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Red Velvet Cake

This is a very dramatic looking cake with its unusual bright red color that is sharply contrasted by a creamy white frosting. Its origins are not really known as both the deep south and far north claim it as part of their heritage. Its deep red color really is just a traditional "Devil's Food Cake," with red food coloring added to the mix. Whatever its color, the truth is it is a very moist cake and a long time favorite.


Cake Ingredients

2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons liquid red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

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Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 - 8 ounce cream cheese, room temperature
1 - 8 ounce tub of Mascarpone cheese, room temperature (Trader Joe's)
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners' (icing or powdered) sugar, sifted

Cake Preparation


To begin:


Step 1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter two - 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Set aside.


Step 2

Red Velvet Cake: In a mixing bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.


Step 3

In bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.



Step 4

In a measuring cup whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.


Step 5

In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter.


Step 6

Working quickly, divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.


Step 7

Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, lifting off the pan. Once the cakes have completely cooled, wrap in plastic and place the cake layers in the freezer for at least an hour. (This is done to make filling and frosting the cakes easier.)

 
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