If anyone has ever watched Cake Boss, or The Next Great Baker, then you will know who Buddy Valstro is, and what Red Velvet cake is. He is an amazing and hugely successful baker from New Jersey who runs a family baking business. One of his most popular cakes is his red velvet cake. Here in the UK it is not a well known cake at all. Most people have never even heard of a Red Velvet cake, let alone tried one so whenever they have mentioned it on the show I have been a little intrigued to say the least.
A couple of months ago at a restaurant hubby and I tried our first ever slice of red velvet cake, and Oh My God it tasted amazing! Right then and there we vowed that we would try and make it at home. But you know how it is, life gets busy. I had looked up a few recipes online and it seemed a little complicated so it got put on the back burner. I hadn’t watched any of his programmes for ages, but caught an episode recently and thought ooooh, red velvet, hmmmm and decided to give it a try.
I found quite a few different versions of the recipe online but thought my best bet was probably to go with the recipe of Buddy Valastro himself, which I found here.
One slight problem is that his measurements are all in American measures, cups, which leaves me a little blank. So with a little help from hubby and this handy conversion site, I converted the ingredients into more familiar measurements, which are as follows:
315g Plain Flour
25g Cocoa Powder (I use Green & Blacks)
½ tsp Salt
115g Unsalted Butter
300g Normal Sugar
2 Large Eggs
Strong red food colouring (more on this later)
1 tsp Vanilla extract
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Bicarbonate Soda
It is worth mentioning a couple of things at this point.
1 – The food colouring, the first time I used a tube of Dr Oetker red gel food colouring, as it was what we had and I had seen it recommended on a few websites, but honestly the cake was more of a chocolate brown than red. The second time I used 1/2 a pot of gel food colouring which I got at my local Hobbycraft shop. The brand is Wilton and it is called icing colouring. Much better result though like I say I did use half a pot of it and it is strong stuff! I don’t think that normal liquid food colouring that we have in the UK is strong enough to make the cake red after baking it.
2 – The recipe calls for distilled white vinegar, but I couldn’t find that so bought white wine vinegar which works fine
3 – Buddy’s recipe uses baking soda, which is an American term, I used Baking Powder the first time, without really thinking, and the cake turned out way too dense! So I used Bicarbonate soda the second time and it was light and fluffy, so definitely use Bicarbonate soda.
Preheat the oven to 170°. Grease 2 sandwich tins, ours are 8″ I think and they worked fine. Line the bottom of the tins with greaseproof paper.
Sift the flour, cocoa and salt into a bowl.
In a larger bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the butter at a low temperature until creamy.
Add Sugar and blend on a medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each.
Add the food colouring and vanilla .
On a low speed, beat in the flour mixture in thirds, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mix. So 1/3 flour, 1/2 buttermilk, 1/3 flour, 1/2 buttermilk, 1/3 flour. Mixing well in between each.
In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar and bicarbonate soda. Stir into batter.
Divide the batter between the tins and spread evenly.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. The recipe says 25-30 mins, it took nearer to 40 mins in my oven, though I would check it at around 25 mins.
Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and turn onto racks. Remove the paper and flip cakes.
Here are the pictures of my cakes, the first one, with the baking powder, just didn’t rise and was really dense. It was also much browner. The second time with the bicarb and better food colouring, it rose much better and was a much better colour.
Now for the yummy Cream Cheese Frosting
450g Full Fat Cream Cheese
115g Unsalted Butter
400g Icing Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Pinch of salt
Beat the cream cheese and butter at a medium speed until smooth.
Add Sugar, vanilla and Salt. Stir the icing sugar in a bit before beating, to avoid sugar clouds, then beat on a low speed to start, and then a medium0high speed until the mixture is fluffy.
Once the cakes have completely cooled, cut each layer in half using a serrated knife. (Buddy’s recipe mentioned freezing them but I didn’t have room in our freezer so didn’t do that). Use the frosting between each layer. Roughly frost cake all over once, then put it in the fridge for 20 minutes, before continuing frosting with another layer. I’m not that good with the frosting but this definitely helped! Use some of the crumbs from the tins as decoration et oila!
The first cake I made still tasted fine but the second one was muuuch better. Hubby says it’s his favourite cake in the whole world, and Monkey loves it too. It is really sweet though so you don’t need big slices of it.
Maybe if you did Freeze it as Buddy’s recipe suggests, you may get less crumbs in the frosting layers? I have no idea though may be worth a try. Happy baking!