Friday, July 25, 2014

red velvet cake with swiss meringue cream cheese buttercream

Whenever I bake a new cake, I have one basic worry - that I'll end up with something that is dry.

Dryness in cakes is simply unacceptable. Sometimes I'd try the same recipe a few times before I'd give up and acknowledge that it was a recipe that simply did not work.

Don't you hate it when that happens?
I have a bunch of girlfriends who are all either fantastic cooks or bakers or both. Once in a while, we would gather at one of our houses for a pot-luck party.
As you can imagine, we always have a feast!
So just this week, we had one of these get-togethers and my contribution was a cake. Not just any cake since one of the girls had a craving for Red Velvet Cake.
I have made many red velvet cakes because it is one popular cake but this is one cake that can go seriously wrong and end up so dry you feel like you are eating sand paper. Thankfully, I did find one recipe that I particularly like, and yes you guess it, it is one moist Red Velvet Cake recipe!

The second problem I had was the sweetness. I really cannot tahan (tolerate) things that are too sweet and I try as best as I can to avoid American frostings because of the amount of sugar that is added. I have included a recipe for an American Cream Cheese frosting with this recipe, and as far as such frostings go, this one is pretty good.

But my preference is always Swiss Meringue Buttercream so I made a Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream to go with this cake.

Note: I would not advise making Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream if you have never made a Swiss Meringue Buttercream because it is more tricky to make. I strongly advise that you try to make a Swiss Meringue Buttercream (successfully) before you attempt this!

So folks, today I present to you a deliciously moist, yet super simple to make, Red Velvet Cake!
And, of course, the know-how to make this cake!

The first thing I did was to blend together the canola oil and sugar in my mixing bowl.
While that happened, I whisked together buttermilk, red food colouring and eggs.
This was added to the sugar + oil mixture, and mixed.
Then I added the vanilla extract and coffee, and continued mixing.
In a bowl, I sifted together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. I added this to the mixing bowl in 3 additions, mixing well after each addition.
Once the flour had been blended into the batter, it was ready.
I divided the batter into three 6-inch baking pans, and baked them for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the thickest part of the cake emerged cleanly.
I cooled the cakes in the pans for 10-15 minutes before transferring them onto a wire rack to cool completely. I then wrapped the cakes in cling film and place them in the fridge to chill before frosting them. This is because this is a really moist cake and would be a nightmare to frost if you do not chill it first.

Then I frosted the cake. This one was frosted with Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
I decorated the top of the cake with left over cake which I blitzed in a food processor. (I detest wastage.)
And there you have it - a simple but elegant Red Velvet Cake.
I can see why so many people like the red velvet cake. It sure is one pretty cake.
Why not try making this? You can get creative and make a Purple, or Green, or Pink Velvet Cake!

The really nice folks at Tovolo would like to share a few of their fantastic products with readers of The Domestic Goddess Wannabe, and as such, I am hosting a giveaway for a Better Batter Tool and a Cupcake Scoop.

Fancy winning one (or all) of these? Here's how to take part!
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Giveaway ends on Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. Pacific time. The winner(s) will be selected by and contacted by email. If there is no response after 48 hours, another winner will be selected. Open to residents of Singapore only.
Red Velvet Cake (Serves 8-10)
Adapted from

2 cups (250g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened, cocoa powder
2 cups (450g) sugar - I halved this
1 cup (240ml) vegetable oil - I used canola oil
2 eggs
1 cup (240ml) buttermilk
2 teaspoon (10ml ) of vanilla extract
1-2 oz. (28.3 - 56.6g) red food coloring
1 teaspoon (5ml) of white distilled vinegar
½ cup (120ml)  prepared plain hot coffee

Preheat oven to 325°F (162.7°C).
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the sugar and vegetable oil.
Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and red food coloring until combined.
Stir in the coffee and white vinegar.
Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients a little at time, mixing after each addition, just until combined.
Generously grease and flour two round, 9 inch cake pans with shortening and flour. - I used three 6-inch pans
Pour the batter evenly into each pan.
Bake in the middle rack for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not over bake as cake will continue to cook as it cools.
Let cool on a cooling rack until the pans are warm to the touch.
Slide a knife or offset spatula around the inside of the pans to loosen the cake from the pan.
Remove the cakes from the pan and let them cool.
Frost the cake with cream cheese frosting when the cakes have cooled completely.

Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe can be found here.

American Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from

2 (8 oz/ 250g) packs cream cheese, softened
¼ (60ml) cup milk, may need more
1 stick (113.5g) butter, softened
2 teaspoon (10ml) vanilla extract
4 cups (500g) icing sugar

Add softened cream cheese into large bowl.
Pour in three-quarters of the milk, butter and vanilla extract.
Mix until well combined.
Pour in half of the powdered sugar.
Mix until combined.
Add the remaining powdered sugar.
Add the remaining milk, a little at a time until you get the consistency you are looking for. This should be spreadable but not too runny.
Use a spatula to scrape down the side of the bowl if needed.

Note: I blitzed the left over cake that I had cut off to level my cake, and used them to decorate the top of my cake.

*Photos of pot-luck party used with permission from Jess Tan. Thanks babes!


  1. Hi Diana! That is such a gorgeous and elegant Red Velvet Cake! A cake that I have never attempted and eaten only once (a cupcake). I will have to bookmark this recipe and wait for a good time to bake it!

    1. Phong Hong this is one cake you must bake. So moist!!!

  2. Hi, Diana! You must be so enjoying having gathering with friends. I like your cream cheese swiss meringue butter cream.... but I have not make swiss meringue butter cream successfully yet...hahaha!

  3. wow, that's a beautiful cake! there's something really special about red velvet cake....they always look kind of special and attractive to me..perhaps bcos they are red! haha! hmm..cream cheese SMB sounds very delicious!

    1. Hey Lena, CCSMBC is so much better than the American CC frosting. So much better!!!

  4. Yeah, I never thought of it! Why not make green or pink eh? !

  5. Great looking cake, Diana! Thank you for the admonitions and frosting choices.

  6. hi, I dun hv distilled vinegar. anything else that can replace this?

    1. Hi unfortunately, from my knowledge, no. The vinegar is needed to react with the buttermilk.

  7. I would make red velvet cupcakes of course!! :)

  8. Hi Diana,
    firstly, i would like to thank you for sharing this recipe on ECMS. i tried and it came out so well...the best cake i have ever made.
    the only question i have is that my cake didnt turned out this red, how did to manage to retain the color after adding cocoa and coffee liquor, mine turned out brown !!!
    i really want to try this in other color,please help me with suggestion.

    thanks a lot
    Payal Agarwal

    1. Hey Payal I am glad you made the cake so successfully! :) I used a gel colour - Wilton Red-Red. You must be brave when you are trying to achieve a red cake. Just close your eyes and ADD the colour. :P Good luck :)