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Actually, did you know red velvet cakes were originally made with beets which is what gave them such a rich red-ish color?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. 


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



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!!)

Strawberry Cream Cheese Danish

Hey friends! I hope you are all having a great week. As we get ready for the holidays, I'm sure we can all agree on how quickly this year has gone by. Can you believe it's almost Thanksgiving? Today, not only am I sharing a great recipe with you, but I'm using this post as a reminder that life is short and it should be spent with those that you love- especially this time of year! I know how easy it is to get caught up in work and business but life will fly by before you know it.. so cherish it. Don't forget how important it is to be happy, to make others happy, and to live your days doing what you want. That being said, if you're like me, I'm sure baked goods fit somewhere in all of that. If you love to eat sweets AND love being able to make them in a few simple steps, I have a feeling this will become on of your go-to recipes.

These Danishes are extremely simple to throw together and taste like they took forever to make. They're made with puff pastry, a sweet cream cheese, strawberry jam and a very easy-to-make icing.

Did you ever eat Toaster Strudel growing up? You know, the pastry that Gretchen Weiners' dad invented? These remind me of those, but they're home-made! Can it get any better than that? The puff pastry is flakey and buttery while the cream cheese and strawberry jam are soft and sweet, giving this pastry the perfect balance of "oh that's good" and "Dang I gotta make these again." Try it out!

Recipe makes 32 danishes. 


For the Danish:

1 box Puff Pastry, thawed  (I got mine from Trader Joes)

8oz Whipped Cream Cheese

1/3 Cup granulated sugar

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 Cup Seedless Strawberry Jam

1 egg, beaten

For the icing:

1 Cup powdered sugar

2 Tbsp milk

1/4 tsp vanilla extract



1. Preheat your oven to 400F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Set aside.

2. If your puff pastry is not already thawed, leave it out for about 15 minutes until it reaches a slightly warmer temperature. While it is thawing, make the cream cheese filling. In a medium sized mixing bowl or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk together the cream cheese, sugar and salt. Set aside.

3. Once your puff pastry is thawed, roll one sheet out (leave the other sheet in the refrigerator until just before you use it, otherwise it will stick to the paper) and cut it vertically into 3 long strips. Then cut again 3 times horizontally so you now have 16 small rectangle-shaped pieces. Place the rectangles about 1 inch apart on your cookie sheet.  With a sharp knife, score each rectangle. You want to trace a smaller rectangle about 3/4 inch from the edges- DO NOT cut all the way through! Just make small lines with your sharp knife so that the outsides of the pastry can rise easily. Once your pieces are all scored, place about 1/2 heaping Tbsp amount of the cream cheese mixture inside the scored rectangle. Then top with a small about (about 1/2 tsp) or strawberry jam. 

4. After adding the cream cheese mixture to all of the pieces, lightly brush the outsides of the pastry with the beaten egg. (I used a small paint brush) Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until the outsides of the pastry become golden brown and flaky. Let cool completely.

4. While you are waiting for the danishes to cool, make the icing. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract. Mixture should be thick. Drizzle icing over each danish- enjoy!