Red Velvet Help!

Decorating By EmilyGrace Updated 9 May 2008 , 4:02pm by tonedna

EmilyGrace Posted 8 May 2008 , 4:57am
post #1 of 20

I've never made (or tasted) red velvet cake but a bride I'm doing a cake for asked if I could do one. I told her I would try out some recipes and get back to her. I just tried out the Old fashion red velvet recipe from the recipe section here on CC and although it tasted fine (i'm not sure what it's supposed to taste like as I've never had it) it drove me crazy! It stuck to the pan and I never have cakes stick! It also came out with a really hard crust around the outside... It was a disaster to try and torte it! I typically bake from mixes so maybe I just suck at baking from scratch but now I don't know what to do! Does anyone have any ideas of what I could do differentely? I baked two 6" square cakes and had to bake for about 35-40 minutes with a flower nail in the center until the center was done. I also used the homemade cake release I always use (1 part shortening, 1 part oil, 1 part flour). I can try parchment to help with the sticking but what about the crusty outside?? I'm positive I followed the ingredients/directions exactly! HELP!

19 replies
mommyle Posted 8 May 2008 , 5:10am
post #2 of 20

Hi there. I've had COUNTLESS problems with RV. But it is SOOOOO yummy! just a light chocolate taste (depending on your recipe), with a bit of tang. LOVE it!!! And there is a TON of oil, so it is SUPER moist. Leahs helped me with some of my problems, namely mine marbled more than went red. But I digress. Turn down the heat to 325 if you haven't already. use parchment on the bottom of your pans. Use the heat-strips. if worst comes to worst, tell the client you only do square cakes in RV (It's a baking secret thing...) and trim the edges off. No one but you will know!!!

EmilyGrace Posted 8 May 2008 , 5:21am
post #3 of 20

Mine marbled too! Well the first one did (I only have one pan) but the second one didn't, I guess because the batter sat for a bit. What advise did Leahs give you about the marbling? I'll definatley use your tips next time... I never thought about cutting the edges off! Do you have a good recipe you wouldn't mind sharing?
Thanks again for your help! I'm so frustrated!

tonedna Posted 8 May 2008 , 5:47am
post #4 of 20

I use bakers Joy..never had any problems with it. I bake at 325.
Edna

EmilyGrace Posted 8 May 2008 , 6:13am
post #5 of 20

What is Baker's Joy?

tonedna Posted 8 May 2008 , 6:25am
post #6 of 20

http://www.bakersjoy.com/about.html

Is a spray for baking that helps cakes not too stick. Other companies have sprays like this. Wilton has one and Pam has one for baking too..
Edna

pjaycakes Posted 8 May 2008 , 10:05am
post #7 of 20

I use my grandmother's red velvet cake recipe. It uses butter instead of oil. It doesn't get a hard crust like scratch mixes made with oil. If you want the recipe pm me and I'll send it to you. As for the marbling if you add the red liquid alternately with the flour mixture it keeps that from happening. As for sticking I just grease and flour my pans (never had one stick - knock on wood).

Also, I think Duncan Hines has a red velvet cake mix. Although I didn't personally like it; maybe you could doctor it up to get it more like a scratch recipe.

peanut123 Posted 8 May 2008 , 10:38am
post #8 of 20

EmilyGrace,
If the red and the black are âmarblingâ, one way to eliminate this is to mix the cocoa powder with the red food coloring in a small bowl before adding it to the cake batter. Are you using unsweetened, natural cocoa powder?

Regarding the âcrustingâ, is it possible that you are over-baking the 6-inch cakes? The Cake Central recipe that you mentioned using calls for ââ¦either two 8" or one 8x11 or 9x13â pans baked at 350 F for 25-minutes. It also has the following phrase in bold, ââ¦or until done DO NOT OVERBAKE!â

Did both the sides and the bottom stick, or was it just the bottom?

Good luck! icon_smile.gif

HerBoudoir Posted 8 May 2008 , 12:45pm
post #9 of 20

If you can't get Baker's Joy, try Pam for Baking - both are a cooking spray with flour added and great for prepping pans.

tiggy2 Posted 8 May 2008 , 3:51pm
post #10 of 20

I've made Sarah's red velvet recipe from this site a couple of times and it came out very well. Tastes deliciouse and no sticking.

EmilyGrace Posted 8 May 2008 , 9:48pm
post #11 of 20

It felt like I was overbaking it but I kept checking it until the center was done. I used a flower nail the second time around and it helped but the edges were still really crusty.

I've thought about it a bit more and I think I know some reasons that might have contributed to the problem... I used all purpose flour instead of cake flour. The recipe didn't say cake flour but every other recipe does. I also used cocoa from the dutch store and I read something about dutch cocoa reacting differently than other cocoas or somthing. So I'll try again with one of the recipe's that uses butter tonight. I picked myself up some parchment paper and pam as well!

One more question... when I'm baking a 6" square should I only fill it up half way? I filled it up about 3/4 and maybe this contributed to the slow baking in the center.

tonedna Posted 8 May 2008 , 10:48pm
post #12 of 20

yes overfilling it will do that too!

peanut123 Posted 9 May 2008 , 12:41am
post #13 of 20

EmilyGrace,
It is possible that you have a batter acidity problem related to the selection of cocoa powder.

Dutch-process Cocoa and Natural Cocoa are not interchangeable without other modifications to adjust the pH of the batter.

Dutch-process Cocoa can have pH as high as 8, which makes it basic.

Natural Cocoa typically has a pH of 5.5, which makes it acidic.

The egg proteins in the batter need acidic conditions to coagulate and âsetâ. If the batter is not acidic enough, the cake may never âsetâ.

A high pH can also cause excessive âbrowningâ â¦which it sounds like you are seeing.

EmilyGrace Posted 9 May 2008 , 1:00am
post #14 of 20

Thanks for the info peanut123, I'm pretty sure that was the problem, I just read the back of my box of cocoa and it says: high fat cocoa processed with alkali!! Oops! I picked up some Hershey's Cocoa, this should be fine right?

peanut123 Posted 9 May 2008 , 1:15am
post #15 of 20

Yes, Natural Unsweetened Cocoa like Hershey's is the correct cocoa to use. Also make sure you do not overmeasure the baking soda.

Good Luck! icon_smile.gif

jbnhayes Posted 9 May 2008 , 1:19am
post #16 of 20

Red Velvet cake is basically a German chocolate cake that has been âdoctoredâ. With that in mind, since you are more comfortable with box cakes, you might want to try the Cake Mix Doctorâs âQuick Red Velvet Cakeâ recipe.

1 pkg German chocolate cake mix with pudding
1 c. sour cream
½ c. water
¼ c. vegetable oil
1 bottle (1oz) red food coloring
3 lg eggs
1 t. pure vanilla extract

Place all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low for 1 min. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of bowl. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 to 3 min. more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look well blended. Bake at 350o. Use the time recommended for the size of your pan.

She calls this the âdump methodâ. I have used it when in a hurry with much success. I have never had a problem with marbling and everyone linkes the flavor. If I am using a large pan or making deeper layers, I reduce the temp to 325o and use a flower nail in the center. I also use the Even Bake strips.

I have had really good luck with Wilton âs Cake Release. It is a thick liquid that you spread with a pastry brush.

No time to go to the store?â¦A great âpan greaseâ can be made by mixing 1 c. solid vegetable shorting (Crisco) with ½ c. flour. I apply this with a pastry brush into all the little crevices and even my fancy bundt pans do not stick. Keep in airtight container and this will hold for 6 months in the cupboard.

Good Luck icon_smile.gif

EmilyGrace Posted 9 May 2008 , 1:31am
post #17 of 20

Gotcha! Thanks so much for the help! I would have just given up if I didn't have CC!

EmilyGrace Posted 9 May 2008 , 3:44am
post #18 of 20

I just wanted to thank you all again! I tried making a red velvet cake again tonight using all your advise and it came out absolutely perfect!! Thanks so much! You guys definately saved my cake butt!!

peanut123 Posted 9 May 2008 , 10:39am
post #19 of 20

Congratulations on your victory and welcome to the Red Velvet Cake Club. icon_smile.gif

tonedna Posted 9 May 2008 , 4:02pm
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by peanut123

EmilyGrace,
It is possible that you have a batter acidity problem related to the selection of cocoa powder.

Dutch-process Cocoa and Natural Cocoa are not interchangeable without other modifications to adjust the pH of the batter.

Dutch-process Cocoa can have pH as high as 8, which makes it basic.

Natural Cocoa typically has a pH of 5.5, which makes it acidic.

The egg proteins in the batter need acidic conditions to coagulate and âsetâ. If the batter is not acidic enough, the cake may never âsetâ.

A high pH can also cause excessive âbrowningâ â¦which it sounds like you are seeing.




Good info! thumbs_up.gif

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%