When I think of velvet I think of fancy fat kings sitting on thrones in giant castles in England. They’re usually wearing capes or manly dresses (as manly as fancy men in the 18th century were). These garments are made of velvet, and the velvet is usually purple. Or dark green.
I don’t know why velvet conjures up that specific image in my head. It’s just what happens.
But I don’t think red.
And usually I don’t think baked goods.
So that chef in that fancy hotel that came up with red velvet cake was apparently on a whole other wavelength.
But luckily for him, he was a genius.
The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook is both of our go-to when we’re in the mood for these devilish, discolored delights. That is, in cupcake form.
But when one little cupcake just isn’t enough, and you need a whopper of red velvety joy you can use this recipe. It’s super moist and super tasty.
Red Velvet Cake
From Let Them Eat Cake and Ice Cream
Who adapted it from Bakerella
For the cake:
1 cup buttermilk
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
60 ml red liquid food colouring
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cocoa
For the frosting:
500g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
Preheat the oven to 175C fan-forced. Spray two cake pans with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, gently whisk together eggs, buttermilk, oil, vinegar, vanilla and food colouring until combined.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, baking powder and cocoa until combined. Add wet ingredients and mix on medium speed for one minute. Pour batter into prepared pans, and thump on the counter a couple of times to release air pockets.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
Make the frosting:
Sift sugar and set aside.
Beat the cream cheese and butter on high until creamy. Add vanilla.
Add the sugar in batches. Scrape down the sides in between each addition.
By the way, Happy birthday Kahina!
And for the cupcakes:
Hummingbird Bakery Red Velvet Cupcakes:
60g unsalted butter, room temperature
150g caster sugar
10g cocoa powder
20ml red food colouring
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
150g plain flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (or baking soda)
1 ½ teaspoon white wine vinegar
300g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter, room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold
Preheat the oven to 170C.
Put the butter and the sugar in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and well mixed. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.
In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk. Beat until well mixed, then add half the flour, and beat until everything is well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added. Scrape down the side of the bowl again. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until you have a smooth, even mixture. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 mins, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile for the cream cheese frosting: Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 mins. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.
When the cupcakes are cold, spoon over the cream cheese frosting on top.