Monday, November 16, 2009

The Disappearing Cake!

I spent the weekend in lovely Old Saybrook, Connecticut (good place for a fort, good place for a port) to see my family and celebrate my nephew's birthday! It was a weekend full of extraordinarily fun activities (more on that later), including eating birthday cake.
**We made Dorian eat that piece.**
This year my sister made a red velvet cake - very popular in cupcake shops of late but a new addition to our family's dessert repertoire. Judging by the speed in which it was eaten on Sunday, I would wager that it is destined to return many times over. I meant to take a picture of the luscious red interior of the cake but it was gone too fast!
I didn't do anything to help out with this cake, except eat it. (And test the frosting to make sure it wasn't poison). But here is the recipe my sister Bessie used - so good!
Doesn't it look awesome? The #3 decoration was easy to do - just take some wax paper larger than your cake, and make a stencil by cutting out the design you want (number, letter, picture, etc). Simple is best. Cut it out, put the paper over your cake, and fill the design area with sprinkles, powdered sugar, etc. Gently pull the wax paper away and Ta Da! Your cake looks pro!

Also: did you know that it is called "velvet" because of the finer crumb texture, the result of a chemical reaction between the vinegar, baking soda, and buttermilk? It's true! Science can be so tasty.

Try it out yourself!
Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting from Cook's Country


2 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
Pinch salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons natural cocoa powder
2 tablespoons red food coloring
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

*Note - I LOVE frosting, the more the better, but this recipe made a LOT. So, you could cut it down a bit depending on your preference.

16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 cups confectioners sugar
16 ounces cream cheese, softened, cut into 8 pieces
Pinch salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. FOR THE CAKE: Adjust rack into middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla and eggs in a large measuring cup. Mix cocoa with food coloring in a small bowl until a smooth paste forms.

2. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl down as necessary. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat on medium-low speed until just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add half of the buttermilk mixture and beat on low until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl as necessary and repeat with half of the remaining flour mixture, the remaining buttermilk mixture, and finally the rest of the flour mixture. Scrape down bowl add cocoa mixture and beat on medium speed until completely incorporated, about 30 seconds. Give batter a final stir using a rubber spatula. Scrape into prepared pans and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pan 10 minutes and then turn out onto cooling rack and cook completely another 30 minutes.

3. FOR THE FROSTING: With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese 1 piece at a time and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add vanilla and salt, and refrigerate until ready to use.

4. When cakes are cooled, spread about 2 cups of frosting on 1 cake layer. Top with remaining layer and spread remaining frosting on top and sides of cake. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 3 days (no way it will last that long).


  1. ooh, we don't really have red velvet cake here (Scotland), so I'm always on the lookout for authentic recipes, this looks great. love the tip on decorating too, my best friend is turning 30 next week, if she's lucky she'll be getting this!

    samuraijen - swap bot

  2. Red Velvet cake is our family favorite! Your "3 cake" is really pretty!