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Red Velvet Cake

Close up of a red velvet cake on a white plate

Why do I have two recipes for Red Velvet on my blog?

One of my lovely readers asked me to share my Thermomix recipe for Red Velvet. So yes, this recipe is written for the Thermomix; it will give you a decent-sized 8″ round cake that’s worthy of any celebration. You’ll also notice that the method isn’t quite conventional, but that’s me. ??? And if you know me well, you’ll know it works. ?

So, where is the other Red Velvet recipe? It’s back in development and coming soon…

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What is a Red Velvet cake?

There’s a lot of recipes online for Red Velvet Cake.  I know many people say it’s simply a chocolate cake with red food dye? Although I believe this cake shouldn’t be overly chocolaty, in fact, it should have just a hint of chocolate flavour, and it shouldn’t be super sweet either. I prefer to call it a perfectly balanced chocolate, vanilla cake with a light velvety crumb texture. There’s a delicate balance that most people love. Try it yourself, you’ll see.

Ingredients used in my Red Velvet Cake

  • Plain flour (all-purpose) and cornflour (cornstarch) I use both to achieve a lighter result. If you keep cake flour on hand you can always use that. Just add the 350g plain and 30g cornflour together to get 380g and use all cake flour. I tend to not keep it on hand in my pantry because the above gives similar result and I always have plain and cornflour.
  • Acid – When you check the ingredients you notice the addition of more than one acid. In this case, vinegar, buttermilk and cocoa will all help bring out the cocoa flavours and of course, activate the raising agents. The acid in this case is usually white vinegar, although at a pinch I’ve used apple cider. You really can’t taste any unwanted flavours. Try it and I’m sure you’ll love it.
  • I use bicarb of soda here, rather than baking powder. It will do a better job of leavening for this one and we’ve added enough acid to counteract any soapy taste that we might get if it was overloaded (although it’s not).
  • Sugar- for white sugar I only buy caster sugar. I can’t think of any recipe I’d want the large crystals of plain white. Caster works way better for a pastry chef.
  • Eggs- you know I prefer free range. Use what you like, but think of the chickens ?
  • Vegetable oil – Please make sure your vegetable oil is fresh. Smell it, it should smell like, well, nothing. I’m not a doctor and I don’t know what is best for health here so I’m not about to tell you what you should use. I’ve seen bad press on Aussie canola so I choose sunflower. Sunflower is a non flavoured oil. Best to use a non flavoured oil here. Oh and the addition of oil will give your cake a softer crumb and better keeping qualities.
  • Butter – Yep I got butter into this one too. I like the taste and putting it in really makes this cake shine.
  • Vanilla – Gosh I put it in everything. LOL, no not really. It is nice though, it’s one of those ingredients that helps balance out flavours. Got to love that!
  • Colour – you want intense? If you’re using liquid you’ll need a lot. When you add it to the batter, what you see is what you get.

Which colouring to use in a red velvet cake?

I prefer to use gel to achieve deep red colours; however, if you prefer to use a more natural ingredient, you can use beetroot powder for colouring. It’s not quite as vibrant, but it’s a good option if you prefer a natural colour. Don’t overcook your cake, as beetroot powder will brown as it heats up. Try protecting your cake by using cakes bands around the outside of your tin. These will help limit the edges of your cake from turning brown.

A 3 layered red velvet cake with cream cheese icing made with beetroot powder.
Red velvet with beetroot powder for colour (1.5 times the recipe, and using 3 tins)
Close up of red vevet made with gel colour.
Red velvet with red gel colour

What sort of icing would you use on a Red Velvet Cake?

I like cream cheese Icing for Red Velvet, but there are many cases where it’s inappropriate. Kids don’t seem to like it, it’s not great for warm days, and it’s dairy. With all the food allergies around these days, plain buttercream might be a better option?

I have a post on buttercream icing; it’s a lovely butter buttercream of commercial quality. The commercial buttercream will do a little better on hot days. Then there’s my swiss buttercream, which doesn’t do well on a warm day but is otherwise a huge hit. There are also my Buttercream Icing recipes and Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

What did I use on this Red Velvet you ask? Ermine Frosting or Buttercream.

The process of making a Red Velvet Cake in the Thermomix

It’s a fairly simple method, but I always suggest you read the recipe first. When you first start reading recipes, you can be excused for being a little confused. Learning to read recipes is not unlike reading a new language. The more you read, the better you’ll understand them.

  1. Line your tins and get your oven on.
  2. This step is probably something you don’t normally see, its something I’ve found works really well with a cake that has butter and oil in the recipe. I add my butter along with the dry ingredients, blitzing them together to have the butter finely distributed throughout the whole mix. Once you’ve blitzed it should look like very fine (sandy) crumbs. It’s a good way to get even distribution at this stage.
  3. Then we weigh the oil into a small separate jug or bowl for adding later.
  4. The next step is a common one for a sponge type cake. Add the eggs, sugar and vanilla and emulsify. We’re going to whisk this to create some volume so use the butterfly here. Once enough volume is achieved, add in the oil by drizzling in through the hole in the lid while the blades are turning. Drizzling it in through the hole in the lid while the blades are running will help keep the oil in suspension (and not separate), which is how we achieve a light cake.
  5. Now we finish it off. While the blades (butterfly in) are turning we add 1/2 the dry then 1/2 the liquid, then repeat with the remaining dry and liquid.
  6. Place that batter into the prepared tins and bake.

FAQ:

Why did my red velvet cake fail to rise?

Check the use-by date on your bicarb. You have to be organised when making a recipe like this. Light and airy will turn flat and heavy if you take too long at each process. Don’t panic, just read the recipe first and get everything in place. Having a batter sitting in a TM bowl waiting for the oven to heat up isn’t going to help.

How to know when your cake is cooked?

Times and oven temperatures in recipes should always be used as guides. Your oven, your tin, the temperature of your ingredients when they go into the oven all change the outcome. The more you bake, the more you will get a feel for it.
Here are my methods for determining if it is properly cooked (choose one or more)
1. Gently touch the centre of the cake, and if it springs back, it’s most likely cooked.
2. If the edges of the cake batter have moved away from the cake tin, it’s most likely cooked.
3. Use a wooden toothpick in the centre of the cake, and if it comes out clean, you guessed it, it’s cooked.
4. If you have an instant-read thermometer, the centre of this cake should reach 85°C (don’t touch the hot tin anywhere)

Close up of a red velvet cake on a white plate

Red Velvet Cake

4.20 from 15 votes

5 stars tells us you love the recipe

becs-table.com.au
There’s a lot of recipes online for Red Velvet Cake.  This recipe has an addition of acid to bring out the cocoa flavours, and uses beetroot powder or a gel for the red colour.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Difficulty Medium
Course Cake
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
Method Thermomix

Equipment

  • 1 Thermomix

Ingredients
  

  • 350 g plain flour (all-purpose)
  • 30 g cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 25 g cocoa powder use a good one I like Calebaut
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
  • 1 teaspoon flaked salt or ½ tsp of table salt
  • 120 g unsalted butter cold cubes straight from the fridge
  • 350 g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 10 g vanilla extract
  • 200 g vegetable oil I use sunflower
  • 20 g vinegar I like to use white, but apple cider vinegar is cool too
  • 40 g of liquid red food colouring or if you can get it 20g of red paste
  • 240 g buttermilk

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 170°C (160°C fan): grease and line your cake tin or tins. I’ve used 2 USA non-stick pans 8 inch (20.32 x 20.32 x 5.08 cm) no need to grease I’ve just lined the base with baking paper. You could use a large 8 inch with high sides. And cut into layers with a serrated knife. *See my notes
  • Weigh the flour, cornflour, bicarb soda, cocoa powder, salt and butter into a clean, dry TM bowl; with the MC in place, whisk for 8 seconds/speed 6. Remove from the bowl and set aside. The texture should be like sand.
  • Pop the lid on the TM bowl, then place a small jug or bowl on the top of that. Weigh in the oil, then set it aside for later.
  • Without cleaning the bowl, pop in the butterfly then weigh in the sugar, vanilla and eggs, pop on the lid, MC out.
  • Set the TM to mix 1min/speed 3.5. When the time is up, set the TM back to speed 3.5 and slowly drizzle the oil in through the hole in the lid as you would if you were making a mayonnaise. This mix doesn’t have to be thick and creamy, just emulsified, so don’t worry about the texture here.
  • Weigh the buttermilk, vinegar and red food dye into a jug or small bowl and stir with a fork or spoon.
  • Now you should have three mixes. The egg mix (inside the TM bowl), buttermilk acid mix (in a jug) and dry mix (mixed at the start).
  • With the egg mix still in the TM bowl, set the speed to 3. First, add ½ the dry mixture through the hole in the lid, then ½ the buttermilk mix, then repeat with the remainder of the dry and then the remaining buttermilk.
  • Remove the lid, lift the mix from the base and scrape down. Mix again for 5 seconds/speed 3.
  • Drop the batter into your grease/lined tins and bake until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Don’t open the oven door until the cake has been in for at least 30 minutes if you’re using two cake tins or 40 minutes if you’re using one. I sometimes have to open my oven at this time to turn the tins so they evenly bake. If your oven bakes unevenly, I suggest you do that too. The cake should take around 45 – 1 hour to bake depending on the size of your tins.

Notes

As this cake bakes, it will puff up and dome a little, but it will flatten out as it cools. Leave the cake or cakes to cool in the tin on a cooling rack. Once the cake is completely cold, remove it from the tin.  If you need to trim a little off the top, do that before decorating. 
Want to know more about making cakes in your Thermomix.  I’ve developed a course for anyone that needs some help in making perfect butter cakes.  After running Bake Club at the cooking school for many years, I’ve seen the struggles some of you have; in fact, I had some too when I first got mine.  My method isn’t conventional, but trust me will work well in your Thermomix.    Check out the courses here. 

Want to know more?

Want to learn how to make perfect butter cakes? Butter cakes are the most common kind of cake we make. I’ve met many people that struggle with them, especially those that have Thermomixes. We have two online courses, one for a stand mixer and one for the Thermomix. Being able to make perfect butter cakes will unlock a wide range of cake baking possibilities.

Perfect butter cakes

21 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe. It’s well written and it works perfectly. I made two layers and filled and iced them with raspberry cream cheese frosting. I made it for my daughter’s 18th birthday cake, and everyone loved it. Thanks!

    1. Thank you Helena, I’m glad it worked will for you and your Daughter and guests loved it. It’s such a great feeling when everyone loves what you’ve made. 💖

  2. The recipe lists bicarb of soda, but mentions baking powder in the method.

    1. Hey Bronwyn, You’re the only person that has picked that up. The ingredient list is correct. If it was baking powder, you would have to add more than a tsp. Thank you so much for pointing it out; I’ve fixed it now.

  3. This is a really straight forward recipe and the end result is perfection. Made for my daughters birthday and it was velvety and smooth. More like a mud cake texture and a crowd winner!

  4. I noticed that TM recipes weigh everything in grams so is 240ml of buttermilk the right thing to do?

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