Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Cake Slice Bakers Present....Red Velvet Cake!

Yes....more red velvet. But this time in cake form. The recipe comes from Nancie McDermott's cookbook, "Southern Cakes". I think I like this recipe the best out of all I've made so far...not so much oil, but yet moist and with the benefit of the traditional vinegar and soda at the end. I baked it with a pan of water in the oven, as I really think that helps add moistness to a cake.

The other upside to this cake is the frosting, a switch from cream cheese, but also very traditional to Red Velvet. It's a Boiled Milk frosting, and it's one of my favorites (This frosting makes a very good vanilla filling inside cupcakes BTW). With the addition of pecans and coconuts, it's stellar good.

I decorated this cake with fondant, and royal icing stencils because I needed the practice for an upcoming cake. I tried stenciling with the phone in the crook of my neck....so perhaps I would've done a better job otherwise. LOL!

Red Velvet Cake
(Recipe from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott)

For the Red Velvet Cake
2½ cups all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk (see note below)
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp red food colouring
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1½ tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cider vinegar or white vinegar

For the Coconut Pecan Icing
1 cup milk
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
Method – Red Velvet Cake
To make the cake, heat the oven to 350F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line them with waxed paper to kitchen parchment. Grease the paper and flour the pans.

Prepare three separate mixtures for the batter. Combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl and use a fork to mix them together well. Combine the cocoa powder and the red food colouring in a small bowl, mashing and stirring them together to make a thick smooth paste.

In a large bowl, beat the butter with a mixer at low speed for 1 minute until creamy and soft. Add the sugar and then beat well for 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape down the bowl now and then. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each one until the mixture is creamy, fluffy and smooth. Scrape the cocoa-food colouring paste into the batter and beat to mix it in evenly.

Add a third of the flour mixture and then about half the milk, beating the batter with a mixer at low speed. Mix only enough to make the flour or liquid disappear into the batter. Mix in another third of the flour, the rest of the milk and then the last of the flour in the same way.

In a small bowl, combine the baking soda and vinegar and stir well. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to quickly mix this last mixture into the red batter, folding it in gently by hand. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes until the layers are spring back when touched lightly in the centre and are just beginning to pull away from the sides of the pans.

Cool the cakes in the pans on wire racks or folded kitchen towels for 15 minutes. Then turn them out onto the racks, remove the paper and turn top side up again to cool completely.

Method – Coconut Pecan Icing
Combine the milk and flour in a small or medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking or stirring often until the mixture thickens almost to a paste, around 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and scrape it into a small bowl to cool completely.

Meanwhile, beat the butter with a mixture at high speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar in thirds, beating well eacg time until the mixture is creamy and fairly smooth. Add the cooled milk and flour mixture and beat for 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down the sides now and then to combine everything well. Using a large spoon or spatula, stir im the vanilla, coconut and pecans, mixing to combine everything well into a thick, fluffy, nubbly icing.

To Assemble
Place one cake layer top side down on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread a third of the icing on top. Place the second layer, top side up, on top. Frost the sides and then the top of the cake with the remaining icing. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to help the icing set.

NOTE: If you can’t find buttermilk, stir 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar into 1 cup of milk and leave to stand for 10 minutes before using.


  1. I am totally impressed with what you have done. It's a fabulous looking Red Velvet Cake. Great job!

  2. Wow! your cake looks amazing! I wish I had your mad decorating skills!

  3. Your cake looks so soft and fluffy and I love how you decorated it. The best looking rred velvet cake i've seen!

  4. Your cake is so lovely!! I must have done something wrong to the frosting; it just tasted like butter and sugar creamed together!

  5. Wow! That is one spectacular cake. No words to describe it! :D

  6. What beautiful decoration! I love it when you slice into decorated cake to find perfect layers of red velvet cake and frosting.

  7. What a beautiful cake- you did an awesome job!