The bold color of a red velvet cake is a delight to the eye and, with its rich cream cheese vanilla icing, it’s even more of a joy to eat.
- 225g/8oz plain flour
- 20g/¾oz cocoa powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- 175ml/6fl oz buttermilk, at room temperature
- ½ tsp red food coloring paste
- 150g/5½oz unsalted butter, softened
- 225g/8oz caster sugar
- 3 free-range eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the frosting
- 300g/10½oz cream cheese
- 75g/2¾oz unsalted butter softened
- 3 tbsp clear honey or maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease two 20cm/8in cake tins and line the bases with baking paper.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, and salt. In a jug, whisk together the buttermilk and food coloring.
- Cream the butter and caster sugar together in a stand mixer until really pale and light, this will take at least 2–3 minutes.
- Lightly beat the eggs and vanilla together. Gradually add the eggs to the creamed mixture, mixing well between each addition and scraping down the bowl from time to time with a rubber spatula.
- Add the dry ingredients to the bowl in batches, alternating with the red buttermilk, mixing until well combined. Divide between the prepared tins and bake for 20–25 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 2–3 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave until completely cold.
- To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Gradually add the honey or maple syrup to taste. Add the vanilla and mix until smooth.
- If the cake tops are domed, slice off the top of one, using a long serrated, to make it level. Crumble the off-cuts and set them aside.
- Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread the top with 3 tablespoons of the frosting. Top with the second cake layer and lightly press together. Using a palette, cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Scatter the reserved cake crumbs around the top edge of the cake.