Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Mysy had tried this recipe before and I decided to make it for Mum's birthday even though I had never made or tasted red velvet before. 

I think the cake turned out ok, but I forgot to put the vinegar in and I think I should have bought "bright red" coloring instead of just "red" to get the color right. It was also a little dry.  But the cream cheese frosting was magnificent. You have to eat it with everything.

The original recipe calls for the cake to be baked in three 20cm tins and I agree, as I only had two 20cm tins when I sandwiched them together it was not enough icing to cake ratio. If you are going to use only two or one tin, remember to increase the baking time in the oven.


120g unsalted butter, at room temperature
300g caster sugar
2 eggs
20g cocoa powder
bright red food coloring gel
240ml buttermilk
300g self raising flour
1tsp salt
3tsp white wine vinegar

Cream Cheese Frosting:
600g icing sugar, sifted
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
250g cream cheese, cold


Preheat the oven to 170°C and butter three 20cm tins.
Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy on medium speed. Add the eggs then beat on high speed until well mixed.
In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). 
Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk. Beat until well mixed, then add half the flour, and beat until everything is well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added. Scrape down the side of the bowl again. 
Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until you have a smooth, even mixture. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.
Place in the tins and bake for 30mins or the sponge bounces back when touched. 

Cream Cheese Frosting:
 Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (don't use the whisk because the cream cheese is a little hard and may bend your whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. You will know its well mixed because when you rub a bit between your fingers it won't feel "sandy" with undissolved sugar. 
Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. You add it in one go so that some parts don't get over beaten and others under beaten which is what could happen if you added in the cream cheese bit by bit.
Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 mins. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.

When the cakes are cold, sandwich the three thin cakes with the frosting and also ice the on top. There is quite a lot of frosting so that 1. you can be generous with the sandwiching and 2. because it is a red cake, you will need to do a crumb layer thinly, then put it in the fridge to set. This will catch all the red crumbs. Then frost the cake again and this time it will be all white and lovely.