Red Velvet Cake

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Red Velvet Cake | via Midwest Nice Blog

Today I’ll be celebrating with my best friend and a trip to Ikea followed by burgers and beers and nail painting and face masking. The perfect day with the perfect person.

Red Velvet Cake | via Midwest Nice Blog

We were toying with the idea of going to Savannah for the day but since she just drove six hours here it would be torture to drive another eight hours round-trip the very next day.

Red Velvet Cake | via Midwest Nice Blog

I’d do that for a slice of this cake though. Or for anything from Back In The Day Bakery. It has been one of my favorite places and spaces and inspirations since I got their first cookbook back in college. I spent my 21st birthday taking a trip there. Because that’s how I feel about bakeries and baked goods and people pursuing pastry passions – I want to spend my birthday with them. And not just any birthday, it was the big two-one, the one most people can’t remember because they drank too much and ate too little. Not me, I spent five days in Savannah with my dad, eating my way around, taking in the sights and sounds and tastes of the city, stopping in at BITDB every day for a cinnamon bun, cupcake, or ‘nana pudding. I even met Cheryl and Griff and cried a little and they signed my (very stained) book.

Red Velvet Cake | via Midwest Nice Blog

I can’t believe I haven’t been back since. Nearly four years. I will certainly have to rectify that grave misfortune soon. Until then, there’s this cake; four layers of love with just a hint of cocoa flavor, the traditional red hue covered in tangy cream cheese frosting.

Show someone a little love today (even if it’s just yourself) and make this cake.

Red Velvet Cake

(makes 1 4-layer, 8-inch cake, adapted from the Back In The Day Bakery cookbook)

4 ½ cups cake flour

1 ½ tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 TBSP cocoa powder

½ tsp. salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup canola oil

3 cups sugar

6 eggs

1 ½ tsp. apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

½ oz. red gel food coloring

1 ½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 4 8-inch round cake pans with baking spray and place a circle of parchment paper in each, set aside.

Whisk together the flour, soda, powder, cocoa, and salt, set aside.

In a large measuring cup combine the food coloring and buttermilk, set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, oil, and sugar until light and fluffy (mixture should be pale and white), about 4 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as necessary. Stir in the vinegar and vanilla.

In three batches, add the dry ingredients to the bowl, alternating with the dyed buttermilk, mixing well after each addition and scraping the bowl to fully incorporate all ingredients.

Divide batter evenly among prepared pans and bake in preheated oven for 30 – 35 minutes, until centers are set and edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pans.

Remove from oven and allow to cool on rack for 10 minutes before turning out of pans and cooling to room temperature before frosting with cream cheese frosting, recipe follows.

Melba’s Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 8-oz. block cream cheese, at room temperature

1 2-pound bag of powdered sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

¼ cup milk

Cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down bowl and add almost all of the powdered sugar (reserve about 1 cup), vanilla, and salt, and slowly begin to combine. Add milk, one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. (I like my frosting to be thick enough that if I swipe a spoon or spatula through it, it stays put.) If necessary, add reserved powdered sugar or more milk until you’re happy!

To frost cake:

Once cake is cooled, slice off any uneven tops to leave you with four level layers. Place one layer on a cake board and cover with a generous layer of frosting, so that the extra overflows onto the sides. Repeat with the second, third, and fourth cake layers.

To crumb coat the cake: frost the sides of the cake with the residual frosting from the layers and place in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Cover the cake in whatever frosting remains, adding sprinkles if desired. Place back in fridge, removing at least 30 minutes before serving. Can be stored for up to three days.

Alternately, you can bake and freeze the layers – simply wrap tightly in plastic wrap before cool and defrost and frost (ha!) when ready.

Red Velvet Cake | via Midwest Nice Blog

7 thoughts on “Red Velvet Cake

  1. This looks delicious Amanda. I have this cookbook saved on my Amazon wishlist, the recipes in it sound so good.How awesome you got to meet the authors and get yours signed. Happy Valentines Day 🙂

    • You absolutely need to bite the bullet at get this book! It is amazing! I’ll be posting another recipe from it shortly! Stay tuned! Hope your Valentine’s Day was lovely!

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