Best Red Velvet Cake

For as long as I can remember, this was the cake my mom made for my birthday. Then one year it became tradition for her to make two of these cakes on my birthday (it goes over so well that there was never any leftover), and so one cake was served at my birthday party and the other cake I got to take home and eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner until it was gone. Now that I live across the country from my family, it falls upon me to make my own birthday cake. (BF did say he would try his hand at it if I wanted him to…)

This year I made the cake with a bit of a twist. Two layers of frosting — the traditional cooked frosting as a filling and outer layer topped with chocolate buttercream (which looks way prettier than cooked frosting).

cake ingredients.

  • 1 c. shortening
  • 3 c. sugar
  • 4 jumbo-sized eggs
  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate squares
  • 4 bottles red food coloring
  • 5 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

cake directions.

  1. Cream shortening, eggs, and sugar. Melt chocolate and add food coloring and chocolate. Sift flour and salt. Add baking soda to buttermilk. Add buttermilk and flour mixtures alternately to creamed mixtures. Add vanilla, mix well.
  2. Grease the bottom of three 8″ round cake pans (or three 8×8″ square cake pans). Line bottoms of pan with wax paper or parchment paper and grease paper before filling with cake batter.
  3. Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Frost with Cooked Frosting.

To make the cake pretty looking, I frosted it a second time after I had completely chilled the cooked frosting frosted cake using my favorite chocolate buttercream frosting. I was going to use a pastry bag to add some decorative piping around the border of the cake but was too tired by the time I finished frosting.

chocolate buttercream frosting ingredients.

  • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 extra-large egg yolks at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 5 or 6 c. sifted powder sugar
  • 4 sticks of butter at room temperature

chocolate buttercream frosting directions.

  1. Melt chocolate in a heat proof bowl in a simmering pan of water. Stir until just melted and set aside. Cool to room temperature.
  2. Beat butter on medium high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add egg yolk and vanilla. Beat 3 more minutes.
  4. Turn mixture to low and gradually add powder sugar.
  5. Beat at medium speed until smooth and creamy.
  6. On low-speed, add the chocolate to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don’t whip!
  7. Spread immediately on the cooled cake.

As expected, this cake went over very well with everyone.  Very, very well. Especially with BF’s Bro, who according to BF’s Bro’s Wife, is a picky cake eater. Score!

Recipe rating: 

1 Comment

  1. Reblogged this on Le Food Snob and commented:

    It’s my birthday week, Day 5, AKA my actual birthday. Every year on my birthday, I must have red velvet cake. It’s a tradition that goes back many, many years. I made a six-layer eight-inch round cake and brought most of it to work this morning. Most people get in around 6 am. The cake was 95% gone by 7 am. There were many disappointed folk. I guess next year I’ll have to make several cakes.
    The thing with red velvet cake is it can dry out more easily than other cakes, in my opinion. Others agree with me. You have to watch this cake like a hawk when it’s baking. You’ll want bits of cake clinging to the toothpick when you’re testing it – that’s when it’s done. If your toothpick is clean, it’s overdone.
    Don’t worry if you do overbake it. You can mitigate this by cutting your layers into very thin layers and spreading with a generous amount of frosting/filling.
    Lastly, the cooked frosting can be tricky. More often than not it turns out a bit runny, which is never good when trying to frost a cake. To fix this, I decreased the milk by half, and left the remaining ingredients the same. It completely worked.


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