Birthday Cake

It seems just about everyone has their own very favorite birthday cake.  Maybe it was the plain old boxed white cake mix your mom made on your special day?  Or perhaps you indulge in German chocolate from your favorite bakery?  In recent years, red velvet has become my signature birthday cake.  It's the one decadent treat I look forward to every January 20th.

I've tried many red velvet recipes.  Like the Goldilocks of cakes, I never could get the recipes totally perfect.  A little too dry or lacking flavor, all the recipes I tested were lackluster.  Last night, I discovered this one from Diva's Can Cook and adapted it slightly.  Perfectly moist, slightly chocolatey and covered in a white chocolate cream cheese frosting, my red velvet birthday was simply delicious.

Classic Southern Red Velvet Cake:

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour (NOT all purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 Tablespoon of unsweetened, cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 oz. red food coloring (gel if possible)
  • 1 teaspoon of white distilled vinegar
  • ½ cup of prepared plain hot strong coffee (don’t skip this ingredient)

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and vegetable oil.
  4. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and red food coloring until combined.
  5. Stir in the coffee and white vinegar.
  6. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients a little at time, mixing after each addition, just until combined.
  7. Generously grease and flour two round cake pans with crisco and flour.
  8. Pour the batter evenly into each pan.
  9. Bake in the middle rack for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not over bake as cake will continue to cook as it cools. My cakes took exactly 30 minutes.
  10. Let cool on a cooling rack until the pan are warm to the touch.
  11. Slide a knife or offset spatula around the inside of the pans to loosen the cake from the pan.
  12. Remove the cakes from the pan and let them cool.
  13. Frost the cake with cream cheese frosting when the cakes have cooled completely.
White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 (8 oz) pack cream cheese, softened
  • 1 bar of white chocolate, melted
  • ¼ cup half and half, made need more
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • zest of one orange

  1. 1. Add softened cream cheese and chocolate into large bowl.
2. Pour in milk, butter and vanilla extract.
  1. 3. Mix until well combined.
  2. 4. Pour in half of the powdered sugar.
  3. 5. Mix until combined.
  4. 6. Add the remaining powdered sugar.  Add more milk if you prefer a thinner frosting.
  5. 7. Stir in the orange zest.
  6. 8. Mix until smooth and fluffy.
  7. 9. Spread one thin layer in between cake and apply remainder to the outside of cake.


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