In this Instructable I will show you how to make Red Velvet Cake. This recipe for red velvet cake is really easy to do. I had a request from a few people to make this kind of cake so here we go. There is something elegant about these cakes. They just look so cool, and they taste amazing, especially when covered with a nice homemade cream cheese frosting. If I can make it you can make it, let's get baking!! :)
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Follow the steps below or watch the video tutorial or do both! :)
Step 1: Ingredients/Tools
- 1/2 cup of unsalted butter (room temperature) (115g)
- 1 1/2 cups of white granulated sugar (300g)
- 2 Large eggs (add one at a time)
- 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder (24g)
- 1 cup of buttermilk (250mL) (or use a tiny bit less then a cup plus
- 1 Tbsp. of vinegar or lemon juice, let sit for 10 minutes)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract (5mL)
- 1 tsp. of white vinegar (5mL)
- 1/4 cup of oil (vegetable, etc.) (55g)
- 2 to 2 1/2 Tbsp. of red food coloring liquid (30 to 40 mL)
- 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour or cake flour (320g)
- 1 tsp. of baking soda (5g)
- 1 tsp. of salt (5g)
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 16 ounces of softened room temp cream cheese (450g)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract (5mL)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (room temperature) (115g)
- 4 to 4 1/2 cups of confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar) (440 to 500g)
- Hand mixer or stand mixer
- Measuring spoons
- 9 inch cake pans
- Parchment paper (optional)
- Shortening or kitchen spray
- Flour or cocoa powder to dust the pans
- Wire racks
- Cake spatula
- Bread knife
- Cake pedestal (optional)
- Cake Icing smoother or cake comb (optional)
- Heart shaped cookie cutter (optional)
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Step 2: Cream Butter and Sugar
First preheat your oven to 350 F (176 C). Next let's make our cake batter. Start by creaming your butter and your white granulated or caster sugar together in a large bowl. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to do this.
Step 3: Eggs!
Now we add in our eggs one at a time. So drop one egg in, mix, once that egg is completely incorporated do the other egg. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl as well with a spatula.
Step 4: Cocoa Powder Time!
Now we add in our cocoa powder. It is a good idea to run it through some kind of a sifter. Cocoa powder tends to get a bit lumpy. Then mix again and scrape the sides as needed. Throughout this whole process we don't want to over mix, just until things are incorporated. If we mix too much we will add too much air into the batter which can cause air pockets in our cake. :)
Step 5: Stir Stir Stir
Now add in your vanilla extract to your buttermilk as well as your white vinegar. If you don't have buttermilk you can make some by taking just shy of one cup of regular milk and adding one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar and then let it sit out for about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and vanilla extract until combined.
Step 6: Love That Color!
Now we add in our oil to the buttermilk mixture. Next add in about 2 to 2 and 1/2 Tablespoons of red food coloring liquid. Then stir, until the mixture is a nice red color. Set that mixture aside for now.
Step 7: Flour Time
Next we will add our salt and baking soda to our flour. You can use cake flour or all-purpose flour. Cake flour tends to work a little bit better, but all-purpose works great too. Use a whisk to combine those ingredients.
Step 8: Add Mix Add Mix Scrape
Next we will add in about half of our food coloring buttermilk mixture and about half of our flour mixture, then turn on the mixture and mix until just combined. Give the sides of the bowl a good scrape, then complete the process until all the ingredients have been mixed leaving you with a nice red velvet cake batter.
Step 9: Fill, Smooth, Tap
Now we just fill up two 9 inch or 8 inch cake pans with equal amounts of cake batter. Make sure to use shortening or kitchen spray on the pans and then dust them with cocoa powder or flour and I always add a little round cut out of parchment paper on the bottom too as an added precaution, and my nonstick pans are great, but I like to over-do it. lol Also it is a good idea to lightly tap the pans with the batter in it, this will allow any cake bubbles to rise to the top, which helps to prevent air pockets, but sometimes it is unavoidable and you just get them, a combination of over mixing, etc. But it won't effect the taste of the cake at all! So don't worry about it. I never do. lol now bake those cakes for 23 to 30 minutes until when a toothpick comes out clean after poking it in the middle.
Step 10: Cool Remove Cool
Now after the cakes come out of the oven let's leave them alone and allow them to cool in their pans for about 10 minutes. After that we can remove them from their pans, remove the parchment paper and then let the cakes cool completely on the rack. Afterwards you can place the cakes in the fridge and let them chill, which helps with the frosting, or just go onto the the frosting step now, it's totally up to you! :)
Step 11: Frosting Time!
Well now it is time to make our frosting, we will be using just a few ingredients, cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, and of course powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar).
Step 12: Combine and Blend
Now combine the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract into a large bowl and mix with a hand mixer until nice and smooth usually takes a few minutes. Then slowly incorporate all of the powdered sugar. You may need more or less depending on the consistency that you want. Next just remove the beaters. Frosting is ready to go. At this point if the frosting is still too runny add more powdered sugar, or just chill it for about 30 minutes before frosting that cake.
Step 13: Trim and Frost
First we will trip the cake so it will be somewhat level. You can skip this step if you like. I just always use my bread knife to cut the top off of the bottom layer, if you want to use fondant I recommend cutting the top of the top layer off as well, the end product will look a bit better. Next add a bunch of frosting to the middle, then layer the top layer of cake on. Then cover that whole cake with frosting. There are a variety of tools that you can use, I normally just use my cake spatula. Once done put the cake in the fridge for about 30 minutes. This is optional, but I like to do it, allows the frosting to set a bit.
Step 14: Heart Shaped Cake Topper
Now I want to make a heart-shaped cake topper. To do that I take my heart cookie cutter and cut out a shape from the middle of that piece of cake that I have. Then just place it on top of your cake. Looks pretty neat right?
Step 15: Cake Crumbs and Piping Bag
Now take the rest of your leftover cake and crumble it up with your fingers. Then gently apply it do your cake sides or on top or skip this step. It is totally up to you how you decorate your cake. :) Use a piping bag and pipe frosting around the top of your heart if you like. You are done! Now place the cake in the fridge for about 2 hours before serving. Enjoy! :) :)
Step 16: Video Tutorial
Now watch those steps in action by checking out the video tutorial. :)