This classic red velvet cake is decadent and moist. Each layer is covered in fluffy cream cheese frosting to compliment the sweet and tangy red velvet flavor.
Growing up my mom was known for her red velvet cake. We had it for every birthday as far back as I can remember and our extended family would request it for just about every gathering (well either the red velvet cake or her coffee cake, but that’s for another day). I remember my aunts discussing who would get to take home what was left of the cake, which usually wasn’t very much.
A few months ago I was over at my moms and one of my sisters and I started flipping through my moms old recipes. She has this big box with a hodge podge of recipes scribbled on index cards and cutouts from newspapers and magazines. She also has booklet of recipes (written on a typewriter) held together with some of those clasp loop things – she had received it from her step mom before she passed away.
We flipped through the recipes laughing at some of the most ridiculous and disgusting sounding recipes (chicken liver casserole, anyone?). But this little book houses the recipe for my moms wonderful red velvet cake. That page is a bit tattered and very splattered with red food coloring.
I figured it was about time I give her recipe a shot. It was a smashing success and the second I took a bite it brought back so many memories of birthdays and holidays. It’s crazy how food can bring memories rushing back so quickly. There was no way I was going to keep a mostly whole cake hanging around my house, so I brought the cake into work – it was gone by 5pm. I’ll admit, I wish I would have snagged a piece to take back home with me..
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 ½ Tbsp red food coloring
- 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 ¼ cup flour, sifted
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray two 8-inch cake pans with cooking spray.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time and stirring until incorporated. Mix in vanilla, red food coloring, and cocoa powder. With mixer on low, add in flour in three additions alternating with buttermilk, beating each addition until just incorporated.
- In a small bowl combine salt, baking soda, vinegar and water, holding over the mixer bowl as it foams. Gently blend vinegar mixture into the cake batter (do not beat).
- Divide batter into prepared cake pans and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let cakes cool completely before frosting.
- To make frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter at medium-high speed in a stand mixer until smooth. Beat in extract well combined.
- Add powdered sugar; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl and add heavy cream, beat medium speed until incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.
- To assemble the cake, place one layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Spread an even layer of the cream cheese frosting over the top of the cake. Carefully place second cake on top. Using an offset spatula, frost the top and sides of the cake until fully covered. Slice and serve.