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I believe that salt is to food, what food is to life. In right proportions, it can heighten the taste of what you eat..and in the wrong - destroy! Even the most delicious sweets come added with some salt...to taste!

As for me, I've never enjoyed cooking. And as contrary to my owning a food-blog as it may sound, I always think about daily, routine cooking as a chore. But my tryst with the pots and pans began when I got a kitchen all to myself...I began experimenting and exploring new worlds in my own home. Some outcomes were excellent and some plain disasters. Then sprouted the need to keep track of all those good ones...and hence this blog!

Here, I share those experiments that pleased more than one palate!

December 18, 2011

Classic Red Velvet Cake

Jingle bells, candy canes, cookies and winter,
Lit up homes, decorated trees and warm apple cider!
Santa's on his sleigh, commanding his reindeer,
Would you believe Christmas is already here?

Ok, I get it. I'm no good at poetry. But, here's what is good. I have something lovely to share with you. And, it is, after all the season of giving and sharing. This time around its a classic recipe for a cake that will give you every reason (if you haven't any yet!) to celebrate - Red Velvet Cake.

I had no clue something this divine and delicious even existed until we got to the US. Call me ignorant, but I had my first taste out of a two slice packaged box at my local grocery store, which was baked at the bakery on premises. It was both love at first sight and bite, really. The gorgeous red layers bathed in serene white cream cheese frosting had me swooning.

So, yes, it was a new thing for me. I obviously wanted to try it and I did not want to experiment the first time around. I found  the recipe on a popular baking website because I did not want to mess this up. Not one bit. It turned out great as you can see. 

Did you know that although this cake looks so very red, it even has cocoa in it? And, buttermilk? And vinegar? The cocoa heightens the rich flavor and the buttermilk  renders tenderness. Some believe that the red color comes from the reaction of the vinegar and the buttermilk. But, these days everyone uses food coloring to enhance the red. 

It is said that the Red Velvet is a distant relative of the very famous Devil's Cake. For certain, this one has the colour of his horns all over himself!! Before you start growing a pair of your own out of sheer sinful temptation - Go bake!

Recipe source - Joyofbaking.com

Ingredients for the Cake
2 1/2 Cups All purpose flour, sifted and then measured
1 1/2 Cups Confectioners sugar/Powdered sugar/Icing sugar (You can use regular granulated sugar as well)
2tbsp Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 Large Eggs, at room temperature
1 Cup Buttermilk (Unsalted)
1 tsp White distilled vinegar
2 tbsp Liquid red food coloring

Method to prepare the cake
- Preheat oven to 350F; Grease cake pan (I used a 9 inch round cake pan and then cut layers after baking)
- Sift together flour, salt and cocoa powder and set aside
- Cream together butter and sugar until soft and fluffy
- Add eggs, one at a time, with the mixer on
- Add Vanilla Extract and combine well
- In a small bowl, mix together the buttermilk and red food colouring
- With the mixer on low speed, alternately at the red buttermilk and the flour to the butter mixture, in three additions, starting and ending with the flour
- In another small bowl, add baking soda to the vinegar and allow to fizz
- Quickly fold this into the batter
- Pour into prepared cake pan and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
- Once fully baked, take out of oven and cool 10 minutes and then invert onto cooling rack
- When the cake is fully cooled, wrap and set aside in refrigerator and prepare the frosting

The recipe for frosting on the website called for Mascarpone cheese. I went ahead and replaced that with cream cheese instead and did a full-on cream cheese frosting. If you prefer using mascarpone just use half cream cheese and half mascarpone in this recipe.

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting
16 to 20 oz of Cream Cheese, at room temperature
1 Cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
About 1 1/2 Cup Cold Heavy Whipping Cream

Method to prepare Cream Cheese Frosting
- Place cream cheese in a large bowl
- On medium speed of your mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth
- Add vanilla extract and combine
- Add sugar, a little at a time and mix until incorporated
- On low speed of your mixer, gradually pour in the heavy cream and mix until frosting comes to a spreading consistency. If the frosting becomes too flow-y, add sugar to stiffen it up

Decorating the Red Velvet
This is all your game really. I cut up mine into three layers and spread the frosting inside and on top. I used the tip of a rubber spatula and ran it around the top to give it that stripe-y finish and piped cream cheese on the sides.

Here are some tips for achieve a well frosted cake.

1. Tort/Level the top of the cake if it has a dome
2. Flip cake upside-down and then cut into layers. This way you will have a flat top for your final decorated cake
3. Use a frosting spatula to spread frosting on cake layers
4. While frosting top and outsides, always start by adding a generous dollop (almost all of what you have left after you frost the layers) of frosting on top and then spreading from top to bottom and then covering the sides and finally wiping off the excess from the sides
5. Never lift the spatula in the middle while spreading frosting. This is what causes peaks and valleys in the frosting

I do hope this one has ignited the festive spirit in you. Merry Christmas to you and yours and see you around New Years'!


  1. The cake looks delicious, nicely done :-)

    Aparna from Square Meals

  2. this cake looks fabulous happy holidays

  3. Delicious and inviting velvet cake. Wonderfully prepared.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  4. Looks delicious and so inviting ...nice pics

  5. Very beautiful and delicious cake..so tempting..great recipe and nice clicks !!!

  6. Red velvet cake luks stunning and gorgeous..Glad to follow ur space.

  7. wow! love the pics & that red cake with white frosting looks so pretty :)