If there’s one thing that American’s like it’s their red velvet cakes and cupcakes! I was in NYC last year and paid one too many visits to the Magnolia Bakery, I swear to God that place is my idea of heaven….. I couldn’t tell you how many cupcakes I polished off over my few days there 🙂 One of my faves was their red velvet cupcakes.
Now I won’t lie and pretend my creation was anywhere near as good but for my first attempt this weekend my cake didn’t turn out too bad. I only had the liquid red food colouring and not the paste and I reckon that was part of the reason it wasn’t really as red as I would have liked, must remember to pick up some red paste soon.
There are lots of different variations of recipe for this cake, some with vegetable oil, some with sour cream or greek yoghurt and I’ve heard of some using beetroot to add the colour…. I went for the simplest one I could find 🙂
I LOVE the cream cheese icing. It’s taken me ages to get the consistency right, any recipes I’ve made before that use cream cheese icing, I’ve been left with runny icing that won’t set at all…. so I just messed around with the ratios of the cheese and icing sugar and this time it seems to have worked at 2:1. I always go for full fat cream cheese for this icing, I just think it stops it being too runny.
So anyway – on we go to the cake!
120g (4 ¼ oz) butter
300g (11 oz) caster sugar
2 large eggs
300g plain flour sieved
225ml (8 fl oz) buttermilk
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
20g (3/4 oz) cocoa powder sieved
about 1/2 tsp red food colour paste
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
400g full fat cream cheese / Philadelphia
800g Icing Sugar
tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Butter 3 sandwich tins and line the bases with baking / greaseproof paper. I use these cheapo ones from Argos:
2. Beat the butter and caster sugar together for until well mixed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after adding each one.
3. Now add the flour in three goes, alternating it with the buttermilk.
4. Add the salt, vanilla extract and cocoa powder. Start to add the red food colouring until the mixture is a dusky red. If you are gonna use the liquid colouring like I did you’ll need quite a bit.. just keep adding a teaspoon at a time and mixing in.
5. In a small bowl, mix together the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. It will fizz up a little bit. Add to the batter and mix.
6. Divide the cake mixture evenly between the tins, you don’t have to be 100% accurate here, just roughly the same amount in each tin.
7. Bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes until firm when pressed in the centre.
8. Take them out of the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes then turn out onto a rack, remove the paper and leave to cool fully for about half an hour at least before icing.
Onto the icing… easiest icing ever to make.
9. Drain of any excess water from the packs of cream cheese then turn the cheese out into your mixing bowl. Sieve in the icing sugar in about 3 goes mixing it in well each time with a fork. You HAVE to sieve it in, no being lazy and just pouring it in or it’ll be a mess. Also try not to overwork the mixture as it makes it go runny if you are beating it for too long. If the icing is a bit runny just fridge it for half an hour or so to stiffen it up a bit again and then ice the cake.
10. Layer up the cake with a load of icing between each layer and then loooooooads poured over the top and let it drip down the sides. Oh this is so yummy, I want some now! Leave it to set for a while then eat till your heart’s content 🙂
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