Red Velvet Cake

Classic Red Velvet Cake
Seven years ago this month I met the sweetest little 8 year-old cheerleader you ever did see. Michaela was a darling, shy, soft-spoken child who loved to cuddle up next to me, her then-auntie-to-be. This little darling turns 15 years old today. (Sigh.) She's now a fierce competitor on the volleyball court (indoor and beach!) who, at over 5'7", towers over most of us in the family and really never asks for so much as a hug anymore now that she's practically a grown up (I say in my best Eloise voice).

No matter how tall she is, she's still our family's little darling and when we all gathered last Sunday to celebrate her, naturally I made her favorite: Red Velvet Cake. The cake recipe is from Julie Richardson's trusty and gorgeous Vintage Cakes Cookbook but the frosting is a family recipe that I've shared on the blog before. The cake was a wee bit dense, but I blame myself for that. If you actually follow the steps rather than pouring all the wet ingredients into the bowl at once as I did, you will ensure yourself a lighter crumb. Let me just say, though, that the cake was truly yummy. Normally, I don't love that coating you get on your tongue that makes a velvet cake, but this one was mild and the cocoa flavor was bolder than I'm used to. I mean, anything chocolate pleases me!

My sweet little strong and confident Michaela seemed to like the cake a lot. The girl is a teenager, so, she wasn't effusive. But, she ate it all, as did everyone else so I'll take that as a good sign. The true test, though, is whether I liked it and not only did I, but I would absolutely, hands-down make this one again - maybe even following the directions next time!

Happy Birthday, lovely Michaela. You are a light to our whole family and I love you so. 


Auntie A.

red velvet cake for Michaelas birthday

Red Velvet Cake
Serves 12

2-1/2 C sifted cake flour
1/2 C lightly packed unsweetened cocoa (Ms. Richardson would insist upon the Dutch processed variety)
2 t baking powder
1 t fine sea salt
3/4 C oil
2 t vanilla
1 T red food coloring (I used a concentrated gel for maximum color)
3/4 C unsalted butter, at room temp
1-3/4 C sugar
4 large eggs, at room temp
2 large egg yolks, at room temp
1 C buttermilk, at room temp

One and one half recipes Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe here

First, prep 3 9" cake pans by buttering and cocoa-ing them. So, spread a little butter around, getting it into the grooves of the pan and then sprinkle about 1 t cocoa and tap the pan until it's coated. And then add a parchment paper pan liner (or cut parchment into a 9" circle and drop it in).

Preheat the oven to 350.

In a small bowl, sift together:
baking powder
then whisk until well mixed.

In another small bowl, combine:
food coloring

Beat the butter & sugar together until they're light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, scraping down the sides several times to make sure it all gets incorporated well.

Slowly drizzle the oil mixture into the butter & sugar, running your mixer at low speed until blended, and then beat on medium until fluffy. Add the eggs, then the yolks, one at a time, incorporating fully after each.

turn your mixer on low and alternate adding the cocoa mixture with the buttermilk in 3 separate additions each. So, add a little cocoa and fully mix. Add a little buttermilk and mix. Repeat and repeat. Do not overmix.

Divide the batter into the prepped pans and bake in the center of your calibrated oven for 18-25 minutes. If you're using only 2 pans, it will take more like 25-30 minutes, so, keep an eye on them.

Cool these cakes at least 30 minutes before removing them from their pans. I waited 2 hours, but I had that kind of time. If you don't, put them into the freezer for 15 minutes or so and use extra care removing them from their pans.

Make your frosting. 

Place one layer onto your cake plate and spread about 1/2 C frosting. Repeat with the next layer and then add the top layer. I highly recommend frosting with a crumb layer and placing the cake into the fridge about 30 minutes to firm up before frosting with the rest of the frosting and making it pretty.
Red Velvet Cake Slice Baking a Love Story
Let it set about 30 more minutes (or while you eat dinner), place your candles, sing Happy Birthday and EAT.
Top View Red Velvet Baking a Love Story
Don't expect leftovers. ;)


  1. It was delish and even Mia & Biscotti loved it! They devoured the last piece while we were out doing our last minute back to school shopping!! xoxo


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