Last year my friend Shameka told me that she loved red velvet cake. So for her birthday, I decided to make one. It had been awhile since I’d attempted a red velvet cake and I wasn’t quite sure how it would go. Ultimately, it went really well until I went to take the cake out of the pans. Instead of being perfect and moist, the cakes fell apart completely. They weren’t dry and they weren’t too moist. Instead they were simply a mess.
That day, I turned the cake into a trifle, but I was still super bummed about it. For her birthday this year, I decided to try again. Instead of searching the internet for the perfect red velvet cake, I decided to take it offline. I had bought the Layered baking book forever ago and decided to try it out. Most of the recipes in the book are for six inch cakes so I did have to buy some supplies. Regardless, the cake was actually pretty easy to make. I honestly ended up loving this cake. At first I really wasn’t sure. While it didn’t fall apart, I was simply hesitant about how it would taste since I wasn’t using cream cheese.
We tried it the next day though and I had to say…it was SO delicious! This cake was perfectly light and fluffy. It is a relatively small cake even though it’s six layers, but I would totally make it again. More importantly…I want to try all of the other recipes!
What you need:
For the cake:
1 ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (don’t forget that you’ll want a little more for your pans)
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup grapeseed oil
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons red gel food coloring (I didn’t have quite this much and it was fine)
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
For the frosting:
1 cup milk
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and flour three six-inch cake pans and set aside. I had to buy six inch pans because I didn’t have any and know from experience that it doesn’t quite work out the same when you use 8 inch pans instead.
2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder and set aside.
3. In the bowl of a mixer – I used my Kitchen Aid – use the paddle attachment to beat together the oil and sugar on medium until it’s combined. Adjust to medium-low and add in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and the food coloring. Once combined, scrape down the sides.
4. Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mix in alternating batches with the buttermilk. You’ll want to begin and end with the flour mixture. Stop the mixer once the flour streaks dissipate.
5. In a small bowl, whisk together the baking soda and vinegar. Once mixed, add into the larger mix and whisk again for 30 seconds.
6. Evenly divide the mix between the cake pans. Bake for 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remember to let the cakes cool for about 15 minutes before removing them from their pans.
7. While the cakes cool, begin making the frosting. In a small saucepan, whisk the milk and flour until all lumps are removed. Be sure to stir with a wooden spoon. Cook over medium heat until thick and pasty. Remove from heat and allow to cool in the refrigerator.
8. Once the mix has chilled, mix butter and sugar on medium high for about 2-4 minutes using the paddle attachment on the Kitchen Aid. Add in the flour mixture and vanilla. Beat on medium until the frosting is light and fluffy.
9. Once the cakes have cooled all the way, halve them. You’re ultimately creating six layers here. Alternate the cake and icing. You’ll also want to create a crumb layer on the outside. Stick the cake in the fridge for about 10 minutes before applying the final layer of icing.
10. Decorate as desired. Serve and enjoy!!