You know, I didn’t think that I was in the mood for Valentine’s Day but, I guess I am!! I mean, it is such a pretty and fun holiday that is really all about…….sweets!!! And one of my favorite sweets is ANYTHING red velvet! And naturally, red velvet is MADE for Valentine’s Day!!
Did you know that red cakes have been around for a long time?? Even before red food coloring was common? Apparently, early red cakes were colored by the chemical reaction that occurs when vinegar interacts with cocoa powder. Of course, the resulting red color was not as vibrant as we are now able to achieve with red food coloring, but that is really why you still find cocoa in a red velvet cake. It is more for coloring purposes than actual chocolate flavor. In fact, I would not really call a red velvet cake a chocolate cake at all. It is a sweet tangy cake with a vanilla flavor and a hint of chocolate. But enough of the history lesson (though being a history teacher, I can’t help it! ) Let’s get to this cake!!
Now being a lover of red velvet cake I have to tell you that this is truly the BEST red velvet cake I have ever made!! It’s not really that surprising because I used the Cook’s Illustrated version for the cake base of this bundt cake. Because I always feel that if you want to do something right, just go to Cook’s (or the TV counterpart, America’s Test Kitchen) These people know what they are doing!! So I took their cake version of red velvet, ran a thin ribbon of cheesecake through it, put it in a bundt pan and poured a cream cheese icing over the top.
I have to tell you, that this is seriously one of the best cakes I have ever made. While I was shooting the photos, I literally stopped in the middle of the shoot and scarfed down the slice that I was photographing.
And when I say “scarfed” down, I mean I inhaled it!! People, I didn’t breathe until I finished the whole piece! It was that amazing. It was everything I love about a good red velvet cake. Moist, dense, buttery, tangy, sweet with hints of vanilla and chocolate.
Here is a Kitchen tool that will help you with this recipe:
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- 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese -softened
- 1/4 c. granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 t. vanilla
- 2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 t baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1 c. buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 TBLS distilled white vinegar
- 1 t. vanilla
- 2 TBLS unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 oz. bottle of red food coloring
- 12 TBLS unsalted butter -softened
- 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 4 oz. cream cheese -softened
- 4 TBLS butter -softened
- 2 c. powdered sugar
- 1/2 t. vanilla
- 2-3 TBLS milk (until you reach a pourable consistency)
- Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.
- In a small mixing bowl, place all ingredients and beat until well incorporated. Place aside.
- Spray a bundt pan with baking spray.
- In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Place aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, vinegar and vanilla. Place aside.
- In a small bowl, mix cocoa powder with red food coloring and place aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternatively together, mixing thoroughly after each addition until well blended. 2-3 incorporations apiece. Add cocoa mixture and blend thoroughly.
- Assemble cake by pouring half the cake batter into the prepared pan. Using a large spoon or spatula, drop cream cheese mixture carefully around the center of the bundt pan, trying to keep it away from the sides. Pour the remaining cake batter over the top.
- Bake for approximately 50-55 minutes, or until the cake is no longer jiggly when moved and the top is beginning to brown and if a toothpick is inserted, the crumbs sticking should be "cake like" and not 'batter like".
- Remove to a cooling rack till cool. Then invert onto a serving tray or plate.
- Make sure cream cheese and butter are at room temperature or icing will be lumpy. Blend the cream cheese and butter in a medium mixing bowl till smooth. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, blending after each addition. Add the vanilla and 2 TBLS of milk (I used 1%) If needed, add 1 more TBLS milk. (The icing needs to be pourable)
- Pour over the cooled cake and garnish with sprinkles or decorations as desired.
Recipe Source: Two in the Kitchen
Cake portion source: Cook’s Illustrated