Last week was the kickoff to our annual Employee Giving Campaign at work. Each year there is a bake sale for the kickoff, with all proceeds going to the Oregon Food Bank. After searching forever for the perfect Red Velvet recipe I settled on the following adapted from Cake Man Raven Confectionery in Brooklyn. People raved about the recipe, claiming it was very moist and tasted the most like a Red Velvet Cake. Needless to say I gave this recipe a try even though the ingredient list didn’t seem impressive.
So here are my two issues with the cake, not enough cocoa and not enough butter. I’m pretty sure the use of oil instead of butter is what gives this cake its moisture but it also gave it an almost oily taste. I used canola oil but I’m curious if I can use coconut oil next time which has a more neutral flavor. I also want to try using more butter and less oil. So, I’ll have to try out this recipe a few more times to get it perfect. Not to mention adding more cocoa to the mix.
One more thing, don’t make the mistake I made and add orange food coloring instead of red. That is the reason why my cupcakes are a brick color instead of red.
Adapted from Cake Man Raven Confectionery
FOR THE CAKE:
1 tbsp. butter:
2 1/2 cups plus 12 tbsp. cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp. (1 oz.) red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. white distilled vinegar
FOR THE FROSTING:
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
12 oz. butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1. For the cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Grease three 8″ round cake pans with butter. Dust with 2 tbsp. of the flour and set aside. Sift remaining flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa, and salt into a bowl. Beat eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar in a bowl with an electric mixer until combined. Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Divide batter evenly between pans. Bake cakes, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, 25–30 minutes. Let cakes cool for 5 minutes, then invert each onto a plate, then invert again onto a rack. Let cakes cool.
2. For the frosting: Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in a bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. Add sugar and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, 5–7 minutes.
3. Put 1 cake layer on a cake plate; spread one-quarter of the frosting on top. Set another layer on top and repeat frosting. Set remaining layer on top and frost top and sides with the remaining frosting. Press pecans into the sides of the cake.
MAKES ONE 8″ CAKE (I obviously made cupcakes)