Oh my God! January just flew past and it is February already. I do not want to dwell on the fact that it is going to be another busy month. I love Februaries – My favourite month. 🙂 Not only is it the month when love is in the air with all the Valentine buzz but also coz it is my birthday month. February for me is all red 🙂 Which brings me to one my favourite cakes to bake. RED VELVET CAKE!! Yes, you guessed it right. It is also one of the most requested cake recipes from my readers and friends who have tried my bakes. Thank you so much for the love. I have made this classic cake numerous times for most birthday parties hosted. I love this cake for it not only looks stunning but also has a unique flavor. In recent times, this cake has gained so much popularity. Tradition has it that a chef at New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria hotel invented red velvet cake in the 1950s. But it is also rumored to be a southern, Civil War-era invention.
The only downside is that most recipes require a tablespoon or more of red food coloring. That’s a lot, right! Not quite comfortable with so much artificial colour in it, I tried to tweek the classic recipe looking to a healthier source for that signature red: beets. Remember I mentioned beetroots are on our routine diet these days. I was a little nervous when I first tried using beetroot juice wondering whether it would affect the taste or give it the right tint. But I was absolutely thrilled with the gorgeous red and vibrant it almost seems unnatural!, The cake itself turned out moist. I hope you do give this a try.
Makes: 2 (9inch cakes)
2 & 1/4th cup or 280g plain flour
2 tblsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup or 110g butter, at room temperature
1 & 1/4th cup or 250g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
225ml buttermilk ( little less than 1 cup)
1/2 cup or 125ml beet juice or 2 tblsp red food colouring gel
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vinegar
Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before you begin. Note I have listed the ingredients in order of their use.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
- Grease two 9inch round cake tins and line with baking parchment. This time I used a bundt pan.
- Sift together flour, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the butter. Once soft and creamy, incorporate the sugar
- Whisk in the eggs one at a time.
- Mix the vanilla extract and beet juice into the buttermilk and set aside. If you do not want to try with beets feel free to use the gel colour. Note: Gel colours are better than using liquid colouring – you will need less.
- Start adding the flour mixture to the butter mixture in batches, whisking well after each addition. The cake mixture will be thick.
- Add the buttermilk at this point and combine well.
- Quickly, combine the bicarb and vinegar together in a small bowl. Fold into the cake mixture.
- Once incorporated, divide the mixture between the two tins.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. It took me 45 minutes to bake in a bundt pan.
- Remove and cool slightly in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Serve as is or with cream cheese frosting.
- Enjoy 🙂
Tips: To make instant buttermilk – Take 200ml of milk (3/4cup) and add 1.5 tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice. Stir well and let it stand for 15 minutes before use.
Do give this a try and let me know how it turns out. If you send me a snapshot of your creation; I shall include it in the Reader’s testimonial Album on my facebook page. Get to Baking for your valentine 🙂
Love & Hugs,