Not Exactly Red, Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake

I put quite a bit of thought into this year’s birthday cake since I was off cake for a few months and of course once I do this, all I can think about is cake. Not sure why Red Velvet was the pick this year since it contains chocolate; I guess I felt it was about time I actually taste this frequently talked-about and baked cake.

Red Velvet Cake

I did my usual Internet hunt, scanning recipes for the best and most well-proportioned ingredients. I settled on the Epicurious, Red Velvet Cupcakes with Mascarpone Icing.

Red Velvet Cake

Not very red. However — very moist!

Red Velvet Cake

I was drawn to the comparatively hefty amount of cocoa powder in this recipe as well as the use of sour cream, which would produce a moist cake. Also, I wanted an excuse to finally bake with mascarpone cheese.

I used beet root juice instead of food coloring because it makes no sense to me to add artificial ingredients to a home-made cake that is freshly baked. I believe this addition increased the moistness of the cake as well.

As the recipe mentioned, this is a dense cake and my result was indeed a dense cake. Super moist, and lightly sweetened with a less prominent chocolate flavor than a chocolate cake. And the cake frosting got rave reviews.

Red Velvet Cake

Here’s what guests had to say about my Red Velvet Cake.

“The icing is great! The cake was very dense and heavy.”

“Donna’s red velvet cake is delicious, special, healthy, and not too sweet.”

“An all natural (red) velvet cake. I think it’s a great cake! Unlike what is sold in stores — which is too red from food coloring. This cake is all natural, not very sweet with an icing to die for!”

“Great company and yummy cake!”

“Donna’s all natural red velvet cake is a wonderful nutritious birthday dessert. The cake tastes healthful, with buttermilk, beet juice, sour cream, and unsweetened cocoa. The frosting contains organic whipped cream. Eating this cake with coffee or tea is a heavenly culinary experience. Try it soon.”

Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake With Mascarpone Frosting

1/4 cup beet root juice
3 1/2 tablespoons high-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 ½ cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

Process
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 9”, round cake pans and line with parchment. In a small bowl, mix the beet root juice and cocoa powder together to make a smooth paste. Set aside.
Cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition, then add the cocoa paste while continuing to beat. In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, salt, and baking soda. Stir the vanilla into the buttermilk. Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Beat on medium speed just until the ingredients are combined. Add the sour cream and vinegar and beat on low speed until combined. Bake for about 35 minutes.

Mascarpone Frosting with Whipped Cream

½ cup (1 stick) butter
½ cup (4 ounces) cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup (4 ounces) mascarpone cheese
½ teaspoon vanilla or mint extract
1 cup of whipped cream

Process
Beat the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the mascarpone until just combined. (Be careful; once you’ve added the mascarpone, excessive beating can make the frosting curdle.) Fold in the whipped cream (whip the cream with 1 t. vanilla and 1 T. powdered sugar). Frost chilled cake layers.

Red Velvet Cake

Quite a memorable cake, I must say! I will venture to try this cake again using ingredients to produce a lighter and fluffier cake. I’ll stick with this frosting – it was just too good!

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