Giz wrote most of this post, and made the red part of the cake. Psychgrad organized the post, made the icing and iced the cake. Go teamwork!:
My younger brother (Psychgrad's uncle) who travels back and forth to NYC a fair amount constantly raves about a red velvet cake that he would take a taxi across town for on any given day. To hear this coming from him is shocking actually since he's what one might call obsessively concerned about healthy eating. He generally would never eat sugar and the greatest treat you would ever find in his home would be plain almonds. I mean, there's absolutely nothing wrong with all of that but it just begs the question "how did you ever come to find and even put this so called glory cake past your lips? I just don't get it". I've adopted the smile and nod philosophy and since he's offered me his kingdom for a red velvet cake, I figure an hour or so of my time might just be worth a kingdom.
This red velvet cake comes from Magnolia.
1/2 cup butter softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp white vinegar
3 large eggs
1 (1-ounce) bottle liquid red food colouring (tasteless variety)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1. Beat butter at medium speed with stand mixer (paddle attachment) or electric mixer until fluffy.
2. Gradually add sugar, vanilla and vinegar, beating well.
3. Add eggs, 1 at a time beating until blended after each addition.
4. Add food colouring, beating until combined.
5. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition.
6. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9 inch round cakepans.
7. Bake at 350F for 20 - 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes; remove from pans and cool on wire racks.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (16 oz) package powdered sugar (2 cups)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (if you want your icing to stay pure white use clear vanilla extract)
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Beat cream cheese and butter until creamy; gradually add sugar and vanilla, beating well.
Somebody once told me it's dangerous to let children play with electrical machinery. Although Psychgrad had never used a stand mixer before (you've all heard her ungrateful daughter stories about not having room for anything in her small little kitchen), I did encourage her to take the Nike approach and "just do it". I so wish I could have had ALL of you in my kitchen to hear what came out of her mouth and when I walked into the kitchen was greet with...
I told her that her stand mixer was possessed*.
8. Spread icing between layers and on tops and sides of cake (it helps to have a cake spinner).
* Future attempts to make icing in a stand mixer should commence with a pre-beating of the butter/shortening to keep the devil in my mother's stand mixer appeased.