Today is my lovely sisters 15th birthday. I can’t believe she’s driving. It seems like just yesterday we were yelling at each other in the back seat of the car. She’s become this awesome bluegrass loving, mandolin playing, Jesus following young woman. She rocks.
And how else could I celebrate but to make her a cake? She requested her favorite, Red Velvet. Since red velvet is essentially just chocolate cake dyed bright red, I thought it would be more fun to dye it purple. Sadly, it came out more brown, but it’s the thought that counts, right?
This is definitely the best recipe for red velvet I’ve found, it’s a little more chocolate-y
than most, super moist and slightly tangy. Plus, the cream cheese frosting was delicious, and I don’t even like it normally.
To top it off I used this little birdie, he was once a christmas ornament. It’s so Sarah.
Happy Birthday baby sister, I hope you liked your cake!
let's pretend I can actually frost cakes! haha.
Red Velvet Cake
Adapted from “The Confetti Cakes Cookbook” by Elisa Strauss via Smitten Kitchen.
Yield: 3 cake layers
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups canola oil
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) red food coloring or 1 teaspoon red gel food coloring dissolved in 6 tablespoons of water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place teaspoon of butter in each of 3 round 9-inch layer cake pans and place pans in oven for a few minutes until butter melts. Remove pans from oven, brush interior bottom and sides of each with butter and line bottoms with parchment.
2. Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl.
3. Place oil and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well-blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. With machine on low, very slowly add red food coloring. (Take care: it may splash.) Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches. Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine.
4. Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds.
5. Divide batter among pans, place in oven and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pans 20 minutes. Then remove from pans, flip layers over and peel off parchment. Cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 6 cups
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter room temperature
3 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl. With a handheld electric mixer, beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat, on low speed to combine. If too soft, chill until slightly stiff, about 10 minutes, before using.
Oh, for those interested, I did get a new lens! I upgraded from the 50mm 1.8 to the 50mm 1.4. So far I love it! You can see the shots I've taken so far with it at my flickr.