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Red Velvet Cake

June 18, 2010

Last weekend was the season premiere of True Blood.* I am a fan of True Blood.* Some of my girlfriends are fans of True Blood.* We have been waiting anxiously for the third season of True Blood to come on since very shortly after season two ended.

In honor of the premiere of the third season, I invited said girlfriends over for dinner and some quality time together. The evening’s menu included a slew of homemade goodies starting with a BLT bar, washed down with melon drinks and topped off with Red Velvet Cupcakes.

Naked Red Velvet Cupcakes: Frosting will cover up the ugly

The BLT bar was composed of several of my favorite foods, including bacon, fried shrimp,** pimento cheese, Chiqui’s Creole Cream Cheese, lettuce, avocados, tomatoes and a couple of choices of bread. I even went so far in my gleeful cooking spree as to make my own mayonnaise again. My melon drinks were cantaloupe daiquiris flavored with mint and basil, and watermelon juice slushies. Both were good, but I think I favored the cantaloupe daiquiris a wee bit more than the watermelon slushies.

Anyhow… The piece de resistance were the cupcakes.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.

And yes. It was a very deliberate decision on my part to make Red Velvet Cupcakes.

Red Velvet Cupcakes: Cream cheese frosting makes 'em purty

Holy moly… I am not afraid to say these were awesome. In fact, after enjoying one, a friend’s comment was, essentially, “Wow. That was good. But… Hmm… It was… uhh… kind of small… Yeah. That’s it. It was small. I think I should have another one.”

Quite frankly, that is about the best kind of compliment in my books.

Dinner was good. True Blood* was great. Time with my friends was fabulous.

Now time for me to get up on my soapbox.

I’ve made Red Velvet Cake before. In fact, several years ago, I was on a mission to find the perfect Red Velvet Cake recipe. The first one I tried was made with canola oil. Bleh!

Whoever thinks Red Velvet Cake should be made with canola oil really needs to reconsider their choices. Canola oil makes the cake smell and taste like Play Dough. I don’t care how much fun Play Dough is, none of my foods should ever smell and/or taste like it.

If you’re going to make Red Velvet Cake, then use butter. Not canola oil. I’m not sure if vegetable oil would make a difference, but I don’t care. Butter, people. You make Red Velvet Cake with butter. Not canola oil.

Okay? Got it? Butter. Butter. Butter.

Okay. I’ll get off the soapbox now. But only so long as someone doesn’t try to convince me that, no, really, Red Velvet Cake can be made with canola oil. I won’t listen.

(all right. fine. maybe i was a bit traumatized by my experience. what of it? butter is better. just ask paula deen.)

If you’d like to make a proper Red Velvet Cake, I highly recommend the following recipe from The South The Beautiful Cookbook.

* Read “Eric Northman.”
** More on the fried shrimp in the near future.

Red Velvet Cake
(from The South The Beautiful Cookbook)

2 ½ cups sifted, unleavened cake flour
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar 2 eggs, room temperature
1 egg yolk, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
2 fluid ounces red food coloring
3 tablespoons lukewarm water
1 cup low-fat buttermilk, room temperature
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare your baking pans. This recipe makes two, 9-inch layers or about 30 cupcakes.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa and baking powder. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and egg yolk one at a time. Add the vanilla and salt. Then add the red food coloring and the lukewarm water. Be sure you keep scraping down the sides as is mix in the ingredients.

Using the lowest speed on the mixers, beat in the flour mixture alternating with the buttermilk for in four parts – ending with buttermilk and blending very well.

In a glass measuring cup, dissolve the baking soda in the apple cider vinegar. Pour into the batter. Beat just until mixed in well.

Put batter into the cake pans or cupcake tins. Two 9-inch cakes will take about 25-30 minutes to bake. A 12 cupcake tin will take about 15 minutes.

Frost with cream cheese frosting. I used the same recipe I used recently on my carrot cake. The only difference being that I used fresh lemon juice instead of orange juice.

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. Bridg permalink
    June 19, 2010 9:43 am

    Mmmm, looks great! Sorry I missed the party, it must have slipped off my radar. Not only have I lost my social calendar,I’ve apparently lost all domestic baking capabilities.

    I have managed to crisply burn store bought bake n’ break choco chip cookies.

    • June 19, 2010 9:45 am

      Blame the cookies. That’s my philosophy. And don’t you worry, you’ll soon be getting an invite for another little food-focused soiree. =)

  2. Mom permalink
    June 19, 2010 10:03 am

    Honey, I think that Paula Deen said it bet “Butter is good in Everything”. I think that she said that if your baking with Butter its not fatting or anything like that. So when you gonna make it for me????

    • June 20, 2010 9:20 am

      The list of goodies to make when I’m home next is pretty long. We’ll have to have random drawing or vote or something. =)

  3. Mary Lou Johnson permalink
    June 19, 2010 2:18 pm

    Your phots look just as good as the Taste of Home magazine, I was reading the other day how they took such pains taking the pictures for their magazine. So, see you can do just as good as them!!

    I am sure the red velevet cup cakes were good too.

    Love, You, Grandma

    • June 20, 2010 9:21 am

      For the record, I did not pay my grandma to say this. But I might. =)

  4. June 21, 2010 7:45 am

    I love the color, and the frosting looks delicious! Could I have one (or two) for breakfast?

  5. June 21, 2010 7:53 am

    I’m with you on canola oil. Double that bleh. I made RV cupcakes awhile back, and used the recipe from Baked, but like the sound of yours a bit better because I see that there’s apple cider vinegar listed, and I love using apple cider vinegar with chocolate cakes. Very Southern. Very yum.

  6. June 23, 2010 12:57 pm

    I love how you put the frosting on the red velvet cakes, it looks so pretty. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t/couldn’t have stopped at one either!

    Thanks for the recipe!

  7. cupcake maniac permalink
    August 19, 2010 7:16 pm

    I only have about an ounce and a half food colouring, maybe less. Would my cupcakes still turn out red enough?

    BTW, your cupcakes look delicous :)

    • August 20, 2010 7:33 am

      They should be just about that red. Good luck and enjoy! You’ll have to tell me how they turn out.

  8. September 2, 2010 6:22 pm

    My wife makes one of the best Red Velvet cakes I’ve ever had. She also uses a simple butter cream frosting and it all goes so well together. I’ll post that recipe on my blog one of these days….

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