I have to admit that red velvet cake isn’t one of my favorite, but it’s one of the prettiest cakes! Am I right?? =) Don’t get me wrong, I do like red velvet cake and I usually try to make something red velvet around Valentine’s Day (which is quickly approaching!). It has a unique flavor that is hard to describe. It does have a hint of cocoa powder but doesn’t really taste like chocolate. In the past I’ve made pancakes, cupcakes, and a red velvet cheesecake cake that never made it to the blog (sad!). This year I bring you a traditional Red Velvet Cake…but smaller! I used 6-inch cake pans here, which gives you roughly the equivalent of half a 9-inch layer cake. Trust me, you will still have enough cake for everyone…or ~8 people at least ;). Enjoy!
Red Velvet Layer Cake (6 inch)
for the cake:
1-1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs, room temperature and separated
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp distilled white vinegar
liquid or gel red food coloring
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
for the cream cheese frosting:
8 ounces full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature5
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 6×2 inch cake pans with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside. In bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter on high speed until smooth and creamy, about a minute. Add the sugar and beat until well combined, about 1-2 minutes. Add the oil and beat for another 1-2 minutes.
3. Add the egg yolks and vanilla. Beat until combined. Add in the vinegar and food coloring (until you reach your desired color).
4. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mixing each addition just until incorporated. Do not overmix.
5. Vigorously whisk or beat the 2 egg whites until thick and foamy, a couple minutes. Fold into cake batter with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. The batter will be silky and slightly thick.
6. Divide batter evenly between cake pans. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow cakes to cool in the pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely.
7. Make the frosting: In bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of cream. Beat for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and 1 more Tablespoon cream if needed to thin out. Beat on high for 2 full minutes.
8. Assemble and frost: First, using a large serrated knife, slice a thin layer off the tops of the cakes to create a flat surface. Set these thin pieces of cake aside. Place 1 cake layer on your cake stand or serving plate. Evenly cover the top with frosting. Top with 2nd layer and spread remaining frosting all over the top and sides. Crumble the thin pieces of cake you sliced off in a large bowl. Decorate the sides and top edges of the cake with these crumbs.
*barely adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction