Gerle Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 2:02am
post #1 of

I've never made a red velvet cake before. My sister's MIL has asked her to ask me if I would bake a cake for her husband's 80th birthday on Sept. 27th, but celebrating it on the 25th. She wants red velvet. I've heard all kinds of negative stories about red velvet, so haven't decided yet if I'll do it or not. First off, I'm a hobby baker, so she's going to supply the ingredients and I am not receiving pay for this cake as I know I can't here in CA. She saw a cake I did for my niece's birthday recently and she really liked the texture, flavor and decor of the cake, but it was a marble cake, not red velvet.

I'm kind of afraid to tackle this flavor due to the negative comments I've seen about the dryness and the taste, so would appreciate any pointers that anyone can give and/or any failproof recipes. Also, what kind of filling and frosting would you use? I still haven't decided if I'm going to do this cake or not, but would like the info in case I do. I prefer baking from scratch, but for this first try, scratch or box recipes will work. I don't have much time to decide as it's coming up soon. Thanks for your assistance!

27 replies
LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 2:08am
post #2 of

The biggest thing I can think of is to ask her if she prefers classic red velvet or a more chocolatey red velvet. RV is just one of those flavors that people have very certain ideas about. Some people expect it to essentially be a chocolate cake dyed red (Which is not RV, BTW, but whatever). icon_wink.gif

I haven't made it yet, but I have heard good things about Cakeman Raven's recipe. HTH!

MommieK Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 2:29am
post #3 of

I really don't understand all the fuss about red velvet myself. It's really just a mild chocolate flavored cake with a color anywhere from bright red(food coloring) to a mild earthy red(beets coloring). My advice is that if you choose to do the cake, find a recipe that calls for either buttermilk or yogurt. They are what I use to keep my baking moist when there is any chance of it drying out. I've read a lot of recipes for RV but have yet to try it. If you decide to do it, let us know which one you try and how it turns out.

DebbyJG Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 2:35am
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I make a scratch red velvet that is amazing. Therecipe calls forall butter, but I do half butter and half oil, so it has the butter flavor but moistness mouthfeel from the oil. Mine is NOT a choc cake, either. It has 1 T of cocoa in it. If you'd like my recipe send me a pm. I'd have to go get off the couch to get it now and I don't wanna at this moment. icon_wink.gif

dukeswalker Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 2:36am
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I can't quite get the appeal either - 1st off, all that red dye just eeks me out...secondly it doesn't really taste like anything specifically. Its def. not chocolate but its not vanilla/almond/yellow/white either. Very 'meh' IMO.

instant-gratificaketion Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 2:36am
post #6 of

Here is a pretty awesome recipe for Red Velvet cake. I have made it several times. It has received the stamp of approval from the 2 most important types of people: the Red Velvet lover and the Red Velvet hater. icon_smile.gif

http://cakecentral.com/recipes/7054/southern-red-velvet-ii

The only changes I make is that I use 1 Tbsp cocoa powder (instead of 1 tsp) and I only use 1 Tbsp of Wilton's "No-Taste Red" food coloring. I find when I added more cocoa powder I didn't need as much food color to achieve the red I wanted.

I top it with this cream cheese frosting:

http://cakecentral.com/recipes/4183/decorator-cream-cheese

maryj Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 2:43am
post #7 of

I just did a wedding cake for 300 this past weekend. the groom is from the south so I did a grooms cake in red velvet. I had never made a red velvet cake before so I did some test cakes before hand. I baked that cake four times and it came out differently each time. I happened to be a guest at this recent wedding so also cut the cakes. The Red velvet was dry and had no taste, I threw it in the garbage after I finally tasted it. YUCKO never again

DebbyJG Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 3:01am
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by maryj

I just did a wedding cake for 300 this past weekend. the groom is from the south so I did a grooms cake in red velvet. I had never made a red velvet cake before so I did some test cakes before hand. I baked that cake four times and it came out differently each time. I happened to be a guest at this recent wedding so also cut the cakes. The Red velvet was dry and had no taste, I threw it in the garbage after I finally tasted it. YUCKO never again




Then you had a bad recipe!! Mine isn't a bit dry, and everyone including me who makes cake every week, is now addicted to red velvet. It tastes like nothin g else, but it certainly doesn't taste like nothing. icon_smile.gif

BlakesCakes Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 3:03am
post #9 of

I make a doctored mix and it gets rave reviews:

http://cakecentral.com/recipes/7573/red-velvet-redux-easy-durable

HTH
Rae

maisyone2 Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 3:16am

I'll sure to be hazed for this, but here goes.....

I'm not a scratch baker for a couple of reasons.....
1) I don't have the time to experiment with dozens of different recipes just to find a decent recipe. And when you do find a recipe it's rare for that recipe to be exactly the same each and every time you make it.
2) I've heard more complaints about scratch cake recipes being dry.


These are the reasons I stick with box mixes....
1)Whether I use them as is or doctor them, they come out the same each time.
2) No guessing....Moist.....texture is consistent....tastes good.

Duncan Hines Red Velvet is moist and tastes wonderful.

Just my opinion....

scp1127 Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 3:20am

I love RV because it is really just a moist buttermilk cake with a hint of cocoa powder. I hate chocolate, so this is a great flavor for me. RV should be moist. Mine is close to being too moist. And I use very little food coloring. And since I have started developing vegan recipes, I am seeing what great flavor that vinegar brings to cake. That is another depth of flavor in this cake that makes it unique. So for me RV is a winner. I find that it is my most requested flavor.

mburkett Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 3:22am

I make RV all the time and people love it. Couple it with cream cheese icing. The recipe above (Southern RV II) is the same as Chef Stefs and Cakeman Raven's (Food Network).

I'm about to make a 1/2 sheet of it to make 2 stacked books. My problem is that the last time mine turned out crumbly. It was super moist and tasted great, just crumbly. (Probably my fault for using cake flour instead of all purpose as in the recipe). I made Chef Stefs. I think it may actually need 1 more egg. 2 just doesn't seem like it's enough for the amount of batter this recipe makes. Any thoughts from others who use this recipe? I also cut the red food coloring in half. I think it's enough.

I say go ahead and try it.

Gerle Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 5:47am

Thanks to everyone for your responses so far. There are some good sounding recipes to try. Since I've never tried RV before, I'll be making a practice cake and trying it to see how I feel about it. Hopefully my family will try it, too.

instant-gratificaketion Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 7:12pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

I love RV because it is really just a moist buttermilk cake with a hint of cocoa powder. I hate chocolate, so this is a great flavor for me. RV should be moist. Mine is close to being too moist. And I use very little food coloring. And since I have started developing vegan recipes, I am seeing what great flavor that vinegar brings to cake. That is another depth of flavor in this cake that makes it unique. So for me RV is a winner. I find that it is my most requested flavor.




thumbs_up.gif

Gerle Posted 9 Sep 2011 , 12:42am

Ok....really stupid question here..... Can I use the gel coloring, or do I have to use the liquid food coloring sold in most grocery stores? I was planning on using the gel, but since this is the first time making RV, I figured I better make sure I use the right kind. I'm hoping for a quick answer because I'm getting ready to make this cake now. Thanks for answering such a stupid question!!

Mexx Posted 9 Sep 2011 , 1:09am

There's a red velvet cake recipe on this site (1812 Waldorf Astoria) that uses canned pureed beets in the batter. It keeps the cake wonderfully moist and you don't have to use as much red food colouring.

CupcakeQT82 Posted 9 Sep 2011 , 1:11am

Hi! I have a request for RV for a wedding next summer, so I have gotten a lot of experience THIS summer trying recipes. I found one I love and if you want it, just let me know (PM). I prefer the oil-based recipes, and IMO it MUST have the baking soda/white vinegar mixture. I use cake flour and a gel food coloring. Also don't go with any recipe that DOESN'T involve buttermilk as this is what helps make RV more rich. 1-2 Tbs of cocoa powder is all you should need.

scp1127 Posted 9 Sep 2011 , 1:22am

You can use any kind of coloring you want. I have never used gel in it, but I don't see the problem. You can also use different colors. I've seen blue. But I have heard that some colors turn a little off color. I can't remember if it is green or purple. The amount in my recipe is rather insignificant (1 tbsp plus 1 tsp), but because I only use 3 tsp of cocoa powder, color takes easily. It's the higher amounts of cocoa powder that changes the final color plus how much you have to use.

Even though I'm usually a purist with recipes, I can't see beet juice in my description as being a selling point. I just can't see the general public warming up to the beets.

Gerle Posted 9 Sep 2011 , 3:53am

Well, I made the RV. They're still cooling so don't know what they taste like. SCP1127, I used your tips and so far the cakes look great. I did, however, forget to put the flower nails in -- thought of it when they had been in the oven for 15 minutes, so will have to see what happens in that regard. I used gel red coloring and it seems to be fine. It's a deep red, but looks really nice. I doubled the recipe so have 3 9" layers that are 2" tall. I'm going to frost them with the cream cheese frosting and let the family try it this weekend. I'm taking it up to our cabin in the mountains so will have other tasters as well. Will let you know next week how it turned out. I'm kind of excited about trying RV. Of all the cakes I've eaten, I've never had an RV.

SCP, thanks for your help. I'm still going to try other recipes as well to see which the family likes the best, but I do like the idea of not making it quite so heavy with the cocoa. I want to have a couple comparisons before I decide which one is best in my family's eyes. Now...off to make the cream cheese frosting! Night all!!

scp1127 Posted 9 Sep 2011 , 4:14am

Gerle, Bobby Flay won a Throwdown with his recipe on Food Network. You can find that recipe on their site.

The only reason I suggested the nail is because the cake is so moist. It will be fine. You would know by now because it would sink. I hope you enjoy it.

Susan

Gerle Posted 13 Sep 2011 , 2:52pm

Well, everyone who ate the cake this past weekend loved it! Thought it was absolutely delicious. Only question we all asked was --- is this what red velvet was supposed to taste like as no one who ate it had EVER eaten red velvet! But it turned out wonderfully moist and I even enjoyed it (I don't like chocolate cakes much, but this didn't have that real chocolate flavor). I used the cream cheese frosting and it was good!! So thanks again Susan for sharing the recipe with me. I will definitely be baking this again!! And the cake didn't sink without the nail...came out perfect. I had to slice off very little of the top to level it and it stacked perfectly.

salokin Posted 13 Sep 2011 , 5:07pm

It should only have a hint of chocolate flavor. The cocoa powder was orignally added to give it a red flavor when it was combined with the acid, buttermilk or vinger. Since then we gained food colorings and cocoa powder as taken the role of flavorant and passed the coloring torch to food dyes.

chrisviz Posted 13 Sep 2011 , 5:34pm

I just made a red velvet this weekend and if you need a cake that has to sit out from the refridgerator for any amount of time, making a cream cheese frosting unsafe... I highly recommend pairing it with a white chocolate swiss meringue buttercream. It was a huge hit this weekend.

carmijok Posted 13 Sep 2011 , 5:54pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by CupcakeQT82

Hi! I have a request for RV for a wedding next summer, so I have gotten a lot of experience THIS summer trying recipes. I found one I love and if you want it, just let me know (PM). I prefer the oil-based recipes, and IMO it MUST have the baking soda/white vinegar mixture. I use cake flour and a gel food coloring. Also don't go with any recipe that DOESN'T involve buttermilk as this is what helps make RV more rich. 1-2 Tbs of cocoa powder is all you should need.




Totally agree! A red velvet cake has it's own distinct/non-distinct flavor. I've always described it as a butter cake with a slight twang. You really can only get that with the above ingredients!

gmfcakes Posted 13 Sep 2011 , 6:06pm

The recipe I have tried and love, it is similar to the ones already mentioned, is on Pinchmysalt website. It is a scratch cake.

scp1127 Posted 13 Sep 2011 , 6:10pm

gerle, I'm so glad you liked the cake. Giving out a recipe is somewhat the same as selling a cake. I hope the person likes it.

chrisviz, I happen to like the cream cheese frosting and I don't like the traditional cooked flour frosting, but your idea of white chocolate SMBC sounds like a really nice combination... a little more subtle in flavor than the cream cheese. This is definitely on the list to try. I like offering alternatives.

armand21 Posted 9 Dec 2012 , 2:29pm

I use boxes too and ppl love my cakes.. A little doctoring goes along way!!!

craftynurse Posted 12 Dec 2013 , 8:43pm

I would like to have your recipe Debby if that's ok.  Thank you!

Cheryl

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