Thursday 14 January 2010

Red Velvet Cake

This is a close up of one of my roses....that tear on the lefthand side of the rose is where my cat had a nibble and I had to sacrifice the petal. Someone referred to her as a hooligan the last time she tucked into my plants and I wholeheartedly agree! I couldnt think of a better term myself!

Ok, so I've had lots of requests for RVC in my InBox, so I've decided to share the recipe my daughter used. The best recipes are shared recipes in my opinion and this cake is missing something, so hopefully one of you out there know what it is - it's such a pretty cake it would be a shame not to get to the bottom of that extra special ingredient!

I know there are lots of 'packet' recipes online for RVC, however we (well my DD's - I dont cook much)make everything from scratch.

Red Velvet Cake

Oven: 175c for approx 30 -40 minutes
2 greased sponge cake tins
If using a bundt tin, ensure that you do not overbake

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons cocoa (Dutch Cocoa is best)
3 tablespons (60 mls) red food colouring
3 tablespoons >>secret ingredient<<
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla treacle or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups double sifted plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking SODA
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Measure everything out so you can easily add it to the bowl as you mix.
Using a cake mixer (or beater) cream the egg, oil and sugar
Still mixing, add the cocoa, red colouring and secret ingredient. Finally beat in the flour until just mixed.

Add lemon juice to baking soda, it will foam up -immediately fold through batter with a spatula until incorporated - do not over mix.

Pour into cake tins

Bake for 30 - 40 minutes in a fan forced oven. From 25 minutes onwards, check the cake is done with a skewer - remove cake from oven as soon as the skewer comes clean. Do not over bake. This is a moist cake.

When cool, fill and decorate with any white frosting or freshly whipped thickened cream. If you want, cut each half in half again so that your cake has 4 layers.

*You can now purchase 'natural' red colouring, which I recommend
*Vanilla treacle is a gourmet vanilla syrup concentrate
* I have no idea what the secret ingedient is. My DD's think it must be a syrup or essence of some kind, because this cake is missing 'something' but we cant for sure know what! If you have a RVC recipe with a an extra something this one doesnt have - please share!!!


  1. Hi Esther, the receipe we used had cream cheese icing. YUM! I think that is what made it, seriously... what could be better than anything with cream cheese icing??
    deb xx

  2. Thanks for posting the red velvet cake recipe. It intrigued me yesterday. Look forward to your next BOM. Hugs, Jeanette

  3. When I was in the USA last year I bought "The Little Box of Quilter's Chocolate Desserts". There is a recipe for Red Velvet Cake in the collection that I have been wanting to try. I just compared the ingredients and the missing one seems to be vinegar( but my recipe says 1 tab). Everything else looks the same.
    Cathy in Qld.

  4. Do you think the missing ingredient could be beetroot juice? There are recipes for chocolate cake that use beetroot and it is red!...and vinegary too.

  5. Red Velvet cake has been the predominate birthday cake in our family for a lot of years. And it is the requested cake for me to bring to Christmas gatherings at my daughter's best friends' home. I know of no missing ingredient in that recipe - and the one I use calls for the baking soda to be added to vinegar. My orignal recipe called for an icing made in a double boiler using flour that was kind of fussy but very good and full of butter. I now use a cream cheese recipe that is one of Martha Stewart's. The cake is baked in 2 9" round pans and frosted between the layers and on top. Yummy!!!!!!

  6. In my Joy of Cooking cookbook they used baking powder as well as baking soda in the recipe.

  7. Hi Esther, here is the recipe that I use for Red Velvet Cake I am from the states: Enjoy
    Pam Cooking Spray for the pans or you can use parchment paper
    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
    Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows
    Crushed pecans, for garnish
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil and flour 3 (9 by 1 1/2-inch round) cake pans.

    In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In another large bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla.

    Using a standing mixer, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined and a smooth batter is formed.

    Divide the cake batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Place the pans in the oven evenly spaced apart. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking, until the cake pulls away from the side of the pans, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

    Remove the cakes from the oven and run a knife around the edges to loosen them from the sides of the pans. One at a time, invert the cakes onto a plate and then re-invert them onto a cooling rack, rounded-sides up. Let cool completely.

    Frost the cake. Place 1 layer, rounded-side down, in the middle of a rotating cake stand. Using a palette knife or offset spatula spread some of the cream cheese frosting over the top of the cake. (Spread enough frosting to make a 1/4 to 1/2-inch layer.) Carefully set another layer on top, rounded-side down, and repeat. Top with the remaining layer and cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting. Sprinkle the top with the pecans.

    Cream Cheese Frosting:
    1 pound cream cheese, softened

    4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

    2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup), softened

    1 teaspoon vanilla

    In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand-held electric mixer in a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar, and butter on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high, and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. (Occasionally turn the mixer off, and scrape the down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.)

    Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Add the vanilla, raise the speed to high and mix briefly until fluffy (scrape down the bowl occasionally). Store in the refrigerator until somewhat stiff, before using. May be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days.

    Yield: enough to frost a 3 layer (9-inch) cake

  8. Yes, the vinegar is missing from your recipe! Oh yes, must have the cream cheese icing and then all together the taste is "other worldly"! lol...

  9. Hi Esther, I have my RVC recipe that I use all the time, the only difference in the cake is I use vinigar (1tbls )and not lemon juice. Here's the recipe for the filling that I alway's use and it's awsome!

    5tablespoons flour, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup butter (has to be butter), 1 cup sugar, 1tsp vanilla

    Mix the flour and milk together in saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Boil until thick (keep stirring). Cool completely (best to chill it). Cream butter, sugar and vanilla, add flour mix and beat until thick enough to spread. That's it, but I always slice the cake into four layers. I know it's a bit fiddly but trust me it's worth it -honestly!

  10. Wow, what an interesting recipe! I'm not one to fuss about cakes, unless of course it's a baked cheesecake... pretty good at those! Hope you discover the missing ingredient!


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