Thursday, April 8, 2010

Mom's Best Red Velvet Cake

After yesterday's post on diabetic food, I don't know if I can post this. Really. If I admit how many of these I actually ate, I'm sure I will have to talk to my bishop. It's a sin. Perfectly evil. That being said, I love red velvet cake. If it is done right and it isn't just a lame chocolate cake that someone poured a jar of red food coloring into. This one is the real deal. By real, I mean the classic with the butter frosting that has a cooked pudding mixed into it. The classic where the cake is rich and thick and moist like a brownie...but fluffy, with only a hint of chocolate. Real vanilla...hints of raspberry. After all, that is what I was raised on. The real deal. Not a box mix with cream cheese frosting. It isn't anywhere close. In fact, I love the real deal so much that when I got married, my dear aunt Dorthea made a wedding cake for my reception in Utah using the real cake...and the real frosting. It was an act of love. Indeed. So, forgive me if I only ever share the real red velvet cake recipe that my mom used for years. It's the one her mother gave to her, with a few alterations. So we are indeed going on the third generation of red velvet freakishness. Straight from my mother.
Thanks Mom!
Here goes:

Mom’s Best Red Velvet Cake
by Geneve C. Wanberg (Mom to 4 wonderful "kittens")
formulated for high altitude (2010)

"My search for a moist and light red velvet cake began in my 17th year of life. Because I couldn't find a recipe for the red velvet cake I was looking for, I have developed a high ratio cake from basic ingredients that is tender and moist. The mayonnaise is an emulsion and lends itself well in a high ratio cake made in the home kitchen. The classic chalk white frosting I became acquainted with in my youth has been enhanced with the addition of white chocolate baking pieces."

Yield: one (1) 9 inch cake
24 cupcakes
2 cups cake flour (sea level, use 1 3/4 cup flour)
1/3 cup cornstarch (sea level, use 1/4 cup cornstarch)
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder (sea level, use 2 tsp baking powder)
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1/4 cup red food coloring (2 ounces)
3/4 cup milk, at room temperature
3/4 cup mayonnaise (Best Foods)
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/8 teaspoon LorAnn’s Royal Raspberry oil (optional)
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature

Frosting, recipe follows.


Cake: Make sure that all ingredients are at room temperature. Preheat oven to 350º. Line two (2) 9 inch round cake pans with parchment paper and then butter and flour the pans.

In a medium bowl sift or whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Set dry ingredients aside for use later.

In a large liquid measuring cup combine the food coloring, milk, and mayonnaise. Beat milk mixture slightly with a fork (mixture will appear to be curdled).

Cream together the butter, vanilla, and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat another 3-5 minutes or until the mixture is a light lemon color.

Add the flour mixture to the batter in three (3) batches alternating with the milk mixture, mixing well after each addition. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

Cool in pans for 10 minutes and then invert onto cooling racks. Allow cakes to completely cool before frosting (allow 2-3 hours for cooling). The cakes can be frosted without splitting the layers, however, I love having four layers of cake with the frosting layered in between. For this effect you will need to split cakes in half horizontally prior to frosting the cake. Note: Because the frosting utilizes a pudding mixture, store cake in fridge after frosting.
1/2 cup all purpose flour

1-1/2 cups whole milk
8 ounces white chocolate baking pieces
1-1/2 cups butter, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon vanilla (or 1 1/2 tsp LorAnn's vanilla bean paste)
2-3 drops LorAnn’s Royal Raspberry oil (optional)
1-1/2 cups sugar
Frosting: Whisk together milk and flour in a two quart pan. Heat on stove over medium heat while continuously whisking until the mixture comes to boil and is very thick. Take the pan off the stove, add white chocolate pieces and stir until they are melted (don’t mix too much as the baking pieces may become oily). Force thickened mixture through a fine sieve into a small bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on top of the “pudding” mixture and cool for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator.

Cream the butter, vanilla, raspberry oil (optional), and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whist attachment and beat until the mixture is very fluffy and the sugar is dissolved, about 6 minutes. Add the cold milk/white chocolate paste, a few tablespoons at a time to the butter mixture and whip until light and fluffy.

Oh...and I use the LorAnn real vanilla bean paste in the frosting. Shameless plug...10% off through the end of April if you mention my name at checkout... See the flecks. It's evil, but in a very good way.
Until you've actually tasted the frosting, the picture really doesn't do it justice. Let me just preface it by saying that this is not sweetened bleck-ish shortening junk. This is melt in your mouth buttery love. It's lightly sweet with a wonderful hint of vanilla and raspberry. It's breathtaking. I'm being very reserved with my praise...for how I feel about this frosting. Please...put one in my coffin when I die. I'll need it on the other side. If it's not in heaven...well, then I don't want to go. Okay...that may be a little extreme.
See the flecks of vanilla bean?
Let me help you see them better...
That was a total sacrifice to show you that. I just want you to know. Look at my eye twitching. I have guilt. Lie again, and I'm sure to not go where the frosting is.
Okay. There you go.


Gourmified said...

You're killing me! This looks FABULOUS!!!! I just want to reach up and help you finish that frosting you started. YUM!

Amy B. said...

Lovely! Wish I can make one as good as this! Good job, thanks for sharing! :-)

harcout said...

It turns out very nicely, I could smell the scent of vanilla beans right from here. Definitely gonna give it a shot. Thanks for the recipe.

Anonymous said...

i would like to make this as a layer cake, is the frosting thick enough or is it more of a creamy consistency as i would like my frosting to be more thicker is it better than the cream cheese?!


Chef Tess said...

The frosting is perfect for a layer cake and it has a lot better flavor than the cream cheese frosting. This is actually more traditional. Very good indeed. said...

The yield says 1 9 inch cake, the recipe says 2 9 inch cakes? What do you mean by sea level?

Chef Tess said...

It makes on two layer 9 inch cake. Baked at sea level means the altitude my home is at. If you bake at a higher altitude, say in Utah or the rocky mountains, it would require more flour in the cake to keep it from overflowing the pan. The baking time and temperature would also be different.

Chef Tess said...

This recipe is formulated for high altitude baking. If you are baking at sea level you will use the lower measurements for flour and so forth.

Marylois said...

My daughter's English class is having a red food party tomorrow and she immediately thought of this recipe. Thanks!

Reality said...


ok this frosting is amazing!! but i wanted to use this on a wedding cake? would this be possible?! as it will be left out for an hour. the bride wants this frosting exactly!

thanks so much!

Chef Tess said...

The only way you can use this for a wedding cake is if you keep it refrigerated or the room is very cool. It will melt usually if left out too long.

Reality said...

would i be able to fill the cake with it then? it will be in an air conditioned room for 5 hours, but sugar is a preservative too.


Chef Tess said...

You can fill it just fine, but I'd be very concerned about the structure, as it is a very delicate frosting/filling. Maybe give it a test run on a smaller cake first and see if you feel confident that it would work. It will honestly depend on how cool it is. Butter is really touchy, even for structural filling.

Chef Tess said...

You can fill it just fine, but I'd be very concerned about the structure, as it is a very delicate frosting/filling. Maybe give it a test run on a smaller cake first and see if you feel confident that it would work. It will honestly depend on how cool it is. Butter is really touchy, even for structural filling.

Anonymous said...

hello! i was wondering if you used milk chocolate as apposed to white chocolate would it taste as good, this is in regard to the frosting?


Chef Tess said...

Milk chocolate in the frosting instead of the white?! Brilliant idea!! It would work perfectly.