The Red "Devil"

By Friday, January 06, 2012

I've been dreaming about this cake since I set eyes on it at a X'mas gathering.

It's color intrigues me. It's flavor engulfs me... and after taking the first bite, I went on to my second and third, wondering what in the world has gone into it. And if you still have no clue what I'm talking about,  it's a Red Velvet.

I love the color! But unfortunately, the red is from artifical coloring. Though one can choose to use grated beetroot, I find it too much work. Originally, the redness of the cake was from a chemical reaction between cocoa powder and an acidic ingredient such as buttermilk. But with "Dutch-processed" cocoa powder gaining popularity, the cakes do not develop into a prominent red now, thus the addition of coloring.

Red velvet are supposed to be moist and tender, with a mild chocolate taste. Mine was a hit with my friends when I brought them along for a gathering.


Red Velvet Cupcake (from Joy of Baking)

125g cake flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
10g cocoa powder
57g unsalted butter
150g white sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
120g buttermilk (made by adding 1/2 tbsp white vinegar to the milk; let stand for 10mins)
1 tbsp liquid red food coloring
1/2 tsp white distilled white vinegar
1/2 tsp baking soda

  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. (A)
  • Using a mixer, beat the butter till soft (1-2 mins). Add the sugar and beat till light and fluffy.
  • Add the egg and beat till incorporated. Add the vanilla extract.
  • In a cup, combine the buttermilk with the red food coloring. (B)
  • Using a low speed, add (A), followed by (B) to the butter mixture. This is done over 3 parts, in the following order:  (A) - (B) - (A) - (B) - (A)
  • In a small cup, combine vinegar with baking soda. Allow to fizz, and quickly fold into cake batter.
  • Spoon into muffin cups and bake at 175C for 18-23 mins.

Cream Cheese Frosting (adapted from Bakertan)

120g unsalted butter, softened
250g cream cheese 
110g icing sugar, shifted
1/4 tsp vanilla extract


  • Beat cream cheese and butter till soft and fluffy.
  • Add icing sugar and beat till the lumps dissolve, and frosting is smooth.
  • Add in vanilla extract and mix well.

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  1. i know i'm going to attempt a red velvet cake soon for one of our bake along. .they always look so pretty.