Red velvet cake is as American as a cake can get. Fluffy, moist and dramatic. Traditionally a chocolate cake, with a significant amount of food colouring, it’s a bright feather-like treat that looks SO fancy. We have had quite a lot of chocolate cake lately, so I came up with a vanilla version of red velvet. Which then went bright pink. Totally fine, let’s all chill out when food colouring goes fantastically wrong. I used natural red food colouring and it unexpectedly turned out bright pink in the batter, and light red/pink after baking. Not be quite the red velvet cake I had in mind, but much more fun in the end. More celebratory. I went for the traditional cream cheese icing; it melts in the mouth and really makes it the most comforting food you can get. And I definitely rather eat pink than red.
175g salted butter
175g golden caster sugar
175g self-raising flour
3 free-range eggs
1/2 tsp red food colouring
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
150g cream cheese
200g icing sugar
1/3 tsp vanilla extract
1. Heat the oven to 175C. Grease and line two deep 18cm cake tins. Cream the butter and sugar together until white and fluffy.
2. Add the eggs, as well as one spoon of your measured flour to stop mix from curdling, and beat. Add the food colouring and the vanilla and mix well.
3. Fold in the rest of the flour with a wooden spoon.
4. Divide the mixture between the cake tins and gently spread out with a spatula. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden-brown on top and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
5. Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes, then remove from the tin and peel off the paper. Place onto a wire rack.
Cream cheese icing
1. Beat the icing sugar, vanilla extract and butter together with an electric mixer on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
2. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed.
3. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 2 minutes. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.
4. Place one layer of cake onto a plate or platter. Spread the top with a generous layer of frosting and top with the second cake. Frost the top of the cake and use a spatula to create swirls in the frosting .