|The final product of my cake from scratch.|
As I mentioned in my post last week, I wanted to make a cake from scratch. And the cake of choice was a red velvet cake! Sure, I've made cakes before (mostly from boxes) and I did make a lot of carrot cakes and cheesecakes from scratch while I was in high school (over 10 years ago!). But for some reason, a red velvet cake was the ultimate challenge for me.
While discussing my plan with my mom, she shared that her first cake from scratch was a red velvet cake--amazing, huh? But I don't feel like I 'discovered' red velvet cake until I was in college, so you can imagine my amazement when my mom shared this information with me. The first thing that crossed my mind was: "Why did you keep this secret from me in my formative years??" But then I thought a little more and decided that it was probably for my own protection.
So I got to work on the cake yesterday and took the goods to a Bible study function last night. I think it turned out a little dry and I'm not completely sure why. Although, I did have a slight mishap with the buttermilk. But the flavor was there and a lot of people liked it and I'm so happy they did. I was talking to another girl there and she told me that she'd never tried red velvet cake before. I told her she may not want to make this one the first one she's ever tried and taint her red velvet cake experience, or she should try it and her red velvet cake experiences will only get better! All-in-all, I'm really pleased with the outcome my first attempt at this cake. I'm excited to keep working on it to make it tastier and tastier--oh, and a little moister too!
Here's a look at piece of the cake:
|A slice of the cake|
The recipe came from FoodNetwork.com. Here it is:
Red Velvet Cake:
- Vegetable oil for the pans
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons red food coloring (1 ounce)
- 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows
- Crushed pecans, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil and flour 3 (9 by 1 1/2-inch round) cake pans.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In another large bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla.
- Using a standing mixer, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined and a smooth batter is formed.
- Divide the cake batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Place the pans in the oven evenly spaced apart.
- Bake, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking, until the cake pulls away from the side of the pans, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and run a knife around the edges to loosen them from the sides of the pans.
- One at a time, invert the cakes onto a plate and then re-invert them onto a cooling rack, rounded-sides up. Let cool completely.
- Frost the cake. Place 1 layer, rounded-side down, in the middle of a rotating cake stand. Using a palette knife or offset spatula spread some of the cream cheese frosting over the top of the cake. (Spread enough frosting to make a 1/4 to 1/2-inch layer.) Carefully set another layer on top, rounded-side down, and repeat. Top with the remaining layer and cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 pound cream cheese, softened
- 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup), softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand-held electric mixer in a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar, and butter on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high, and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. (Occasionally turn the mixer off, and scrape the down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Add the vanilla, raise the speed to high and mix briefly until fluffy (scrape down the bowl occasionally). **My Favorite Part: like spatula to make sure it tastes right**
- Store in the refrigerator until somewhat stiff, before using. May be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days.
Yield: enough to frost a 3 layer (9-inch) cake
Recipe Courtesy of Sara Moulton from FoodNetwork.com
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