Happy upcoming Valentine’s day! For this special occasion, I prepared an awesome RED VELVET CAKE FROM SCRATCH!
It is very delicious with creamy, buttery frosting and moist cake layers. And yes! Blueberries and strawberries on top are complimenting the cake so good!
Of course, you can make something your own on top that would say it is specifically for your beloved one, and here you have an amazing gift for Valentine’s day!
Red Velvet cake from scratch | Valentine’s day recipe
For the cake:
- 170 g unstated butter (softened)
- 200 g sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 235 g all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 10 g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 245 g buttermilk
- red food coloring (the quantity depends on your coloring directions)
For cream cheese frosting:
- 455 g cold cream cheese
- 145 g unsalted butter (softened)
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 300-400 g powdered sugar
- Bring the butter (for the frosting as well), buttermilk, and eggs to almost room temperature. Preheat the oven at 175°C.
- For the cake, mix all dry ingredients except for the sugar in a bowl. Prepare the baking tin that you'll be using with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter with sugar using a strong spatula or a wooden spoon. You should reach the fluffy and creamy consistency. If it starts to look curdled or frothy, the butter may be too warm, which can cause you a greasy and heavy cake, so you have to refrigerate the mix for about 10-15 minutes.
- Add the eggs (one at a time) and vanilla. I recommend using an electric mixer at this point because it will mix and incorporate the eggs into the batter more evenly. Also, as the book says: 'There is no advantage to beating the eggs any longer than it takes to incorporate them.'
- Add the remaining wet and dry ingredients. You should add dry ingredients in 3 parts as well as wet ingredients in 2 parts. Don't forget to add coloring with the buttermilk. If you started with the dry ingredients, you should finish with the dry ingredients as well. It will keep the mixture more stable.
- Pour it into a baking tin, and bake it for about 35 minutes.
- While the cake is baking, make the frosting. Mix well the softened butter with cold cream cheese and vanilla. The texture should be smooth without any lumps. And then gradually add the sugar. Don't forget to taste because your taste differs from mine!
- When the cake has cooled down, slice it horizontally to make the layers. Finally, fill and frost with a cream cheese frosting that you made.
- Leave it in a refrigerator for a few hours so it can thicken, and decorate it with some berries or sprinkles as you wish!
Easy cake formula:
Butter – Sugar – Eggs – Vanilla – Dry and Wet ingredients
Butter in Red Velvet cake
The goodness of the cake or any other dessert, appetizer, entree, etc., comes from high-quality ingredients.
This doesn’t mean that you have to search for it throughout the whole town and buy the most expensive butter. But if you have some money, I highly recommend investing in that.
A really good butter will have a smell that will remind you of something rich in flavor, nutty but with milk interpretations. It will have a texture that doesn’t collapse when you cut it, the creamy and thick consistency at once, and the butter label should tell that the fat is at least 82%.
The actual one and only butter that I tasted some time ago was my grandmother’s homemade butter. You have no idea how rich in smell, flavor, and texture it was. It takes an hour to make 300g, but believe me. It’s worth it.
The origin of this cake is in America. If you throw out the cocoa powder and food coloring, the pound cake would be the real name.
That’s because earlier, you needed a pound of each ingredient – butter, flour, eggs, and sugar – to bake this cake.
Nowadays, the quantities have changed, but the most significant part – the butter – stayed.
The way we treat the butter will fate whether the fluffy, airy, light, or heavy, greasy, and curdled the texture and taste will be. It’s not without reason called the butter cake (that’s the second name).
Why do you need to bring the butter to ALMOST room temperature?
Creaming the butter with sugar is a critical step in butter cakes. During this process, you gain a fluffy and airy texture of the Red Velvet cake from scratch (of course, if you don’t ruin it).
I made a lot of cupcakes with a butter base. And I’ve learned that to work (but not overwork) with butter, you need to bring it to almost room temperature, about 15°C.
While you beat the butter, the temperature is still rising. If you started at 21°C, you’d end up with 25°C, which can be damaging. So is better lower temperature and more muscle work.
I highly recommend using a wooden spoon as it is firm and, I assume, ‘unbreakable.’ You have no idea how many silicon spatulas I’ve broken.
By the way, soft doesn’t mean fluffy and creamy.
Work with the butter, gradually add sugar until it’s creamy, fluffy, lighter in color, and airy. It’s like whipping eggs. I guess you know that feeling when you whip them as fast as you can till you have pain in your arm. It’s the same with the butter when making Red Velvet cake from scratch.
How to know when it’s too much?
It’s the same as if you would leave the butter to stay at room temperature for a few hours. The color will be too shiny, and you will see more liquidy parts. It will be hard to call it a creamy consistency.
To fix that, you should leave in it a fridge for 10-15 minutes until it’s in the right consistency again. You should do that before adding eggs as well.
Why do we always mix sugar with the butter and not other ingredients?
Sugar crystals cut holes in the fat. Those holes will expand with gasses during baking, and the cake will be able to rise even more.
Why all ingredients have to be at room temperature?
After you beat the butter with sugar, you will add eggs and buttermilk, which are both usually stored in the fridge.
The emulsion is a mixture of fat and liquid. Some emulsions are stable, and some are unstable (like oil with the water; you can make this mixture for a millisecond until they separate).
The emulsion is affected not only by the ingredients we are mixing but the temperature as well.
When you beat the butter, it will eventually rise to room temperature. Therefore, if you add cold eggs or buttermilk, you will find an imbalance in temperatures that will cause you loss of volume and texture. The cake will become heavy, more tough than fluffy, and curdled.
By the way, about the eggs.
You don’t need to mix them into the batter longer than it takes to incorporate them. There is no reason.
If you are thinking about light and airy texture, whipping as much air as you can into the butter and sugar mixture is the way to go.
Dry and wet ingredients
Adding wet and dry ingredients in parts keeps the mixture stable and prevents over adding ingredients.
By the way, in this stage, overmixing is dangerous because you can develop too much gluten, which will toughen the cake.
So bakers mix it by hand with a silicone spatula. Sometimes your mixer might not be strong enough as well.
Toothpick tip at the end of baking Red Velvet cake
At the end of baking, insert a toothpick to the center of the cake and immediately take it out. If it comes out clean, the cake is baked. If not, give it a few more minutes.
A few tips for Red Velvet cake frosting
- Don’t forget to beat the butter first as it will incorporate with the cream cheese better and more even.
- To make a smooth frosting, don’t overbeat it and use cold cream cheese.
- Don’t add whole sugar at once. Each person has a different taste. For instance, this frosting recipe asked for 900g of powdered sugar. I used only 400g, and still, it was too much for me.
Maybe some cakes look like they are hard to make or too fancy to be made at home. But that’s not true. I think homemade croissants are more tricky to make.
There are only two things you need: knowledge and practice. One of them I’ll try to give you every day, and the other part you’ll have to manage by yourself.
I hope you’ll try my Red Velvet cake from scratch for your Valentine’s day. I’m sure your beloved one will be thrilled to get such an amazing and delicious dessert.
Happy Valentine’s day!