t updated this in a while, but here’s a new recipe i tried from smitten kitchen

if you haven’t guessed already, the recipe is for red velvet cake. i haven’t tried it yet, because i’m assembling and serving it down at the beach for thanksgiving, but i will post pictures and reactions of my family as soon as i can!


  • 3 9-inch cake pans (round)
  • electric mixer
  • oven (kinda obvious, but you never know)

this makes 3 cake rounds


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 1/2 cups of cake flour (all-purpose is ok in a pinch)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch process)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons red food coloring, or 1 teaspoon red gel coloring (dissolved into 6 tablespoons water)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar

1. preheat the oven to 350. put a tsp of butter in each of the 3 cake pans (9-inch) in the oven till the butter melts, then brush the interior bottom and sides with the butter, then line the bottoms with parchment

2. whisk the cake flour, cocoa, and salt in a bowl

3. put the oil and sugar in the bowl of the electric mixer and beat a medium speed until well-blended. add the eggs one at a time. turn it down to low, then add the red food coloring, VERY CAREFULLY (it tends to splash everywhere). add the vanilla, then the flour/cocoa mixture alternately with the buttermilk in  2 batches. scrape down the bowl and beat just till combined.

4. place the baking soda in a small dish, then add the vinegar (it wont blow up, don’t worry) and add to the batter while the machine is still running, for 10 seconds. (this makes the cake nice and fluffy)

divide the batter among the pans, and bake for 30-40 minutes, till a toothpick in the very middle comes out clean. if the cakes are on different levels of the oven, you need to rotate them.

CUPCAKE VERSION: makes about 35 cupcakes (liners filled 3/4 of the way), at 350 for around 20-25 minutes, but check on them 2/3 of the way through, just in case.

FROSTING: (this is 2 times the recipe, because i like a generous amount of frosting, the original gave you a thin layer). makes 12 cups

  • 16 oz (2 packages) of cream cheese, room temp.
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, room temp.
  • 6 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. put the cream cheese and the butter in the mixer bowl, and beat till light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). add the sugar and vanilla, and beat on low to combine.

FROSTING TIPS:  spread a thin layer over the top and sides of the cake to “glue” the loose crumbs there, then add the rest of your frosting.

if it’s too soft, chill for about 10 minutes before using it.


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