Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

The world famous red velvet cake.  My grandmother has made this cake for YEARS, and we all get so incredibly excited when we find out she’s making it.  She usually makes it as one or two layers, but I decided to go crazy and make a three layer cake with this recipe instead.  You know, because the cream cheese icing is so ridiculously good, that this was the best way to utilize as much icing as possible into the cake without eating just the icing itself…which you easily could with this recipe.

red velvet cake 2

My grandmother always put pecans in the cream cheese icing, but several family members aren’t really fans of nuts in their icing (I tell them they’re nuts for not liking nuts), so I went for the nutless icing in this recipe.  And although she’s given us the actual recipe for this cake, it never quite turns out like she makes it, so I decided to improvise and make my own version…which is what I’m sharing with you.  This is it, the end result.  I decided to go with using sour cream in the cake to ensure the moistness throughout, without losing any of that red velvet flavor to it.  But I’ll be honest, once I go to culinary school and start learning more, the chances of changing and perfecting this recipe are highly likely, considering it’s one of those recipes that I would like to categorize as signature…because it’s got to be just that awesome.  And one of the great things about red velvet with the use of food coloring is the fact that you can make your red velvet cake any color you want.  In fact, my grandmother has made blue velvet and green velvet.  Personally, I want to see purple velvet, so that’ll be a future experiment for sure.  😉

Red Velvet Cake Recipe:
2 1/4 cups flour, sifted
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla
8 oz. sour cream
1 teaspoon red food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all ingredients and beat with electric mixer at medium speed for 2-4 minutes, until blended.  Spoon batter into 3 greased and floured 9 inch cake pans.  Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Icing:
2 lbs. powdered sugar
2 (8 oz.) pkg cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla
1 c. chopped pecans (optional)

Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla with electric mixer at medium speed for 2-3 minutes until smooth.  Add powdered sugar and continue mixing for another 3-4 minutes.  Spread in between layers and on top of cake, store in refrigerator.


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