Thursday, January 5, 2012

Red. Velvet. Cake.

Red Velvet Cake.  The name sounds awesome.  I was lucky enough to have my dear mother come visit me in New York City for the holidays.  We quite literally walked about 10 miles a day, but every day we treated ourselves to one of the amazing baked goods you can find all over the city.  Buttercup Bake Shop on 2nd Avenue, Magnolia Bakery at Grand Central, Cupcakeland in Williamsburg....we tried them all.  But now, I find myself going through withdrawal.  One of my favorite baked goods I had while I was eating my way through Manhattan with my mom was a Red Velvet Cupcake from Magnolia Bakery.  So, in an effort to further this addiction of mine for delicious cakes and cupcakes, I found a really great recipe for a Red Velvet Cake that I wanted to try.  Here it goes!

2 1/2 C. Flour
1/2 C. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 C. Butter, softened
2 C. Sugar
4 Eggs, room temperature
1 C. Sour Cream
1/2 C. Milk
1 oz. Red Food Color
2 tsp. Vanilla

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Take all of the dry ingredients for the cake (flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt) and mix them together in a medium bowl until everything is fully incorporated.  Set this aside for later.

Next, you will want to cream the butter and sugar together with a mixer on medium speed until it is light and fluffy (about 5 minutes).  After this, beat in your eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated.  Once this is done, add in the sour cream, milk, food coloring, and vanilla to the batter and mix on low until it is one even color.  Take your dry ingredients and slowly add it to the mixture in 4 equal parts (do it slowly or you will be covered in the dry ingredients!) until it is thoroughly blended.  If you are baking a cake as I did, you will spray the bottom of two cake pans and spread the thick batter into each evenly.  If you are making cupcakes, spoon the batter into paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full.

For cake:  bake in the oven for about 30 minutes and test with a toothpick to see if they are done in the middle.  If not, bake for 5 minute intervals until the toothpick comes out clean of batter.  Cool for about 5 minutes in the pans, and then after running a knife around the edge to loosen, flip onto a place to cool completely.

For cupcakes: bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the cupcake comes out clean.  Cool in pans for about 5 minutes and then remove them from the pans to cool completely.

Once your cake or cupcakes are completely cool (seriously....completely or you will be sorry!), you may frost them as you will.  If you want to garnish them a little, you can always toss on crushed pecans, but I prefer them without. 

This recipe is one of the better ones out there.  Most of the recipes I have found are the same, but this one with the sour cream really does have more depth.  These ingredients also help to keep the cake very moist.  I have tried a few different recipes in the past, but I just never was satisfied.  This one?  It's a keeper.  Enjoy!

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