My aunt Marie is a fabulous baker. She can make anything and it will be as good as it looks. You see, she takes great pride in making sure her baked goods are pretty. This Red Velvet Cake is beautiful and is a great dessert for Christmas or Valentine’s Day. I made it as cupcakes last week, and the recipe turned out beautifully. I fancy myself a Red Velvet Cake connoisseur and this one is the BOMB. Perfect every time. Just follow the recipe carefully. Baking is really chemistry and the ingredients in this recipe proves it.
My recent attempts to remove artificial colors and ingredients gave me a twinge of guilt when I poured in the 2 T of red food coloring. Next time, I may leave it out. I suspect it will look more like a cappuccino. If I do it, I’ll have to rename it or nobody will like it…I considered calling it White Velvet Cake, but is won’t be white, and who would eat a Tan Velvet Cake? I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we always do. You just have to give Marie props for the recipe!
Marie’s Red Velvet Cake
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup(1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 (16oz) box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pecan pieces, chopped
Pecan halves, for garnish(optional)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans. Tap out excess flour. If using cupcake tins, use cupcake liners.
Combine the buttermilk, vinegar, and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. ( I tried to just mix in a 1 cup measuring cup and it nearly bubbled over). Into a second mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa , and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the oil, sugar, and eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed for 3-4 minutes, until thickened.
Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to the egg mixture, beating for at least 2-3 minutes after each addition. This is important. When all of the ingredients have been added, beat for another 3-4 minutes on high speed. Mix in the red food coloring and vanilla until smooth and well mixed. Divide the batter between the two cake pans. This recipe yielded 2 dozen cupcakes. I spooned into the prepared lined cupcake pans, filling 2/3 of the way.
Bake on center rack in the oven for about 45 minutes, until a tester comes out clean . If making cupcakes, bake for 20 minutes.
Cool 10 minutes in the pan. Turn out onto a wire rack and let cool COMPLETELY before frosting with Cream Cheese Frosting. If you jump the gun, the frosting will melt and you’ll end of with a mess and be very sad after all this work.
To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer on high speed for 3-4 minutes. , until completely combined and smooth. Add the pecan pieces and mix until just combined. Sometimes, I just spread the frosting before adding the pecans and just sprinkle the pecans liberally on the top only or the sides only of the cake. For the cupcakes, I just spread the plain frosting and used the pecans as a generous garnish.
If you are making the recipe as a cake, place the first layer on the cake plate and frost the layer avoiding the the edges by 1/2 inch. Place the second layer on top and frost top and sides carefully. Decorate with pecan halves if desired.