The BEST Red Velvet Cake

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Today marks a very special day, which is why I made a cake! Really I’m celebrating 3 things today; my mom’s belated birthday, the first day of October (my favorite month EVER), and it’s been exactly one month since I started this blog (which is seriously the biggest migraine, I mean, accomplishment of them all! Then again, I wouldn’t exactly be here if my mom was never born, so I guess her birthday trumps all…)

IMG5_6218My mom requests the same cake every year.

Red Velvet minus the traditional cream cheese frosting.

And year after year my dad would search every grocery store bakery, and none of them sold red velvet! Luckily I have retired my dad from his cake shopping duties and have started making them myself.

(Since I actually do sell cakes as a side business.)

That is why I take such great pleasure in knowing I can just make a BASIC decorated cake for my families’ birthdays instead of the custom pain in my ass cakes I make on the side(which I vow never to sell another cake every single time I finish up a cake, yet somehow there I am a week later, decorating another cake…)

IMG_62459

I had one job this year. Make my mom’s cake. With that responsible, also came the duty of buying the candles. So I went to Walmart with one thing on my list-

Candles.

After spending the majority of my afternoon staring at the same 4 candles, trying to decide which one I wanted, I opted for the number “43” candles.

Let me remind you, I had ONE job. One job is all, and I FAILED.

I later found out my mom was turning 53. Not 43…

I was only 10 years off ok?! It’s the thought that counts!

IMG_62468With that confession off my chest, I’ll now tell you about the one job that I DID do right!

This recipe is my grandmas’s recipe (with a few updated tweeks) and it is hands down, THE BEST red velvet cake recipe I’ve ever made or had!

My mom isn’t a huge cake fan to begin with, so if she loves it, you know it’s good.

As I mentioned above, my mom isn’t a huge fan of the traditional overly sweet, extremely thick cream cheese frosting that is normally paired with red velvet, and neither am I. I think the flavor and texture of cream cheese frosting overpowers the subtle cocoa notes in this dense, yet fluffy cake. IMG_62558The frosting that my mom has always used, was a “cooked vanilla frosting”. Not the most appealing name, but it is hands down the most amazing frosting you’ll ever taste. It’s not too sweet and not to thick. It has more of a whipped cream flavor and texture, and is my mom’s absolute favorite!

When you see how to make it, you’ll never believe that it turns out so perfect, yet somehow, it magically comes together into a light, fluffy, highly addictive frosting that only needs to be served with a spoon.

(Honestly, it kind of reminds me of the filling in a twinkie!)

IMG_6197 - CopyThis batter calls for 2 ounces of red food coloring, which is 1/4 of a cup… I know it sounds like ALOT, but it’s what gives it that RED velvet color!

Duh.

IMG_6199 - CopyThis cake also bakes up nice and flat, which is a cake decorator’s dream!

IMG_6202Now about this frosting… You basically cook together flour and milk until it reaches an “alfredo” consistency.

It will literally look like alfredo sauce.

To avoid any lumps, stir constantly, or at least every minute or so. Pour the thickened milk into a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. You want the plastic to lay flat directly on top of the mixture. This will prevent a layer of “skin” from forming on the top.

Once the mixture cools completely, beat the sugar, butter, and vanilla until light and fluffy, pour in the milk/flour mixture and continue beating. it will suddenly turn very thick and fluffy.

I used vanilla bean puree (also known as vanilla bean paste)  in the frosting in place of vanilla extract, since my mom’s favorite ice cream is vanilla bean.

(Yes I know I’m the best daughter ever. Besides thinking she was 10 years younger… which should be taken as a compliment, right?!)

IMG_622h5And there you have it! THE BEST red velvet cake AND frosting EVER!

And for the decorations, I just threw on some sprinkles that matched the candles.

Literally, I threw them on. ENJOY!

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The BEST Red Velvet Cake
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My mom's recipe for the BEST red velvet cake with fluffy vanilla frosting! It really will be the best red velvet cake you will ever make!
The BEST Red Velvet Cake
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Votes: 2
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
My mom's recipe for the BEST red velvet cake with fluffy vanilla frosting! It really will be the best red velvet cake you will ever make!
Servings
19 inch cake
Servings
19 inch cake
Ingredients
Servings: 9 inch cake
Units:
Ingredients
Servings: 9 inch cake
Units:
Instructions
Red Velvet Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2, 9-inch cake pans and set aside.
  2. In a large measuring cup, combine buttermilk, vanilla, food coloring, vinegar, and baking soda and set aside.
  3. Using a hand or stand mixture, beat together butter and sugar, on medium speed, until light and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time, thoroughly mixing in between each one.
  4. Turn mixture down to low and alternately add in dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, and salt) and buttermilk mixture, starting and ending with flour mixture (flour, milk, flour, milk, flour), until just combined.
  5. Divide batter into both pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick into the center and it comes out clean. Cool and set aside. (See note)
Fluffy Vanilla Frosting
  1. In a small saucepan, whisk together flour and milk until smooth. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thick, about 5 minutes (should have the consistency of alfredo sauce)
  2. Remove from heat and place in the fridge to cool.
  3. Once the flour mixture is cooled to at least room temperature, beat together sugar and butter, using a hand mixture on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy.
  4. Add vanilla and reduce speed to medium. Pour in the flour mixture and continue beating until thick, 1-2 minutes.
To Assemble
  1. Place one layer of cake onto your serving plate and top with about 1/2 cup of frosting. Top with the second cake layer and frost with the remaining frosting.
Recipe Notes
  • This frosting recipe makes just enough to cover and fill your cake. If you like extra frosting, or would like to use it to decorate with, times this recipe by 1 1/2 or double it.
  •  I like to bake my cakes 1-2 days ahead of time to save time. Once they cool to room temperature, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the freezer or fridge until you are ready to frost them. This keeps them moist and fresh and can be done a week in advance.
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© Lights Camera Spatula. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. If you make this recipe, be sure to tag your photo #lightscameraspatula.

2 thoughts on “The BEST Red Velvet Cake

  1. That Red Velvet cake is truly the best ever and that frosting is great, not only for red velvet cake but other cakes or cupcakes too!

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