I confess. I’m a red velvet snob. Be it cake, cupcake, donut, or cheesecake, I compare anyone else’s red velvet to the red velvet cake I grew up on. And, honestly, very few come even remotely close to being nearly as good as this recipe. So, be warned: making this red velvet cake may lead you to red velvet snobbery, too.
The recipe I grew up on used cream cheese frosting. I did not know anything about a classic red velvet cake frosting until I was an adult & enjoying Christmas dinner with our best friends. My bff wanted to put my red velvet up against her grandmother’s recipe & my eyes were opened to the glorious confection that is classic red velvet cake frosting. I took one bite of her Granny’s cake & said, “Girl, you’ve been holding out on me! We’ve been friends for how long & you’re just now sharing this little tidbit?” After carefully tasting & comparing the two cakes that day, it was decided that my cake was better than hers, but her frosting trounced mine!
After several years of making my red velvet with my bff’s frosting recipe, I decided to see what would happen if I combined classic red velvet frosting with cream cheese frosting & the result was nothing less than life changing. Seriously, combining the two frostings into one is the most amazing frosting I have ever tasted. It is now the only frosting I will use on red velvet cake & Italian cream cake. I tried it on carrot cake & didn’t care for it. On carrot cake, I stick with just cream cheese frosting.
If you want to take this red velvet cake recipe to a whole new level, turn it into a red velvet cheesecake!
History of Red Velvet Cake
There are so many claims as to how red velvet cake started and who invented it that no one knows for sure. Follow the link to learn about a few of them.
For a really moist cake, bake it at least a day before you need it & freeze it. A few hours before serving, frost the cake while it is still frozen. Plan ahead so that the paste for the frosting has had enough time to chill.
If you are going to freeze the cake, the order of steps is:
- Bake cake, cool completely, wrap in plastic wrap & freeze
- Make paste for frosting & chill for several hours or overnight.
- Make frosting. Frost cake while still frozen.
If you are not going to freeze the cake, the order of steps is:
- Make paste for frosting & chill for several hours or overnight
- Bake cake & cool completely
- Make frosting & frost cake
Ingredients for cake:
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 1/2 c sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 T cocoa
- 2 oz red food coloring
- 2 1/2 c bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 T vanilla
- 1/4 c water
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vinegar
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Grease & flour 2 round cake pans or spray with Baker’s Joy.
- Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, beat well. Mix in cocoa and food coloring.
- Sift flour, salt, and baking powder; add to batter alternately with buttermilk, vanilla, and water.
- Add baking soda, blend well. Gently stir in vinegar.
- Pour into cake pans. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans.
- Cool completely.
Ingredients for frosting:
- 1 cup milk
- 5 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
Step 1: Make the paste for the frosting.
- In a small heavy pot, whisk together 1 cup milk & 5 tablespoons plain flour. Bring it to a boil, stirring constantly, over med heat. It will be very thick & pulling away from the sides of the pot.
- Cool then refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
*You must bring the paste to a boil. If it does not boil, the frosting will not turn out right.
Step 2: Make the frosting.
- Cream butter & cream cheese together until well blended.
- Add white sugar & mix well.
- Add powdered sugar & mix well.
- Add vanilla & mix well.
- Add paste & mix well. Increase speed on your mixer to high & whip for 2-3 minutes, or until fluffy.