Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting



2 1/4  cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2  teaspoons baking soda
Pinch salt
1  cup buttermilk
1  tablespoon white vinegar
1  teaspoon vanilla extract
2  large eggs
2  tablespoons natural cocoa powder
2  tablespoons red food coloring
12  tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2  cups granulated sugar

16  tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4  cups confectioners' sugar
16  ounces cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces, softened
1 1/2  teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch salt

  1.  For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Whisk buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla, and eggs in large measuring cup. Mix cocoa with food coloring in small bowl until a smooth paste forms.
  2.  With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as necessary. Add one-third of flour mixture and beat on medium-low speed until just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add half of buttermilk mixture and beat on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl as necessary and repeat with half of remaining flour mixture, remaining buttermilk mixture, and finally remaining flour mixture. Scrape down bowl, add cocoa mixture, and beat on medium speed until completely incorporated, about 30 seconds. Using rubber spatula, give batter final stir. Scrape into prepared pans and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes then turn out onto rack to cool completely, at least 30 minutes.
  3.  For the frosting: With electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Beat in vanilla and salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  4.  When cakes are cooled, spread about 2 cups frosting on one cake layer. Top with second cake layer and spread top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 3 days.

Beyond Red Velvet Cake’s shocking bright color, there’s something more—an extra-tender cake and fluffy cream cheese frosting, which was achieved by using a two unexpected ingredients: buttermilk and vinegar. They reacted with this recipe’s baking soda to create a fine, tender crumb. It also contains the perfect amount of cocoa to add a dark hue to this Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting recipe and also lend it a pleasant cocoa flavor.


Serves 12