AKA my favourite kind.
I mean, who doesn’t like a slice of birthday cake?
I’m sorry this post is a little late. Try a lot late, actually – my birthday was almost two months ago. There are pros and cons to baking at home. One pro is getting to use Mum’s fancy camera. A con is that between using that camera, not bringing my computer and relying on a certain brother to email me the photos I took meant that I actually had to wait till I went home again to get those photos back.
But look! I made you cake!
Ok, I made me a cake. My mum was worried I’d be psychologically scarred, baking my own birthday cake. Not really. I love baking, I’m picky with my food. I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I like to try new things. Therefore, it made perfect sense for me to make my own birthday cake.
Unfortunately this one didn’t turn out as well as I would have hoped. I’ve wanted to make red velvet cake for a while now and so this seemed like the perfect opportunity (especially since my favourite colour is red. Most of the time).
I think the problem was that I used a teaspoon of baking powder instead of baking soda, although even baking soda would have had a difficult time inflating this cake. Which is especially disappointing considering the fact that I was at the parents’ house, which meant I had access to a stand mixer, and I didn’t utilise it to its full potential.
Ah well. We’ll just have to wait until Christmas, when hopefully I will get one from, uh, Santa. Yes, I still leave milk and cookies out for Santa, and a bucket of water and carrots for the reindeer. Although that may be difficult this year. I hope Santa finds us.
So, cake. Birthday cake. It was yummy anyway, despite its density, and I got to practise decoration (with pink cream cheese icing! yum! and! pretty!)
You should make this cake. Maybe you’ll make it better than I did. Maybe there is actually something wrong with the recipe. Nevertheless, it was pretty good, and especially so because of the cream cheese icing. I love cream cheese icing. Yum.
Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
8 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 tbsp cocoa powder
4 tbps red food colouring (I used 50 ml and it turned out plenty red) mixed with 2 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp distilled white vinegar
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease and flour two nine inch cake pans and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down sides of bowl and add eggs. Beat until well incorporated, scraping down bowl as needed.
Mix cocoa and vanilla with the water and red food colouring, making a thick paste. Add to batter and beat until well incorporated. You will probably want to scrape the bottom of the bowl several times to make sure the colouring is fully mixed through.
With the mixer on low, slowly add half the buttermilk. Add half the flour and salt and mix until incorporated. Repeat, and mix until smooth.
Add the baking soda and vinegar and beat on high speed for a few minutes, until fully incorporated and smooth.
Divide between the two cake pans and tap them against your bench a few times to get rid of air bubbles. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean.
Let cool in the pan for about half an hour, then invert onto a baking rack until cool. You can make the frosting in this time.
To make the cream cheese frosting:
1 1/2 cups butter (about 300g), softened
8 oz (200g) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla extract
4-6 cups icing sugar
2-4 tbsp milk
Cream the cheese in an electric mixer for a few minutes, until smooth. Scrape down the bowl and add the butter, beating until well incorporated and smooth. Add sugar, salt and vanilla, beating until incorporated.
Turn off the mixer and add 2 cups icing sugar. Mix on low, adding more icing sugar and milk until you get your desired consistency.
Wait until completely cool before frosting your cake.