Known for its characteristic coloring as well as its delicious taste, Southern Red Velvet Cake is a tea time treat and a real crowd-pleaser.
Moist and flavourful, its deep cocoa taste pairs beautifully with a tangy cream cheese frosting, decadently layered together and topped with the irresistible crunch of crushed pecans.
It may look complicated, but this sumptuous cake is fairly easy to put together and is sure to impress both family and guests.
Where Does Red Velvet Cake Come From?
The origins of this popular cake are a bit of a mystery, although it is thought to have been created in Maryland in the early 1960s.
It is an evolution of the classic velvet cake, named for its unique reaction when the buttermilk was combined with the cocoa and brought out its unique red hue.
Today, it is a popular choice of cake around the world, though it is particularly popular in the Southern USA, where the cake was first made several decades ago.
What Makes Red Velvet Cake Red?
While the cake’s iconic red color often used to be achieved with beetroot juice (which is still used in some recipes), today you will find that the majority of recipes call for red food coloring.
This helps to reach that bright shade that is associated with Red Velvet Cake and has a much bolder result than its earliest recipes.
How Do I Know When My Cake Is Done?
It’s not always easy to tell when a cake is done, especially with darker cakes like this one. To test it, stick a skewer or toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, then your cake is baked all the way through.
If you need to bake it a little longer but the top is starting to brown, cover it with aluminum foil to prevent the surface from burning.
How Do I Store Southern Red Velvet Cake?
As this recipe calls for cream cheese frosting you must store it in the refrigerator. If you don’t fancy eating cold cake, simply bring it out of the refrigerator around an hour or two before serving to let it come back down to room temperature.
It will keep for 1-2 days, although I can promise you that this cake won’t last that long!
- 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 and cake trimmings, for decoration
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1 pound cream cheese, softened
- 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup), softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1. Measure all ingredients and then preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Lightly oil and flour three 9x1 1/2 inch baking pans.
- 3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.
- 4. In another large bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla.
- 5. You may use a wooden spoon, a whisk, or a standing mixer to combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients a smooth batter is formed without lumps.
- 6. Pour out the batter into the prepared pans in three even portions. put to bake for 15 minutes and then rotate the pans to get them to bake evenly all around.
- 7.Bake for another 15 minutes or until the cake loosens from the sides of the pans, or if the cake bounces back up when touched, or if a toothpick placed into the center comes out clean.
- 8. Remove the cakes from the oven and put them to cool for 20 minutes before trying to remove them from the pan. After removing. Let them cool properly before putting on your frosting.
- !For the frosting
- Combine cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla, and butter in a standing mixer and mix till all are properly combines and really smooth.
- Place one cake onto a rotating table and trim off any uneven edge or top. Repeat the process with the other cakes and set them aside. Using a palette knife or offset spatula, spread some icing on the first layer. Place the next layer and spread some out as well ensuring that the icing reaches the edges in an even thickness- or as even as you can. Place the final layer and spread the icing all over the top and sices. You can use a pastry comb to get even thickness and smoothness on the top and around the sides.
- For the decoration
- Place some of the icing into a piping bag with a rose tip attached and pipe on some patterns on the edges or as you desire.
- Sprinkle some chopped pecans on the top and then crumble some of the cake trimmings on it. Slice your cake and enjoy.