Alright – here’s the deal – this is dead set gonna rocket you into Baker Super Stardom with your friends, your family, random people on the street, everyone! There’s something about red velvet cake… You and anyone you make this for will LOVE it. There is nothing to not love. It has that lovely chocolate flavour (tick), but lives up to its name and is beautifully red and velvety (another tick). It is also a stunning looking cake, so great for celebrations or just any old time coz you feel like it and why the heck not right?
You may notice as we bake together that I like – strike that – love layer cakes. I mean you can get more filling to cake ratio, so why on earth would you not make a layer cake? And they just look so stunning too. Love em.
I made this particular red velvet cake for my gorgeous friend Lauren, who had a birthday recently. I thought I’d make it super special and pipe a few roses etc on top. I’ve piped roses all over cakes that I’ve made before, but I kinda like a few around the top… See below in the Baking Tip for the piping nozzles I used. Rather than bore you with writing out how to do this piping, there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube about “piping roses” and they’re far more effective than you reading how to do it! I’m working on a ‘How To’ video, so stay tuned! I used my Easy Buttercream Frosting recipe for this cake. So easy…
A red velvet cake like this needs to be on a gorgeous cake stand. What baking doesn’t need to be on a cake stand I ask you! Cakes, cupcakes, brownies… Here are some of my absolute faves at the moment…. Cake Stand with Cover Stainless Steel (I used it in this post – my new fave!) 3 Tier Cake / Dessert Stand (this is super cute) Gracie China 10-Inch Victorian Rose Fine Porcelain Round Pedestal Cake Stand Off White (gorgeous!) 11″ Pink Glass Cake Stand (hellooooooo my friend…pink glass!)
You will see that I bake this cake (and all my layer cakes) in layer tins. I use Bakers Secret non stick, 20cm (8 inch) pans that are about 3cm (just over an inch) deep. The Wilton cake pans are just as good and the same size. I just think it’s easier than cutting a deeper cake into 3 layers. Especially because I have zero luck with cooking a larger cake evenly throughout – it is always drier on the edges than the middle. Hate. That. This way the 3 shallow cakes cook beautifully evenly – you’re welcome!
So – make your Buttercream frosting, making two quantities for between the layers and the outside of the cake (leave this without any colouring in it). Then make the half batch for the piping (I usually do them separately because that’s a lot of frosting to get nicely mixed in the mixer if you do it all together!). Separate your piping frosting into 2 equal batches in separate bowls. Colour one lot of frosting nice and red and the other lot pale yellow. You may find that your red frosting gets quite thin because you need to add quite a bit of colouring to it to get a nice deep shade. So make sure you add some more icing sugar to compensate for the colouring. The frosting needs to be a nice medium consistency, otherwise the flowers will lose shape quickly or even melt if it’s warm or humid!
I recently bought a Wilton No.789 nozzle for icing the sides of the cake – it’s revolutionised how I ice a cake with buttercream without getting a heap of crumbs in the finished result! You crumb coat or dirty ice the cake to kinda seal in the crumbs. Then you’ll use this big ol’ nozzle and pipe large horizontal strips around the cake then smooth them with an Icing Smoother. Genius! You will also need a Cake Turntable if you don’t already have one coz I can tell you now it’s nigh on impossible to get a smooth, even result unless you’re turning the cake with one hand and holding the icing smoother in the other! I had lent my turntable to someone when doing this cake and therefore not a perfect result… I just want to slap myself for never knowing this before! Who else knew about this and never told me? I got the idea off Lindsay and her blog Life Love Sugar which you can find here. Awesome tip…
OK, so onto piping the flowers. To do the piping like this, I used 3 separate bags with 3 separate nozzles. I use disposable piping bags (it’s just easier alright), a Wilton 1B XL in one bag, 1M Open Star in the second bag and a No.12 nozzle from a set of Russian piping nozzles in the last bag (that’s the one that makes the tulips). In one of the piping bags with either the Wilton 1B XL or the 1M Open Star in it, smudge a tablespoon full of red frosting down one side, trying not to get it on the rest of the bag. Then fill the bag with yellow frosting. Of course you’ll get some red frosting in the rest of the bag, it’s messy stuff!, but just try and keep it to the one side as much as possible, because this is what gives the nice red edge to those roses. Use the red frosting in the other piping bag with either the Wilton 1B XL or the 1M Open Star. Use these two bags with red/red & yellow frosting in them for the roses. Pop the yellow frosting in the bag with the Russian piping nozzle No.12. This will make the cute little tulips. I then sprinkled a few cute little edible hearts across the top. Have fun with it!
Red Velvet Layer Cake
- Two Quantities of Easy Buttercream Frosting. If you are also piping some flowers on the cake, you will need another half quantity of frosting (see Baking Tip).
- 250g / 8.8oz unsalted butter
- 1 and ½ cups caster or superfine sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 2 and ½ cups Plain Flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 1 cup milk
- 5 tablespoons liquid red food colouring
Preheat the oven to 160°C or 320°F. Grease and line 3 layer tins.
Cream butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating a little between each one.
Slowly beat in the milk and food colouring.
Add the dry ingredients and beat slowly until just combined.
Pour the batter evenly into 3 layer tins. The batter should 2/3 fill each tin.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out just clean.