Valentine’s Day was coming up and although I don’t have “that someone special” my own age, I do have a 12 yr old that I wanted to do something special for. His favorite dessert is Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, so I thought I’d make it Friday night and surprise him with it for breakfast on Saturday.
Well those plans changed when my friends little boy decided that he like my cake so much the week before that he wanted it again for his birthday party, so I put my cake on hold. Actually I told Miles my plans and he thought that it would be nice if we made it together. He’s going to be such a keeper for a lady when he grows up!
As we’re coming home from swim class, Miles took a little tumble crossing the street, ruining his pants and had a pretty big scrape on his knee. I decided to tend to the cake while he “convalesced”. I have to say, that my go to recipe for red velvet is Paula Deen’s Grandmothers’ cake. I’ve made it a few times over the years and it’s consistently turned out well. It’s dense, moist and has a nice balance of chocolate and vanilla.
I do adapt the frosting portion. I go back and forth between using the marshmallow fluff, and I never use coconut. Sometimes, a little butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar, is all you need. For this cake, I used 6-in pans, tossed the extra batter and added melted marshmallows to the frosting (I didn’t have any fluff).
The “patient” was feeling better when it was time to frost the cake, so he helped out. It was fun. I wanted to try a little something different. It was sort of like a pseudo ombre where I basically slathered on red frosting at the bottom, white on the top and them smoothed the edges the best that I could.
As you can see, he was pretty happy with the results.
Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
for the cake
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter , at room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (I use cocoa rouge)
- 2 ounces red food coloring (I just use a few squirts of gel color)
- 2 ½ cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
for the frosting
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 stick butter , softened
- 1 cup marshmallow fluff
- 16 oz (1 box) confectioners' sugar
make the cake
Preheat oven to 350°.
In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter, beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition. Mix cocoa and food coloring together (if you’re using a gel color, add a little water) and then add to sugar mixture; mix well. Sift together flour and salt. Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Blend in vanilla. In a small bowl, combine baking soda and vinegar and add to mixture. Pour batter into 3 (8-inch) round greased and floured pans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from heat and cool completely before frosting.
make the frosting
Blend cream cheese and butter together in a mixing bowl. Add marshmallow fluff and sugar and blend. Spread between layers and on top and sides of cooled cake.
Adapted from Paula Deen