Recipe: Southern Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


Did you read our profile of Dawn Casale and Dave Crofton from One Girl Cookies today? They shared two recipes from their forthcoming book, One Girl Cookies: Recipes for Cakes, Cupcakes, Whoopie Pies, and Cookies from Brooklyn’s Beloved Bakery with us. This red velvet cake and a recipe for warm and spicy oatmeal cookies with ginger.

Southern Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Casale writes: I have an admission to make. Initially, I didn’t “get” the obsession with red velvet. It is of Southern origin, and like a magnet, attracts both those familiar with it and those who are not. The latter group often inquires about the flavor. I explain the light chocolate essence and then explain how it looks, because that I “get.” It is a deep, velvety red on the inside, framed by white cream cheese frosting. We are talking luscious and gorgeous. To me, that’s reason alone to love it.

Makes one 9-inch layer cake

2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons red food coloring

2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 cups sugar

4 large eggs

4 cups cake flour

2⁄3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon table salt

Cream Cheese Frosting (page 69)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans by greasing them with cooking spray and then lining the bottoms with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, vanilla, food coloring, and vinegar. Stir well.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and mix for 1 minute.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer running on low speed, mix in a third of the flour mixture and half of the yogurt mixture. Add another third of the flour mixture and all the remaining yogurt mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and fold in the remaining flour mixture until fully incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.

5. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, for 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 20 minutes. Then turn each cake out onto a clean plate, remove the parchment paper, and then turn it back over onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.

6. To assemble, place a cake layer on a serving plate. Spread a thin layer of the cream cheese frosting over the top. Place the second layer on top, and spread the remaining frosting over the entire cake.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 4 cups

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1⁄4 teaspoon table salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 1⁄2 cups (1 pound) confectioners’ sugar, plus more if needed

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until soft and creamy, 5 minutes. Add the salt and vanilla, and mix for 30 seconds on low speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer running on low speed, add the confectioners’ sugar. Scrape down the bowl, and then beat the mixture for 1 more minute. If the consistency is too soft for frosting the cake, add more confectioners’ sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.

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