May 08 2011
Happy Mother’s Day!
This red velvet layer cake with cream cheese frosting and berries was a combination birthday/Mother’s Day cake. I tend to be more of a cupcake girl, but when it comes to a celebration, this cake is perfect. It’s attractive, but not fussy. It’s sweet, but not overly sweet.
And because you can bake and assemble a day ahead of time, as I did, it’s downright convenient.
I discovered this recipe thanks to the Bon Appetit Desserts cookbook I received for Christmas. One look at that cake, and well, I was sunk.
The cookbook is phenomenal, but there’s still something to be said for looking up recipes on-line – on recipe sites as well as food blogs – and reading reviews. Numerous people commented that they felt the cake was a bit dry, so I decided to add some sour cream to the batter. Would it have been dry without? I don’t know, but since it tasted almost perfect with my variation, I’ve already made the notation in my cookbook. Perhaps next time (and yes, there definitely will be a next time) I will add one more tablespoon, just to see if it makes it even better.
One of the best things about this cake is that you don’t have to frost a cake like a professional baker – the berries can cover up just about any imperfections. Of course, the top of the surfaces are never where I have issues – but after frosting the cake, I was cursing myself for even attempting to frost the sides – every time I tried smoothing the frosting out, I ended up with frosting so thin I could see red cake underneath, not to mention all of the crumbs in the frosting!
Make another half batch of cream cheese frosting and add it to the sides of the cake the next morning. The finished cake looked so much prettier, and the fresh frosting adhered perfectly to the cool frosting on the cake. And let’s face it – who would turn down more cream cheese frosting?
Red Velvet Cake with Raspberries and Blueberries
adapted from Bon Appetit
for the cake
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour (sifted, then measured)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon red food coloring
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
for the frosting
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
5 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 1/2-pint baskets fresh raspberries
3 1/2-pint baskets fresh blueberries
instructions for the cake
Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease two 9 inch round baking pans and line with parchment. Place in refrigerator.
Sift cake flour into medium bowl, measure 2 1/4 cups, then sift flour with cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.
Combine buttermilk, sour cream, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar in a liquid measuring cup or small bowl. Whisk until smooth.
With a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as needed. Add the flour mixture in 4 batches, alternating with the buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.
Divide batter between the cake pans. Bake 24-29 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Cool for ten minutes in the pans, then invert onto wire racks, remove parchment, and cool completely.
instructions for the frosting
With a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter until blended. Add the vanilla and beat to blend. Add confectioners’ sugar and slowly mix to blend, then increase speed to medium for 1 minute.
Place one cake layer, bottom/flat side up onto a platter or cake stand. Frost top with a generous cup of cream cheese frosting, then top with 1 package of raspberries and 1/2 package blueberries, pressing lightly. Top with second cake layer, domed side up. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Arrange berries decoratively on the top.
Store cake covered in refrigerator (can make the day before – let stand 1 hour before serving). If desired, dust with confectioners’ sugar before cutting and serving.