SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - This is my favorite time of year because I get to make one of my favorite cakes: red velvet. I have made this cake for years and I am always amazed that so many people in Southern California have never heard of it, let alone had it.
So I have decided that as my holiday offering I will share this recipe with you! The first time I tried this cake I was so taken with how it looked once cut. The rich red interior is absolutely mesmerizing with the rich cream cheese frosting and toasted pecans, or walnuts, depending on what part of the south you are from.
I must warn you, once you make this cake prepare to be bombarded with requests for it at every function or special occasion. It really is that good! So if you really want to impress your guests, trot this beauty out after your holiday dinner and watch the mouths just drop and all eyes fix on this culinary delight. Enjoy!
3 cups cake flour
4 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
2 sticks butter, at room temperature (r/t)
3 large eggs, r/t
1 1/4 cup buttermilk, r/t
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 bottle of red food coloring
3 8- or 9-inch round cake pans
Parchment paper cut to fit bottom of cake pans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease or butter and flour cake pans and line the bottoms of pans with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time and make sure to mix completely after adding each egg. add food coloring, vinegar and vanilla.
Using a standing mixer on medium low speed, mix the dry ingredients and buttermilk alternately into the butter-sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour a little at a time until just combined and batter is smooth with no lumps.
Divide cake batter evenly between the three prepared cake pans. Bake in 350 degree preheated oven (make sure to place the pans in the oven evenly spaced apart). Halfway through the cooking time, rotate the pans to ensure cakes bake evenly. Cakes are done when they pull away from the side of the pans and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes.
Remove the cakes from the oven and run a knife around the edges to loosen them from the sides of the pans. Let cool in pans for 5 to 7 minutes. One at a time, turn the cakes out on to a plate and then re-invert them onto a cooling rack, top sides up. Let cool completely.
Frost the cake. Place the first layer, rounded-side down; in the middle of a cake platter or large plate. Using a spatula, spread some of the cream cheese frosting over the top of the cake. (Spread enough frosting to make a 1/4- to 1/2-inch layer.) Carefully set another layer on top, rounded-side down, and repeat. Top with the remaining layer bottom side up and cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting. Sprinkle the top with the pecans if desired.
Cream Cheese Frosting
2 sticks butter, softened
16 oz cream cheese
4 cups powdered sugar (about 1 box)
1 tsp vanilla
4 tsp milk
1 cup coarse chopped pecans (optional)
In a mixing bowl cream together butter, cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla and milk. Frosting should be thick but spreadable (if frosting is too stiff add a few drops of milk; if too wet then add a little more powdered sugar). Chill for 20 minutes or so to firm it up a bit to make spreading easier.
Add nuts to sides of cake after it has been frosted (it is very important to do this while the frosting is somewhat soft so the nuts will stick). Chill in fridge until ready to serve. Take out 15 minutes before you plan to serve. Store any leftover cake in an airtight container in the fridge.
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