Nothing says Valentine’s Day like a really special dessert, and no other dessert can quite top cake. Therefore it probably should be red velvet!
While red velvet cake usually pairs with cream cheese frosting, it just isn’t seductive enough for this holiday; the cake begs for chocolate buttercream instead. I found recipes for “the best” red velvet cake and “the perfect” chocolate buttercream frosting to create the most romantic Valentine’s Day treat. The result turned out so amazing, I nearly fainted. I’ve never made a more moist, flavorful, and beautiful cake from scratch with a perfectly matched delicious homemade frosting. My only regret — not adding enough food coloring; this red velvet cake could have used more red for passion!
For the Red Velvet Cake you will need:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 Tablespoons unsweetened, cocoa powder
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil or canola
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1-2 oz. red food coloring, depends how deep you want the color
- 1 teaspoon of white distilled vinegar
- ½ cup of prepared plain hot coffee (don’t skip this ingredient)
- Preheat oven to 325.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine sugar and vegetable oil.
- Mix in eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and red food coloring until combined.
- Stir in coffee and white vinegar.
- Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients a little at time, mixing after each addition, just until combined.
- Generously grease and flour two round, 9 inch cake pans with shortening and flour.
- Pour batter evenly into each pan.
- Bake in middle rack for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not over bake as cake will continue to cook as it cools.
- Let pans cool on a cooling rack until the pans are warm to the touch.
- Slide a knife or offset spatula around the inside of the pans to loosen the cake from the pan.
- Remove the cakes from the pan and let them cool.
- Frost when the cakes have cooled completely.
For the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:
- 1½ cups butter (3 sticks), softened
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
- ½ cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
- Add cocoa to a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Whisk through to remove any lumps.
- Cream together butter and cocoa powder until well-combined.
- Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn mixer onto a high speed for about a minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk have been added.
- Add vanilla extract and espresso powder and combine well.
- If frosting appears too dry, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. If it appears to wet and does not hold its form, add more confectioner’s sugar, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency.