Such a beautiful classic, this red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting is one of those showstopping bakes that is sure to please. I’ve had this red velvet cake recipe for years and have actually never made another one ever since perfecting it. It’s the softest cake I have ever made, super moist, extra velvety, incredibly fluffy and just delicious!
My version of this beauty is made with a mixture of melted butter and oil, buttermilk and sour cream. People often have a sort of misconception for red velvet, not knowing what it is exactly and my explanation for it is ‘a cocoa kissed vanilla cake with a slight tang’. That is the flavour and texture wise, it’s the silkiest, smoothest, creamiest cake that is stick-to-your-fork moist and just glides across your tongue.
The slight tang comes from the addition of buttermilk as well as white vinegar that is mixed with baking soda to create a reaction making bubbles that makes the cake rise. The sourness blends with the remaining ingredients of the cake and along with the addition of a little cocoa, creates a perfectly balanced flavour as well as that iconic velvety crumb texture.
Since red velvet is known to be super moist, many recipes contain alot of oil in them which you would think makes the cake really moist but I find that it not only makes them a bit hard, they also end up having a kind of fried oil flavour which isn’t so pleasant. To remedy that, I used a mixture of oil and melted butter because, butter, you need that flavour right especially in this cake, as well as subbing the rest of the oil that I reduced with sour cream. Sour cream makes the cakes so light and moist, I love it!
The buttermilk is the most crucial ingredient in red velvet cakes. I know that it can be hard to find in some places but in all honesty it is the one ingredient I don’t recommend substituting. I HAVE added a substitute though for those who can’t get it but whenever I make this cake with the substitute and then I make it with actual buttermilk, I swear it’s not even the same cake! The texture and flavour is just incredible so please if you have buttermilk where you live then go get some. Even if it means buying a whole carton, just use the rest for chocolate cupcakes or buttermilk chicken or even buttermilk onion rings. Yum!
Not sure what is going on with the colours of these photos, they were all taken at the same time but the sun must have been playing games!
I leveled the cakes slightly to crumble up some of the crumbs for decoration, I do like that look but really red velvet is just as fabulous without anything at all.
Speaking of decorations, I filled and frosted this cake with a thick and luscious, extra silky cream cheese frosting, it goes so well with the cake and we are making a classic after all. If you would like to make a different type of frosting, I suggest making a cooked milk (Ermine) frosting which is actually what red velvet cakes were originally frosted with when they were created.
I love this cake so much and it is definitely a family favourite that is sure to become yours too! <3
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This recipe is pretty much the same as my red velvet cupcakes, recipe here.