Here’s a thought that crossed my spoiled mind this evening. What if, say, like my family in Australia, I can’t just run to the store and grab a box of red velvet cake mix off the shelf. I’ve obviously forgotten that it wasn’t that many years ago that I didn’t even know what a red velvet cake was! Imagine that.
This week I received an email from a fellow cake maker who asked me to share my favourite red velvet cake recipe since she wasn’t able to buy a box mix. Fellow bakers give me mixed reactions when I openly admit to using (insert scary music here)…. red velvet cake out of a box!! Well, I do and I’m not afraid to say it. Why not? It’s bad enough getting covered in red cake mix, which I usually do, without having to mess with red food colouring when measuring it out for a “from scratch” recipe.
Actually, there is a little history to my dread of red… I used to own a small bakery in Australia and had left some decorating items out on the dining table in my brand new dining room, in my brand new home. To cut a long story short, my youngest daughter was a climber and the result was red food colouring all over her and the brand new carpet! We bleached it out and then had to dye the carpet back lovingly with teabags. So you might now understand my dislike of red food colouring, even if red is my favourite color!
Ok, back to the cake at hand. I tend to look at box cake mixes as a starting point, and usually tweak them by changing out the oil with apple sauce for instance, and adding my own flavourings, add-ins etc. I’m sure the good people at Duncan Hines, Betty Crocker and Pillsbury didn’t just whip them together in five minutes. It is my understanding that they have spent years perfecting their mixes for our convenience. And very often that is the time I have no compunction in reaching for one.
Sure there is nothing quite like a delicately created sponge or genoise but there are times when I just need to get out two dozen cupcakes in a hurry and trust me, 5 year olds very rarely call me out on using a box cake mix over a scratch baked cake. Their beaming little faces covered in frosting are all the proof I need that sometimes, it’s ok.
So let’s get this red velvet cake made!
Preheat oven to 325°. Line muffin pan with paper liners.
Whisk together cocoa powder, food coloring, and hot water. Set aside to cool.
In the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and shortening until smooth. Scrape down bowl and add sugar. Beat until mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Stir buttermilk and vanilla into the cooled cocoa mixture. Sift cake flour and salt together into another bowl. With the mixer on low, alternate adding the flour mixture (in 3 parts) and the cocoa mixture (in 2 parts) to the egg mixture. Beat until incorporated. Combine vinegar and baking soda and stir until baking soda dissolves; the mixture will fizz. Add to batter and stir until just combined.
Fill cupcake pans 2/3 full with batter. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan, and let cool completely.
|So, of course I ended up with red food coloring up one arm and on the kitchen rug. Still not sure how that happened! These cakes are very light and fluffy due to the sifted cake flour. I topped and filled mine with my favourite crusting cream cheese buttercream and some decorator sugar and toppings I had on hand. I love the color with this recipe. I have made them in the past where they weren’t red enough but it helps to use the dutch processed cocoa powder because it’s darker than regular cocoa.|
|Don’t forget to try this recipe out making the Red Velvet & Cream Cheese Cake Balls, they’re delicious! Ok, so now I’m off to make a cuppa and maybe sneak one of these! ~ Colleen
|I’ve always wanted to try making cake balls. The whole idea just looks like fun. I’ve seen them on other sites and thought I would definitely have to give them a go some day.|
Well hubby got promoted recently so why not use that as an excuse to make some for him to take into the office right? Easy as can be.
The recipe below uses a boxed cake mix but if you can’t get your hands on one or would just prefer to make it your red velvet cake from scratch here is the recipe.
Red Velvet & Cream Cheese Cake Balls
1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
2. Mix thoroughly with the cream cheese frosting. I used a wooden spoon to mix it around.
3. Using a melon baller or teaspoon roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet covered with parchment. You can also use a mini ice-cream scoop but I’m a hands on kinda gal.
4. Chill for several hours. I froze mine for two hours.
5. Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package.
6. Roll balls in chocolate and lay on parchment until firm. (I dropped the balls into the chocolate, completely covered them and then scooped them up with a fork and tapped on the side of the bowl until most of the excess chocolate came off.)
I also only melt a few pieces of chocolate bark at a time because it starts to cool and thicken. It’s easier to work with when it’s hot.
I refrigerated mine again until ready to pack up and send to the office.