Preheat the oven to 175°C.
Red velvet sponge
- Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy in a bowl.
- Beat in the eggs one by one, mixing well before adding the next.
- Add coloring, vanilla and vinegar and mix well.
- Sift flour, corn starch, cocoa, baking powder and salt into a separate bowl.
- Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and gently fold through with a rubber spatula.
- Add the buttermilk and the remaining dry ingredients to avoid lumps in the batter. Fold gently till ingredients are well combined.
- Grease a 22 cm cake tin and line the bottom with baking paper.
- Pour the batter into it and smooth the surface.
- Bake the cake for approx. 70 minutes or until baked, and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely before cutting it into 3 sponge layers.
Cream cheese butter icing
- Beat together cream cheese, butter and vanilla seeds.
- Add icing sugar to the butter mixture gradually at low speed.
- Keep the frosting in the fridge until assembling the cake.
Assembling the cake
- Spread out evenly ¼ of the icing on one cake sponge.
- Place a second cake sponge on top and repeat with another ¼ of the icing.
- Place a third and final cake sponge on top and gently press down to make the cake stable and straight.
- Spread out evenly remaining icing on top and sides of the cake. The surface should be completely covered.
- Sprinkle the red velvet cake generously with crushed freeze-dried raspberries just before serving.
TIP: You can choose to ice the final layer of your cake in two rounds. Ice the cake with a thin layer and leave it to set in the fridge before completing the final layer.
Your next baking adventure
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Red velvet cake is soft, moist, fluffy, and absolutely delicious with its velvet texture and beautiful red colour. It can be compared to an ordinary chocolate cake, but despite certain similarities the red velvet cake is in a league of its own.
It is obviously characterised by the red sponge cake, but the taste is also exceptional. It is a unique flavour that is:
- Mildly chocolatey from the cocoa powder
- Lightly tangy from the vinegar and buttermilk
- Buttery from – not so surprisingly – the butter
- Sweet from the vanilla
Many red velvet cakes are made with oil, but the butter takes the moisty velvety texture to a whole new level. For this recipe we recommend Lurpak® unsalted butter for the sponge cake as well as the cream cheese butter frosting. It enhances the different tasting notes in the unique sponge cake, and it completes the cream cheese butter frosting perfectly so the cake can be encircled by a silky, cloud-like frosting with a round and balanced taste.
Red Velvet for any occasion
A red velvet cake is perfect for any occasion. The taste makes everybody happy and you can decorate it to match any event. The deep, red colour is vibrant and festive and will without any doubt impress any guest.
Whether you like a simple design on your cakes or you prefer an extravagant look with lots of details and different elements, a red velvet cake is a perfect option. Tone it up or down to fit your personality and the occasion.
Red velvet birthday cake
In this recipe we make a three-tier red velvet cake, but you can adjust this to your needs. Three tiers make room for an extra layer of frosting, but you an easily make a two-layer red velvet cake as well. If you do so, reduce the amount of frosting or make the frosting layer between the two tiers thicker – clearly the best option if you are into smooth, tasty buttercream frosting. A two-layer cake also leaves you with more frosting for the top and the sides of the cake.
Red velvet number cake
If you want to make a red velvet birthday cake you can try to make it in the shape of numbers indicating the birthday boy or girl’s age. It is also a good option for anniversaries. A red velvet number cake is a very beautiful cake, and the taste will certainly please the crowd.
Red velvet wedding cake
Because of the sophisticated looks of the cake, it is very popular to make a red velvet wedding cake. The cake is beautiful with the contrasted colours and you can make your own personal design by piping the frosting elegantly on the top and/or the sides. You can also add additional decorations or add a bit of colour to the frosting to make decorations in your favourite colours.
Frosting on red velvet cake
Red velvet frosting is easy to make. All you need is cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and icing sugar. Go to the top of this page to see how to make red velvet frosting.
This recipe is for red velvet cake with cream cheese butter frosting. Cream cheese frosting and buttercream frosting are very common frosting on red velvet cake. The soft, buttery cream cheese frosting is the perfect companion to the spongy, velvet texture of the cake.
In addition, cream cheese frosting can be arranged in many different ways so you can create whatever look on the cake you want. The white colour is beautiful together with the red cake, but as mentioned previously, you can also add colour to make a different look on your cake.
In this red velvet cake recipe, we guide you to a clean, sharp look of the cream cheese butter frosting, but you can also pipe a different decoration with the frosting. If you want to do so, leave the prepared frosting in the fridge for about 20 minutes. It guarantees the creamy frosting will hold its shape, so you do not end up with a big mess on top of your otherwise beautiful cake.
What is in red velvet cake?
The ingredients in red velvet cake are very similar to an ordinary chocolate cake except for the vinegar, colouring, and buttermilk. Basis ingredients such as sugar, eggs, vanilla, and flour are used as in many other cakes, so even though a red velvet cake looks sophisticated and flashy the list of ingredients is not.
If you want to make a gluten free red velvet cake, just replace the plain flour with a gluten free alternative such as almond flour or oat flour.
Why is red velvet cake red?
The red colour occurs naturally from the ingredients in red velvet cake. A chemical reaction between cocoa powder, vinegar, and buttermilk creates the famous red-tinted colour. However, it is not a very bright or clear red colour, so today people usually add food colouring in the form of gel colouring or icing colour to get the characteristic look.
Tips for making the best red velvet cake
Apart from the mesmerising red colour, the texture of the sponge cake is what really defines and characterises a red velvet cake. If the cake is not spongy, soft, and moist, it is basically just a normal cake added red colour.
We have gathered a few tips to obtain the distinctive texture:
- Whisk butter and sugar thoroughly
It is almost impossible to whisk the butter and the sugar too much. The longer you whisk, the more air is incorporated into the dough, which lifts the cake when it bakes – and this results in a moist and spongy cake. It starts in a yellow shade and you should continue whisking until the mass is white.
- Do not over-mix the batter
When mixing the wet and the dry ingredients make sure not to whisk it. Fold it gently until all is well mixed. If you whisk it, all the air bobbles in the wet mixture will disappear resulting in a dense and not very velvety texture.
- Watch the time in the oven
It is obviously always a good idea to give a cake the appropriate time in the oven. Some cakes can handle a bit over baking better than others. If you bake your red velvet cake for too long it gets dry, which is not very velvety. Check the cake regularly when you come closer to the stated baking time. Stick a skewer into the cake and when no dough sticks to it, the cake is done.
- Separate yolks and whites
If you want an even more fluffy cake, you can split the eggs, so you have the yolks and the whites separately. Mix the egg yolks with the rest of the wet ingredients and whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until you have a white, fluffy substance. Then fold the whisked egg whites gently into the other bowl before folding the dry ingredients in.
Now you are ready to venture into the amazing world of red velvet cakes. Follow our recipe slavishly or add your own touch to make the cake fit your preferences. Enjoy!