Things I have been cooking lately #120: Red velvet cake

When I asked Mr O what he wanted for his birthday he said he didn’t want any presents he just wanted me to bake him a cake. This is pretty unusual since Mr O doesn’t really like cake but being a big fan of baking and a big fan of Mr O I couldn’t say no. He specifically requested a red velvet cake so I turned to my most trusty baking book, The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook and made this slightly wonky but still tasty three layer cake. There is something so pretty about the bright red sponge with the white cream cheese icing. Oh… and I did get him some other presents too. The cake was just the cherry on the top.

Red velvet cake

Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

For the cake

150g butter at room temperature
300g caster sugar
2 large eggs
20g cocoa powder
40ml red food colouring (a whole small bottle, the cochineal variety gives the best colour)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
300g flour
1 teaspoon salt
240ml buttermilk
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

For the icing

50g butter, softened
300g icing sugar
125g full fat cream cheese
Red sprinkles to decorate

Preheat your oven to 180 C and grease and line three 19cm cake tins.

Using an electric mixer beat together the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at time beating well after each addition.

In a separate small bowl mix together the cocoa powder, vanilla and red food colouring to form a paste. Add the paste to the butter mixture and mix well.

Sift together the flour and salt in a separate bowl and then add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in two additions alternating with the buttermilk and mixing well after each addition.

Mix the vinegar with the bicarbonate of soda (be careful, it will bubble up). Add to the cake butter and mix to incorporate.

Divide the batter between the three tins evenly and smooth the top. Bake the cakes in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tins for 20 minutes before turning out to cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the icing beat together the butter and icing sugar with an electric mixer until you achieve a sandy consistency. Add the cream cheese a little at a time and beat until light and fluffy. Spread the icing between the cake layers and on top and sandwich together to form a three layer cake. Top with sprinkles if using.

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  1. Me O is lucky – this cake looks amazing. I love red velvet.

    1. abbiosbiston

      Me too. It’s so pretty!

  2. I love this type of cake.

    1. abbiosbiston

      Mr O loved it too. He ate something like 4 slices which is a record for him!

      1. I would have done the same as Mr O.

  3. This does not fit the healthy bill but it looks A-freaking-mazing!! Yummmm *drool

    1. abbiosbiston

      It’s definitely for treats only. I allowed myself one slice and it was worth it!

  4. WANT! And happy birthday to Mr O! 🙂

    1. abbiosbiston

      You should try it out. I realise now that I ended up scheduling this for like a month after his birthday but I will pass on the birthday wishes!

  5. Happy birthday Mr O!

    Ian loves red velvet. I might have to surprise him with this one day. But a whole bottle of food coloring? That probably sounds crazy to me because I’ve never made a red velvet cake.

    1. abbiosbiston

      It sounds like a lot but to get the really intense colouring you really have to go for it. A whole bottle is only about 2 1/2 tablespoons though. I think that’s actually why the recipe has a little cocoa to mask any flavour of the colouring.

  6. Please move in nearby and set up a delivery service haha. What a great name for a cake too.

    1. abbiosbiston

      Maybe that should be my next career move! Cake delivery service!

  7. I love red velvet! And yours turned out very pretty. Happy belated birthday to Mr. O!

    1. abbiosbiston

      Thank you! I think the sprinkles really make it. I will pass on the birthday wishes 🙂

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