Red Velvet Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Cheer up your rainy day blues with a Red Velvet Cake from scratch!

This cake is amazingly moist with a light and fluffy frosting that is sure to make anyone smile. In this cake batter, I use vinegar, cocoa powder and coffee (yeah, I said coffee!) The vinegar gives it a slightly tangy, "true red velvet" flavor while the coffee enhances the rich cocoa powder flavor so it is packed full of chocolate-y, velvety amazingess. 

Actually, did you know red velvet cakes were originally made with beets which is what gave them such a rich red-ish color? Say what!? That's crazy talk!! and one day I hope to make a cake like that.. But for now, I give you this perfect cake made with red food coloring.  Go ahead, try to resist it. 

INGREDIENTS:

For the red velvet cake:

1 Cup vegetable or canola oil

1 Cup buttermilk OR plain yogurt 

2 eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons white vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 Tablespoons red food coloring

2+1/2 Cups all purpose flour

2 Cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Trader Joes brand)

1/3 Cup strong, hot coffee

 

For the cream cheese frosting:

1 8oz container of cream cheese frosting, at room temperature

1 stick (1/2 Cup) salted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 Cups powdered sugar, measured carefully

2-3 Tablespoons milk

 

DIRECTIONS:

For the cake:

1. Preheat your oven to 325F. Grease two 8-inch pans and set aside.

2. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix together your vegetable oil, buttermilk and eggs just until combined. Then add in the vinegar, vanilla extract and food coloring and mix again until combined. 

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and cocoa powder. Slowly pour the wet ingredients from the stand mixer into the dry ingredients in your separate bowl. Whisk together just until smooth (making sure not to over-mix!) Once they are just combined, slowly add the hot coffee while whisking. 

4. Pour the batter evenly into the 8-inch pans and place on the center rack of your oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes, depending on the strength of your oven. Check by inserting a toothpick into the middle of a cake. If it comes out clean, it's done! Remove from the oven and let cool.

 

For the cream cheese frosting:

1. Whisk together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and whisk away! Then, slowly add about half of the powdered sugar, then add 2-3 tablespoons of milk (depending on how stiff/runny you liked it) mix, and then add the rest of the powdered sugar. Whip for at least 3-4 minutes! This allows air to get into the frosting and it tastes much better! Once your cake is completely cooled, frost it and you're done! 

 

NOTE** The reason I add coffee is to enhance the cocoa powder, like I do in my Chocolate cake recipe HERE

Also, it is important to alternately add the powdered sugar and milk because it makes it a heck of a lot easier- if you add all of the milk at once, it gets everywhere and creates a big mess. Yikes!

Lastly, if you want to make cupcakes, fill the liners 3/4 full and bake them for about 16-20 minutes (also depending on the strength of your oven. The toothpick tells all!!)