Although the origins of Red Velvet Cake can be disputed, I never saw one until I moved to the South several years ago. From my perspective, it’s a Southern Classic!
Yield: 1- 9-inch four layer cake
Red Velvet Cake
2 ½ cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons liquid red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
1 8-ounce cream cheese, room temperature
1 – 8 ounce carton of Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. Set aside.
In an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until soft about 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each egg addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix in well.
In a measuring cup whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter. Divide the batter evenly between two prepared cake pans and smooth the tops. Bake in a preheated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.
Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for approximately 10 minutes and then remove cakes for their pans by inverting cake onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Wrap each layer in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for at least one hour.
In your electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and mascarpone cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioner’s sugar and beat until smooth. Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl. Using your electric mixer or a hand mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. With a large spatula, gently but quickly fold a little of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture to lighten it. Then fold in the remaining whipped cream, in two stages. Cover and place the frosting in the refrigerator for an hour or two, or until it is firm enough to spread.
Assembly: With a serrated knife, cut each cake layer in half, horizontally. You will then have four cake layers. Place one of the cake layers, top of the cake facing down, onto your serving platter. Spread the cake layer with frosting. Place another layer of cake on top of the frosting and continue to frost and stack the cake layers. Frost the top and sides of the cake. You can garnish the cake with sweetened or unsweetened coconut.