Red Velvet comes with such a reputation. It’s like the Southern belle: fashionable, graceful and flirtatious. The history of the red velvet cake is fascinating. From its alleged birth at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, and its rumoured double life as an undercover agent to promote food colouring to its guest appearance on Steel Magnolias.
For me, the cake itself is just meh. Quite bland. Like a chocolate cake wannabe that just couldn’t quite make it. BUT combined with that cream cheese frosting… it well, takes the cake.
I have researched all the red velvet recipes claiming to be the best. I have taken note of all the tips like using oil and not butter. On the field, I have eaten a lot of cakes purporting to be red velvet but always, always, always the bakeries scrooge on the cream cheese. Fail. One popular coffee outlet even had coconut shavings on the frosting. God, I do hate coconut shavings.
Rant over 🙂
I am not too mad about the red food colouring. Some recipes called for almost a bottle of the stuff! Absolutely insane. Anyway, I put in as much as I dared. A tablespoon or two so people didn’t mistake it for some tasteless chocolate cake.
The recipe… In the early days, I used, the southern belle herself, Paula Deen’s Red Velvet Cupcake recipe (with some minor adjustments) which turned out great the first few times but I don’t know what happened; as of late, it hasn’t quite turned out the same. So I switched to her Red Velvet CAKE recipe instead as per some commenter’s advice. It will do. It’s not about the cake anyway.
It’s about THE FROSTING. I do have to say that although this frosting is just gorgeous, it does veer towards the overly sweet. I know the consistency depends on the icing sugar but I think in future, I will use less sugar and more cream cheese or butter. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve received no complaints. On the contrary, everyone loves this frosting (I also use it on my carrot cupcakes) but I think I would prefer it less sweet. Maybe I’ve lost my sweet tooth.
The verdict: Decadent cream cheese frosting I could eat straight out of the piping bag.
So what if I have? Don’t judge me. Try this recipe. You would too.
And the cake’s not too bad either. It’s the ideal sidekick.