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I’m not much of a cake maker, I’m not sure why.  Maybe it’s because I’m scared the frosting won’t turn out right.  But I do on occasion make some.  So far, out of all the cakes I’ve made, my favorite is Red Velvet Cake.  The first time I had red velvet cake, I had no clue there was cocoa in it because the red color threw me off.  I did wonder though what flavor would produce a red cake.  I later found out that the acidic vinegar and buttermilk reaction turns the cocao a deep red color.  The recipe that I used suggest to use red food coloring and the cake is always a vibrant red.  I think the next time I make I’ll see what shade of red is produced without the food coloring.  The recipe that I use actually is for cupcakes but I find it works for cakes just the same.  It’s actually from NYT and is reduced down to 1/3 of the original recipe.


Red Velvet Cake + Cream Cheese Frosting (From here)
1c cake flour
1/3c cocoa
1/2tsp salt
2/3c vegetable oil
3/4c sugar
1 egg
1oz (2T) red food coloring
1/2tsp vanilla
1/2c buttermilk
1/2tsp baking soda
3/4tsp white vinegar
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Beat oil and sugar until well combined.  Add in egg.  Carefully pour in the red food coloring (make sure you don’t splash or else it will result in red counters and hands). In another bowl, combine flour, cocoa, and salt.  Alternately, mix the dry ingredients and buttermilk in two batches into the red mixture.  Mix until incorporated.  In a small dish, mix together the baking soda and vinegar.  While the hand mixer is still running, add the baking soda-vinegar into the batter and let it mix for 10 seconds.   Pour into a cake pan and let it bake for about 25-30 min until inserted toothpick comes out clean. 
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8oz pkg of cream cheese – room temperature, divided in three parts
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
1 tablespoon shortening
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar

Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  Add in the 1st 3rd of the cream cheese.  Add in the vanilla and shortening.  Add in the rest of the cream cheese in two batches, making sure it’s well combined after each.  Once the cake has cooled, frost the cake evenly and refrigerate so the icing sets.  Decorate as desired. 

I was introduced to Crinkle Cookies by my sisters good friend couple years back.  She would come over and make some with my sister which would ususally yield powdered sugar fights.  I was amazed how these cookies would crinkle and tasted like a cookie that tasted like a brownie. 
Crinkle Cookies (from here)
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
Preheat oven to 350F.  Start by beating the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add in eggs one at a time, incorporating well after each.  Mix in the vanilla.  With a spatula, mix in all the dry ingredients.  Scoop a tablespoon of dough and form into a ball.  In a small bowl, put some powdered sugar.  Roll the dough-balls into the  sugar and place on a baking sheet.   Roll the dough into a ball. Roll the ball in the confectioners’ sugar until covered. Place the balls on a prepared baking sheet.  Bake for about 10-12 mintues. 

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