Guest Post: Red Velvet Cake by FriedWontons4u

I am very pleased to introduce you to my dear friend, Shao from She's a wonderful food blogger with artistic photography styles AND she's a sweetheart on Twitter. If you're not following her already, make sure you check her out! Thank you, Shao for sharing this wonderful recipe :)

As much as I talk and tweet about craving sweets late at night, when it comes to satisfying my sweet tooth I am quite picky.  I prefer sorbets over ice cream. I’m not a big fan of chocolate. I enjoy cakes with light fluffy cream over rich frosting. I only like pies with a crumb topping. To sum it all up: picky, picky, picky.  Yet regardless of all these preferences, when it comes to Red Velvet Cake, all of that doesn’t matter. 
It’s  chocolatey and covered in layers of rich cream cheese frosting. Red Velvet Cake is an American southern classic. It’s usually presented as a three layer cake with frosting in between each layers and spread on top. In more contemporary forms, it has been transformed into cupcakes, whoppie pies, and cookies.  Originally beetroot, instead of red food coloring, was used to “dyed” the cake a rich red hue.  It’s simple to bake and highly addictive to eat.

Now when I say simple to bake, I should be honest and confess to you the silly mistake I made when making this cake. While trying to do two things at once, catching up on a TV show and baking, I accidently added 16 ounces of granulated sugar instead of powder sugar into the frosting mix. DO NOT make this mistake unless you prefer crunchy frosting.
The original recipe calls for the cake to be baked in two 9 inch round cake pans. I decided to take a more contemporary approach to it. I baked the whole batter in an 8 inch by 8 inch square cake pan, crumble the cake into big chunks, and served it in a glass with frosting in between each layers. You can also turn this batter into cupcakes simply by baking it in a cupcake pan. No matter how you present it, you can’t go wrong. It’s one of my favorite desserts and I hope it will be yours as well.

Red Velvet Cake
From Cooks Illustrated Magazine
Serves 12
For the Cake:
11 ¼ ounces unbleached all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
Pinch table salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons natural cocoa powder (Do not use Dutch processed cocoa. It will not rise proper or give you the correct red coloring)
2 tablespoons or 1 ounce bottle red food coloring
12 tablespoons unsalted butter that has been softened
10 ½ ounces granulated sugar
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
16 tablespoons unsalted butter that has been softened
16 ounces confectioners’ sugar
16 ounces cream cheese that has been soften
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch table salt
Cake Directions:
Make sure your oven racks are in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix the ingredients until they are well incorporated.
In a large measuring cup, add the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla, and eggs. Whisk the ingredients until combined.
In a small bowl, add the cocoa powder and food coloring. Mix until it forms a smooth paste.

In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, add the softened butter and sugar. Mix on medium high speed until the ingredients are fluffy and smooth. Scrape down the bowl as necessary to insecure the mixtures are well combined. This should take about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add one third of the flour, baking soda, and salt mixture.  Mix on medium high until incorporated.

Add half of the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla, and egg mixture. Mix on low speed until combined.
Scrape the bowl down, whisk more on low, and make sure everything is combined.

Repeat with the other half of the flour, baking soda, and salt mixture. Mix on medium high. Add the remaining buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla, and egg mixture. Mix on low. Add the rest of the flour, baking soda, and salt mixture.  Mix well on medium high. Make sure you are scraping down your mixing bowl as you mix.
Finally add the cocoa and food coloring paste. Mix on medium high.

When everything is mixed, remove the mixing bowl from the mixer.  With a rubber spatula, give the batter a final stir to check that everything is well incorporated.
Before you pour the batter into your baking pans, make sure your pans are well greased with butter and are lightly floured.  This recipe was made to be baked in two 9 inch cake pans, but you can also bake it in a large sheet pan or cupcake pans.
Pour the batter into your pans. It should take between 25 to 30 minutes to bake. If you are using a large sheet pan or cupcake pan, check the cake at 20 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the cake and if it comes out clean it’s ready.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then turn them out into a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes before frosting.
Frosting Directions:
In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, add the softened butter and sugar. Mix on medium high speed until the ingredients are fluffy and smooth. This should take 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the cream cheese in small pieces to the mixture as it mixes. Make sure to scrape down the bowl and mix until all the cream cheese are added and well incorporated.
Add the vanilla extract and salt. Mix well.
Set the frosting aside and store in the refrigerator until ready to be used.
To frost the cake, if you baked it in two cake pans, add the frosting on top of one layer, place the second cake on top, and layer it with more frosting on top and on the side of the cake. If you baked it in cupcake pans, just pipe or spread the frosting on top. To serve it in a cup as pictured in this post, just break the cake up in large bite size pieces, place a layer of cake in the cup, top it with frosting, add another layer, add more frosting, top it off with more cake, and add more frosting.


  1. Great Guest Post - I will check out her blog and follow on twitter!

    This is a thing of beauty! I tried making red velvet and it was very good but not great! I'll have to try this! :) Thanks!

  2. Wow, that looks amazing :) seems like is easy to make i shall tray and follow her on twitter :)
    thx Kim

  3. Cheers on the guest post!.

    I'm not a huge sweet fan either - unless its red velvet cake.. the CI recipe looks immeasurably easier than the one that was passed down to me.. Thanks!

  4. Red Velvet Cake is a traditional holiday cake here in the South - we can't get enough of it! I've made this recipe before and it is very reliable too. I've made distracted TV related cooking mistakes too but mine usually aren't eatable.

  5. I've never had red velvet before. :D

  6. Red velvet sounds exquisite! By the looks of it, it's delicious! Fabulous Idea serving it in a glass with cream. Got to try this special dessert! Cheers!!!

  7. This seems like such a fun way to present cake! And I totally love red velvet.

  8. This is truly divine! OMG, craving for it now!

    Great post! :D

  9. The cake isn't that well known in Canada either and is just starting to make an appearance in stores. I've been tempted to try making one. I wonder if the red dye can be substituted in the recipe?

  10. What a lovely take on red velvet..I m a big time red velvet fanatic..craving some of it after seeing this post!

  11. Excellent take on the red velvet cupcake. This is very different, and I would love to see it served at one of the holiday parties I'm attending this year =)

  12. Looks great and I love the cute presentation of this. Red velvet cake is so good. I bet the icing did get a little crunchy, sounds like something I would accidentally do. I am always doing two things at once.

  13. Great choice of guest blogger. I love her too!

  14. I have an award for you! Congratulations! Please come by my blog to 'pick it up'. You totally deserve it.

  15. I would love to eat RV cake like this! Wonderful!

  16. This looks delicious. I love how you served it. Personally I think it's a good to be picky about desserts...if you are going to have something sinful it should be worth it and just what you're craving. ;)

  17. Ummm that just looks so lovely to eat :)
    Beautiful guest post!

  18. I love the presentation since it reminds me of those cute little dessert shots you get out at restaurants now. What a great guest post!

  19. This cake looks amazing and so creative too. Thanks for sharing!

  20. What a wonderful way of presenting red velvet cake...parfait styl. Not only does it look so pretty, but yummy too.
    Great guest post, will check out her blog.
    Thanks Kim, for sharing!

  21. I love this take on Red Velvet! So innovative and looks delicious! I posted something Red Velvet today too:)It's a perfect holiday color;)
    Beautiful post girls:)

  22. My family is crazy about red velvet cake. They would eat it all day if they could (and sometimes they do). This looks really delicious. By the way, I'm holding a giveaway on my blog for Orglamix Organic makeup and you're welcome to come by and enter.

  23. that looks amazing. I tried to make red velvet cake pops once ( They turned out a disaster :) I think I have to try it again with this recipe :))

  24. Great recipe! I am off to check out Shao's blog!

  25. blissfullyvegantraci.wordpress.comDecember 7, 2010 at 10:58 PM

    Love love red velvet cake!

  26. I'm definitely a huge fan of red velvet cake! I love this "trifle"-esque version in the glass! It's so beautiful! Great guest post!

  27. I'm from the US, but have never had a red velvet cake or anything red velvet for that matter. But if this cake as delicious as it is beautiful, I'll have to try one!

    Great recipe and presentation!

  28. That's a great idea for the presentation; it looks ridiculously good!

  29. Congratulations on making the Top 9.
    Have a great day!

  30. Congratulations on making #1!! I'm not surprised... this is such a beautiful dessert! So nicely executed!

  31. Crumbled cake in a glass is such a creative, beautiful approach! I think for me though, I'd prefer a large piece on a plate, thank you! Thanks for sharing the beet juice info-- I was wondering about that.

  32. I need to learn more about red velvet cake - still not that well known in the UK. Looks luscious.

  33. Great guest post and cake! Thanks Kimberly for introducing us to a great baker. Your cake looks delicious.

  34. Congrats on the top 9! What a fun idea, and it looks so beautiful. My first experience with red velvet cake was not fantastic, guess I need to try it again;)
    Take care,

  35. i am so happy i read this post as i have been raving about red velvet for about two weeks, ever since trying my first ever red velvet cupcake. I didn't realise that it is a known recipe, i thought it was something invented by my cupcake shop!

  36. Looks so scrumptious!
    Congrats on the top 9! :)

  37. This cake is my kids favorite and for the past few weeks I ad been trying different versions of it, trying to avoid the 3-layer cake presentation; your idea of crumbling it and serving it in a verrine is brilliant!