Sunday, February 14, 2010

Red Velvet Cake on Valentine's Day

Today is valentine's day and also sunday. I am now busy making the red velvet cake for my darling. I wanted to make red velvet cake last year and did not have a chance to do. I searched a few recipes online last time. I chose the recipe from The Way The Cookie Crumble blog, who adapted it from Apple a Day. She did the comparison among the different red velvet recipes and that was great. I use the half recipe and heart shape baking tin to bake as there are only two of us.

I found the similar recipe on According to the people's comments on, I made some changes to this recipe. I added one more tablespoon of cocoa powder, changed baking soda to baking powder and reduced the salt to 1/2 teaspoon as some said their cake is too salty. I don't want to contain too much food coloring, so I reduced red food coloring to 1 tablespoon and the cake is quite red. I don't have buttermilk so I made buttermilk by one tablespoon lime juice or lemon juice plus one cup milk  minus one tablespoon milk. I also added 1 cup sour cream as some said the cake is dry and I have sour cream at home. The original baking time is 30 minutes and the middle of cake was not done yet. So, I extended the baking time to 45 minutes.

My darling said the cake is good, seems like the modified recipe works. The texture of the cake is more on dense side.

The decoration was a mess. I first thought of doing sample and ended up doing orchid design from serious cakes, youtube. The purple color was not strong enough and I didn't manage to make two color like her. Moreover, I did not practice orchid on cake board and directly drew orchid, Wilton Tip #104, on the cake as my darling was waiting me for dinner. I first time used Wilton Tip #352 for leave and it did not turn out well.The yellow color whipped cream I added in the middle of orchid made it even worse.  Mine is not butter cream so difficult to spread the yellow to the petals using brush. In the end, I added stems, Wilton Tip #352, to look better. The final product is a joke compared to the decoration from serious cakes. I realized I need to practice more on decoration.

I made my own version of frosting as I don't want to include icing sugar in my frosting. I usually use whipped cream as frosting. But this time, cream cheese matches well with red velvet cake. So I combined cream cheese and whipped cream for frosting the cake. This frosting is yummy. For decoration, I used the whipped cream, 1 cup non dairy whip cream plus 1 tsp meringue powder.

2½ cups cake flour
1½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoon cocoa powder {origin: 1 tablespoon}
1/2 teaspoon salt {origin: 1 teaspoon}
2 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil {origin: 1½ cups}
1 cup sour cream {origin: omit}
1 cup milk - 1 tablespoon milk + 1 tablespoon lemon juice/lime juice{origin:1 cup buttermilk}
1 tablespoon (1/2 oz.) red food coloring {origin: 2 tablespoons}
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar

16 ounces cream cheese, softened
100 - 200g sugar (less sweet to medium sweet)
1 1/2 cup non dairy whip cream
1 1/2 tsp meringue powder

1. For the cake: Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa, and salt into a medium bowl.
3. Beat eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
4. Divide batter evenly between 3 greased and floured 8″ round cake pans.
5. Bake cakes, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, 45 minutes. Let cakes cool 5 minutes, then invert each onto a plate, then invert again onto a cooling rack. Let cakes cool completely.

1. Whisk the whip cream and meringue powder until stiff .
2. Beat cream cheese and sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes.
3. Combine the half of whipped cream and cream cheese mixture well.

1. Put one cake layer on a cake board/ plate, level off with a serrated knife, and spread one-quarter of the frosting on top.
2. Set another layer on top, level, and repeat frosting. Set remaining layer on top, level, and frost top and sides with the remaining frosting.
3. Press pecans into the sides of the cake, if desired.
4. Chill for 2 hours to set frosting.

Note: After leveling cake, turn it upside down to reduce numbers of crumbs. I also did a crumb coat on the outside, let it set in the fridge for ten minutes, then finished with remaining frosting.


  1. Even though your decoration seems to be a bit messy, but it's still okay for me. your first time doing without practice mah. I am sure you can do better and better in future.

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