|The Best Red Velvet Cake|
Our Red Velvet Cake is a hybrid recipe taking its inspiration from several versions of this classic southern dessert cake that I've tried over the years. In general, I've found that the simpler the recipe, the better the cake. This recipe really could not be more simple; it just combines the wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately and then brings them together to form a very pourable batter, which produces a very moist cake.
I've seen some recipes that also include an outrageous amount of red food coloring, which I am not particularly fond of using in general but infrequently will for special occasions and this recipe uses a very reasonable 1 1/2 tsp of liquid red food coloring. The upcoming Canada Day weekend seemed like a good time to feature the red in this cake with the white of our double cream cheese frosting, the two colors of our national flag.
Recipes also vary greatly on the amount of cocoa in a Red Velvet Cake, ranging from only a teaspoon to several tablespoons. I prefer the higher end of the cocoa scale for just a little more chocolate edge to this terrific cake. Some folks object to this because it produces a more brownish red cake so if this is a concern, you can cut back on the cocoa if you like but do not omit it altogether, the red velvet purists will hunt you down for that crime against cake! I've read from several sources that toasted pecans in the frosting between the layers is also a critical component. I'm going to call it optional but since I really love lightly toasted pecans, I think they add outstanding favour and a crunchy component that I find irresistible.
Grease two 8 inch cake pans and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Sift together and set aside:
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups cake flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tbsp cocoa
In the bowl of an electric mixer blend together well:
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp liquid red food coloring
- 1 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Bake at 325 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Turn cakes onto a wire rack, remove the parchment paper and allow to cool completely. When the cake is completely cool, you can cut the two layers into 4 using a sharp serrated bread knife if you like or just have 2 layers in you prefer. I think the four layers helps to get a good ratio of cake to frosting in each bite.
- 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
Fill all of the layers and the top of the cake with double cream cheese frosting, sprinkling each layer with 1/4 cup of the toasted pecans.
Double Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) cream cheese
- 3/4 cup butter
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 kilo bag of icing sugar (About 8 cups)
- 1-3 tbsp milk; enough to bring the frosting to a spreadable consistency