Help With Scratch Baking And Chef Stef Red Velvet Recipe

Baking By Smore4us Updated 28 Nov 2011 , 7:16am by scp1127

Smore4us Posted 14 Nov 2011 , 11:10pm
post #1 of 12

I made Chef Stef's red velvet recipe this weekend and while I really liked the flavor, it was less "velvety" if you will, in texture. My husband just said "the texture was not what I was expecting. Now I know that scratch is different from box mixes in texture, but I'm wondering if maybe I didn't do something wrong, like not mix the batter well enough. The best I can describe it is that it had a granular feel to it, not smooth. In the recipe directions, it says to sift all the dry ingredients together, which I did. Then whisk the wet ingredients together. I did but I wasn't sure how much - I basically just whisked a few seconds to blend. Then when adding the wet ingredients to the dry, it said to mix until just blended, which in my mind meant not very much. Could someone please clariy how much I should whisk and mix? Any tips on scratch baking in general would be greatly appreciated!! I just wish I knew how to link the recipe to make it easier...
Thanks for you help!!

11 replies
ufo9978 Posted 14 Nov 2011 , 11:38pm
post #2 of 12

I don't know what you did wrong but I didn't like the cake either. I liked Martha Stewart recipe better

Smore4us Posted 15 Nov 2011 , 12:12am
post #3 of 12

Here is the recipe via the tech savvy of the ol' copy/paste. Looks the same as cakeman raven's recipe, but I've seen the recipe with both cake flour and all purpose flour. Could that be a difference worth considering?

Chef Stefs southern red velvet cake
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 ts baking soda
1 ts salt
1 ts cocoa powder
1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temp
2 large eggs, room temp
2 TB (1 oz) red food coloring
1 ts white vinegar
1 ts vanilla
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil and flour (or line bottom with parchment) two 8″ round pans. (although I usually do 1.5 x the recipe for two 8″ actually).

Sift all dry ingredients together into stand mixer bowl. In another bowl whisk together all wet ingredients. Using paddle attachment and low speed, blend the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Divide between cake pans and bake until tester inserted in center comes out clean. I never use recipe times, but the original said 30 minutes for 9″ pans.
Chef Stef's southern red velvet cake, 8.4 out of 10 based on 34 ratings

JanH Posted 15 Nov 2011 , 12:35am
post #4 of 12

You want the wet ingredients to be thoroughly whisked/mixed. (I would use my hand mixer on low speed, until everything is nice and smooth.) Because once the dry hits the wet, you only mix long enough to produce a smooth batter (low speed on hand mixer 2-3 min. max) and no more - or else you develop too much gluten (and get a tough cake).

Chef Stef's Southern Red Velvet Cake:

And found this RVC bake off blog:

The winner was Cakeman Raven's (which is exactly the same as Chef Stef's:

A great site for learning basic baking techniques:


PoodleDoodle Posted 15 Nov 2011 , 12:52am
post #5 of 12

Here's the problem. All-purpose flour - no, no, no, no, Has to be cake flour. Try it again with cake flour. If possible, weigh the flour after sifting. 1 cup of cake flour weighs 3.5 oz. If you can't weigh, sift into a measuring cup being careful not to pack the flour.

Smore4us Posted 15 Nov 2011 , 3:00am
post #6 of 12

Thank you for the links JanH! Very helpful information! So my assumption is basically correct - I did not mix it enough to get smooth to begin with, followed by the flour (I measured first, sifted after). I am also interested in trying the recipe with cake flour. Would I use the same amount of cake flour as all purpose as called for in the recipe (or as PoodleDoodle suggested weighing a total of 8.75 oz of sifted cake flour)?
Thanks again! I am learning so much!!

scp1127 Posted 15 Nov 2011 , 5:50am
post #7 of 12

It is Cakeman's. I don't know why someone would put their name on such a well known recipe as if it was theirs. I have not understood that about this posted recipe.

If it was grainy, do you use name brand flour and sugar? Off brands can be irregular and give a less than perfect result.

You do need to mix until just emulsified, but even if you didn't, it wouldn't affect the final result. My daughter made it recently and didn't mix as much. It was just a different color... unless it was severely undermixed.

Before you try cake flour, try good ingredients and the correct mixing. I also lower the oil to 1 1/4 c. This is a well loved recipe. Some of the other popular ones are actually more dense than this one. So don't give up too soon.

Smore4us Posted 15 Nov 2011 , 6:24pm
post #8 of 12

It was generic sugar. No giving up here. I am eager to give it another try! I've gotten lots of good advice here to go on! Thank you!!!

scp1127 Posted 15 Nov 2011 , 7:42pm
post #9 of 12

Run your sugar through your processor or a blender and it will be fine. I'm glad you will give it another try.

Smore4us Posted 27 Nov 2011 , 11:40pm
post #10 of 12

My second attempt got better reviews but still not the rave reviews I was hoping for. One person said it tasted a little dry. This confuses me a little because when I took a piece and pressed it, I could feel the moisture from the oil. However, it does have a crumblyness to it that maybe other cakes don't have. it still me or the recipe? To be honest, my other cakes that have gotten rave reviews are doctored cake mixes like the WASC. Thanks again!

Smore4us Posted 28 Nov 2011 , 2:55am
post #11 of 12

Just made my 3rd attempt and tasted a piece of the crown that I cut off. Delish! Everything I wanted. But I must say, I thought that on the 2nd attempt too. So here's my new thought/question... Could it just be cake #2 is a few days old? I baked it the day before Thanksgiving, iced it on Thanksgiving (evening) and since everyone was sick of food/deserts, I didn't serve it until Saturday (3 days old). It was wrapped in Saran wrap and refrigerated after it was iced, but still 3 days old. I've never thought my other "doctored cake mixes" tasted old under those conditions, but this is scratch so maybe its different...afterall, no preservatives.

So, if this is possibly the case, I need decorating advice on this next cake. I just put it in the freezer for a party next Saturday. If I defrost on Thursday, and decorate on Friday..will it taste "dry" by Saturday? I am planning to cover in fondant if that makes a difference. THANKS!!

scp1127 Posted 28 Nov 2011 , 7:16am
post #12 of 12

The cake is moist as soon as it is room temp. And it is definitely not crumbly. This cake is so moist that freezing it could make it too moist, but I'm not sure what state your cake is in. It may be ok. When you mix it, it should be on low. It looks curdled at first. The second it emulsifies, stop. It's ready for the pan. I test for doneness with the touch method. It is springy in the middle and will not sink. I hope this helps.

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