I really like keeping promises that I make, and I made a promise a couple days ago that I would share this cake recipe soon, so here I am, keeping my promise. I’m pretty nice like that. Most days. Let’s have a chat about this cake. First of all, Velvet Cake. Why am I calling it Velvet Cake? Well, you see, normally one might call it Red Velvet Cake. However, this is one of my wonderful Grandmother’s recipes and she was not a food dye person. I don’t know that she ever made this cake using red food coloring, so it always turned out light brown. For as long as I, and my mom and her siblings, can remember, this cake has always been Red Velvet Cake without the Red. I decided to call it just Velvet Cake. My cousins call it Taupe Velvet Cake.
If you want to make it red, by all means, make it red. It will be beautiful. Just start with a 1/4 teaspoon of red food coloring and continue adding until it’s the color you want. Just don’t have a heart attack when you have to use an entire cup full to get it the color you want.
I’m kidding. It doesn’t take a cup. But all (or all that I know about) Red Velvet Cake’s have red dye, which is not good for you, so just join the cool side and make it Velvet. (in the future I may play around with beet juice and see what happens)
Enough about dye. Let’s talk about the flavor and consistency of this cake. Ah-may-zing. The flavor is rich and sweet with a hint of chocolate. The consistency is wonderfully moist. Melt in your mouth moist. Die and go to heaven moist. It’s also slightly dense, not a real light and fluffy cake, but not real heavy either. Really, honestly, it’s just perfect. I’m not joking.
Now let’s talk frosting. Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting. Does it get better than that? I submit that it does not. I love cream cheese frosting and I love buttercream frosting. The combination of the two is angelic. Plus, the amount of cream cheese is totally not overwhelming, thick, and dense, like many cream cheese frosting’s are. It’s rich, smooth, and creamy, with a slight zing. I love it. I could eat the entire bowl (but I might pass out).
Really, in all reality, this cake is superior. Amazing. Delicious. Impressive. Most of the time I make it in a cake pan, 9×13 or 10×15, but this time I made it in round pans for more visual appeal. It can also be made into cupcakes. Your choice. If you do happen to use round pans, my friend Leia taught me a trick to keep any cake nice and moist. Remove from the oven, gently remove the cake from the pan, transfer onto a foil covered piece of cardboard the size of the cake, and tightly wrap plastic wrap around the cake (without smashing it). Immediately place in the freezer. The steam from the hot cake gets trapped back into the cake because of the plastic wrap. Thus creating a wonderfully moist cake that is easy to frost because it is frozen. The baker who made my wedding cake did the same thing, so I know it’s legit.
However size you make it, whatever you decide to call it, just try this incredible cake at your next party, celebration, or just for dessert tonight because you can. If you dye it red, it would be beautiful for a Valentine’s Day cake. Enjoy!
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 tsp. cocoa
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ cups oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. vinegar
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
- 1 lb. powdered sugar (about 3¾-4 cups)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
- In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, salt and baking powder.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and oil. Add the oil mixture to the flour mixture and beat to combine until smooth.
- Turn the speed on the mixer down and add the buttermilk, vanilla, and vinegar. Mix well to combine completely. Pour into a greased baking pan: 9x13, 10x15x2, two 9 inch rounds, or cupcake tins.
- Bake into a preheated oven at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cupcakes will cook more quickly, about 15 minutes, while the other baking pans may take between 20-25 minutes depending on the size and your oven. Just watch carefully after about 20 minutes so you don't overcook the cake.
- For the frosting:
- Beat together the cream cheese and butter until very light and fluffy, about 2 or 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except pecans, and beat until smooth, creamy, and fluffy. Stir in the pecans and frost on a completely cooled cake.