Moist layers of lightly cocoa flavoured red velvet sponge, covered in a luscious cream cheese buttercream to create a stunning vintage style layer cake
What is a red velvet cake?
Red velvet is originally a cake flavour, typically red or red-brown frosted with an ermine frosting. Ermine frosting is also known as cooked flour or boiled milk frosting is a creamy frosting made from thickened milk custard and butter.
The red cake base is made from a mix of cocoa powder and red food colouring, to create a stunningly different cake colour that characterises this cake.
This red velvet cake uses a light cream cheese frosting rather than an ermine frosting. I prefer this kind of cream cheese frosting as it isn't as greasy, and is so much easier to make. The flavour is reminiscent of a cheesecake!
How to decorate the cake?
I've decorated this red velvet cake with a vintage style, but this is of course optional. Feel free to decorate this cake as you wish! If you would like to decorate this cake like mine here are a couple of tips that may help you.
Make sure the frosting is smooth
One of the most important things when frosting a cake is making sure the frosting is at the perfect consistency. A smooth and clump-free frosting will glide onto your cake and make your life so much easier.
A couple of things to keep in mind for a smooth frosting:
- Use room temperature cream cheese, cold cream cheese straight from the fridge has the tendency to clump up, making it difficult to achieve the perfect texture. If you are short on time you can cut the cream cheese into cubes and zap it in the microwave at 30 second intervals for the perfect consistency
- Beat the cream cheese and sugar together until silky smooth. If you add the cream cheese and cream at the same time the cream cheese will form little chunks throughout the cream.
- Don't overbeat! Overbeating your cream will cause it to curdle and separate, make sure you stop whisking as soon as it reaches stiff peaks.
Crumb coat your cake
A crumb coat is a thin layer of frosting over the assembled cake that locks in all the loose crumbs. This prevents the crumbs from coming off the cake and getting into the final layer of frosting, ensuring a perfectly frosted cake!
Keep your frosting chilled
Unlike regular buttercreams, this cream cheese frosting prefers to be chilled. The longer the frosting sits outside the more it will soften. If you are going to have the frosting outside for an extended period of time, I would recommend placing it in the fridge. For example, I like to keep the remaining frosting for piping designs in the fridge as I do the basic frosting over the cake.
Unfortunately, the thing with frosting is that it takes practice to perfect. No one is going to be able to pipe perfect swirls from the get-go. Before you pipe the frosting on your cake practice piping a couple of trims and patterns on a sheet of baking paper. Once you're done practicing you can then scrape the frosting off the baking paper and reuse it over your cake!
Make more frosting if needed!
If you are looking to create some elaborate designs over your cake you might run out of frosting. Piping frosting takes up a lot more frosting than you would think! If you run out, this buttercream is so easy to make, so go ahead and make a little more to finish off your stunning design.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does this cake last?
This cake should last up to 4 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Make sure to keep the cake chilled when storing, as it is covered in a cream-based frosting it needs to be kept in the fridge.
How should I serve this cake?
This cake tastes best once it has had some time to sit at room temperature. Remove the chilled cake from the fridge and let it sit on the countertop for 15-30 minutes before enjoying!
Do I have to decorate the cake as you have?
Definitely not! Baking is all about creativity, feel free to change up the design, whether that be a simple naked cake or an elaborate design, the world is your oyster!
Let's Get Baking
Whether you are looking for a retro-style cake to make for your next special occasion or just looking for a delicious red velvet cake, this is the one for you!
If you make these make sure leave a comment and rating down below, I would love to know how it went. Also tag me on instagram @catherine.justdessertsau and hashtag #cattycakes so I can see and share your creations.Print
Vintage Red Velvet Cake
Cocoa flavoured red velvet sponge, covered in a luscious cream cheese buttercream to create a stunning vintage style layer cake
- Prep Time: 60 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 1 x 6-inch cake 1x
- Category: Cake
- Method: Intermediate
- Cuisine: American
Red Velvet Cake
- 160ml Vegetable oil (⅔ cup)
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 240ml Milk (1 cup)
- 1 tbsp White vinegar
- 2 Large eggs
- 22g Cocoa powder (3 tbsp)
- 320g All-purpose flour (2 ⅔ cups)
- 300g White sugar (1 ½ cup)
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- Red gel food colouring
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 510g Cream cheese, room temperature (18 oz)
- 360ml Thickened/heavy cream (1 ½ cup)
- 75g White sugar (⅓ cup)
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- Gel food colourings of your choice
Red Velvet Cake
- Preheat the oven to 180C/355F, line the base of 3 x 6 inch cake tins with baking paper, and grease the sides
- Combine the milk and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside for 5 mins, until curdled
- Combine the oil and sugar in a large bowl
- Add the eggs, vanilla, soured milk and red food colouring
- Sift in the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and mix until just combined
- Pour into the lined cake tins and bake for 25 mins, or until an inserted toothpick emerges clean
- Remove from the oven and cool
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Combine the cream cheese and sugar together in a large bowl and beat until smooth and creamy
- Add the cream and whisk until stiff peaks
- Colour with your desired gel colorings
- Level off the three cooled red velvet cakes
- Spread a thin layer of frosting between the cake layers and frost the outside of the cake with the remaining frosting
- Decorate as you like and place in the fridge to set for 1 hour before enjoying
Keywords: red velvet, cream cheese, frosting, buttercream, birthday cake, retro, vintage, birthday cake