Recipe: The Ultimate Red Velvet Cake

A couple weeks ago I bought these cool silicone bundt cake moulds from Amazon and I can’t get enough of using them. They’re so easy to use and clean – also, two moulds for £13.99 is a bargain! I’ve used them to bake all sorts of cake. I’ve used the swirl one to make coconut and banana cake, marble cake and now I’m using the more traditional-looking Bundt mould (doughnut-ring shape) to make lemon drizzle cake and now, red velvet Bundt cake. Just in time for Mother’s Day too! Initially I was going to make a lemon Bundt cake topped with edible flowers but I’ve missed the delivery for those so I’m opting in for this red beauty instead.

I found out that Bundt cakes are basically the same as standard round cakes. There’s no different in taste – something I used to think was a thing. Their unique doughnut-ring shaped design is pretty much what sets them apart your usual cake so you can use this recipe to make your red velvet cake in a round cake tin, square cake tin, tray bake – whatever you fancy!

Super moist. Super rich. Super yummy!

This rich, red velvet cake is super moist with a velvety texture, thanks to the added buttermilk (more on this later). It’s super-rich but not overly sweet, thanks to high quality cocoa powder and… coffee! More on this secret ingredient later too. And then what makes it super yummy? The deliciously tangy cream cheese frosting that it’s topped off with. If you’re not a fan of cream cheese frosting, no worries because I’ve got you covered with a vanilla buttercream frosting recipe instead. Happy days!

Red Velvet Cake Recipe - The Wandering Mother Blog
A truly decadent cake for people who like their cakes a little different
Red Velvet Cake Recipe - TheWanderingMother
Soft, velvety and moist – just how a red velvet cake should be.

There are LOADS of red velvet cake recipes out there. I’ve been trying out quite a few before learning how to perfect my own version. My ultimate red velvet cake recipe is an adapted version of both RecipeTin Eats and Something Sweet Something Savoury – by selecting bits from each recipe I was able to make something amazing to my taste and liking. Check out the originals below:

The MAGIC ingredients in my red velvet Bundt cake…

Buttermilk

This is an absolute MUST. I’ve made red velvet cake before without buttermilk and it’s okay but it’s more on the sponge cake side instead of the unique texture red velvet has. You can buy buttermilk from the supermarket or alternatively, you can make your own buttermilk mix.

Broma Bakery has an amazing post on how to make your own buttermilk in three different ways. I make mine with milk and lemon juice.

Self-raising flour

A lot of the recipes I see opt for plain flour (all purpose flour) instead of self-raising flour (cake flour). I’ve never been able to make a good red velvet using plain flour. It always seems to comes out really dense. Maybe I need to try it with the baking soda and vinegar combo to get it to fluff-up and rise more. Nevertheless, I like the light and smooth texture I get from using self-raising flour and baking powder so I’ll stick to what I know best on this one.

Food colouring gel or paste NOT liquid

Forever, I’ve been purchasing the little red food colouring gel tubes from the supermarket and kept wondering why my red velvet cake wasn’t as red as the ones we buy from the bakeries and shops. I then came across Sugarflair’s extra red food colouring paste on Amazon and OMG THIS STUFF IS AMAZING! The reviews said you’d only need a small amount and boy they were not wrong. I used 1/2 level teaspoon to get it as red as in my photos. Literally that’s it. I don’t usually make it as red so would use amount 1/4 level teaspoon. I’m sure it’s the same stuff professional bakers use.

PLEASE don’t use liquid. Liquid food colouring works better with liquids or at the most, buttercream frosting. For cakes, you need a paste or gel.

Coffee

This is not a traditional ingredient and no, it’s not going to make your red velvet cake taste like coffee cake. However if you do add too much, it might make your cake taste more like chocolate cake than anything else. You only need a tiny amount and the reason for adding in coffee is because coffee enhances chocolate. This was something new I learnt from Something Sweet Something Savoury’s recipe.

Because we’re not loading up with cocoa powder in a red velvet cake, the chocolatey taste is just too mild – the coffee really brings it out and gives depth to the flavour. Fine instant coffee will do if you don’t (I don’t!) have expresso powder. I use Nescafe’s Azara americano instant coffee because it’s fine like a powder and mixes easily with a bit of water. It also smells amazing and is actually my favourite instant coffee. 🙂

Recipe: Red Velvet Cake | The Wandering Mother Blog
I love the pretty designs of the Bundt cake moulds. They make this cake extra special!

The Ultimate Red Velvet Cake Recipe

This delicious can’t-stop-won’t-stop-eating-it cake will yield about 8 good slices or 6 very generous slices.

Prep time: 20mins
Cooking time: 40-45mins
Cooling time: 30-45mins

Ingredients

For the cake:
200g self raising flour, sifted
200g light brown sugar or golden caster sugar
100g unsalted butter, softened
100ml whole milk + 2 tsp lemon juice (to make the buttermilk)
2 medium/large eggs
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp high quality cocoa powder (I use Green & Blacks organic cocoa powder)
1 tsp fine coffee powder (add with 2 tbsp water)
1/4 tsp of Sugarflair maximum concentrated paste red extra (you can use an alternative red food colouring gel or paste and adjust the measurement accordingly)

For the frosting:
225g icing sugar
100g unsalted butter at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g full-fat soft cream cheese (for cream cheese frosting)
40ml whole milk (for vanilla buttercream frosting)

Method

Prep for buttermilk: add milk into a cup and slowly add in the lemon juice as you stir continuously. It will start to feel a little thicker. Leave to stand for at least 5 mins. If your milk has curdled, don’t be afraid, add a little extra milk then before adding into your cake mix strain it through a sieve.

  1. Preheat your oven to 160’C degrees / gas mark 3 / 320’F degrees and lightly grease your cake tin or silicone mould with a little butter or oil and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, soften the butter then add in the sugar. Mix well until everything has combined – it’ll look like soft buttery sugar dough, almost like cookie dough mix.
  3. Beat your eggs separately before slowly pouring it into your sugar-butter mix. Whisk until you see that a smooth consistency has formed with no lumps but be careful to not over-beat if you’re using an electrical whisk.
  4. Add in the ‘wet’ ingredients – vanilla extract, red colouring, coffee (already mixed with the water) and buttermilk, then whisk until it’s just about mixed in.
  5. Add in the ‘dry’ ingredients – sifted flour, baking powder and cocoa powder, and gently fold into the mix until there’s hardly any lumps. try not over-do it with the mixing here otherwise it can make the cake dense. The batter should feel a little heavy – I find it similar to pancake batter.
  6. Pour into your cake tin or mould. If you’re using a silicone mould, place your mould on a baking try first before pouring to ensure the cake bakes evenly and avoids any spillages as the moulds will feel heavy and wobbly.
  7. Place into the oven on the middle shelf and bake for 40-45mins. Use a wooden skewer or small knife to see if the cake has cooked thoroughly, if not, bake for another 5mins and check again.
  8. Once done, remove from the oven and leave aside for 5-10mins. DO NOT take it out of the silicone mould too soon or you’ll risk it breaking and may be hard to remove. For the silicone mould, pull the sides away from the cake first then place a plate over the top and flip over. Gently press the sides and lift the mould off, it should release very easily.
  9. Allow to cool whilst you prepare your frosting. Remember, whilst your cake is still warm you can’t add the frosting unless you like a runny mess on your plate. Allow the cake to cool in the fridge if you want to speed things up.
  10. To make the frosting – add icing sugar to the room-temp butter and mix well until a smooth paste forms. Add in the vanilla extract and EITHER milk for a vanilla buttercream or add the cream cheese for a cream cheese frosting. With the cream cheese, careful not to over-beat as it will result in a runny consistency. Chill in the fridge until 10mins before use.
  11. Remove the cake from the fridge and add your frosting. You can decorate your red velvet with a little crumb topping by pinching some of the cake from the bottom and ta-da! The ultimate red velvet cake.

Making this cake? If you do give my ultimate red velvet cake recipe a go, please tag me in your photos – I want to see! Instagram: @manny.wandering / Twitter: @manny_ngo / Facebook: @thegreenwichmummy

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UK Family Travel & Lifestyle Blogger. Mama of two. Juggling motherhood, work, life and everything else in between. :-)

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