Red velvet cake has to be the official cake for Valentine’s Day. On this one day, the demand of this cake rockets up in every confectionary. Impress your loved one by baking the velvety delicacy on your own:
For The Cake
• 2 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sifted cake flour or 2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for coating the pans
• 2 teaspoons fine salt
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda• 1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
• 2 tablespoons red food coloring
• 1 1/2 tablespoons water
• 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for coating the pans
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 3 large eggs, at room temperature
• 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
• 1 cup whole or low-fat buttermilk
For The Icing
• 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
• 1 pound (4 cups) sifted powdered sugar
• 2 tablespoons whole milk, if needed
For The Cake
• Heat the oven to 350°F. Coat 2 (9-inch) round cake pans generously with butter, then flour, tapping out any excess flour; set aside. Sift the measured flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together twice; set aside. Whisk the cocoa, food coloring, and water in a small bowl until smooth; set aside.
• Beat the measured butter in a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy, for about 30 seconds. Add the sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating about 15 seconds after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until the mixture has lightened in colour and become fluffy, for about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, the vanilla, and the orange zest (if using), beating 15 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the red cocoa mixture and mix until evenly incorporated.
• On low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour mixture, until just incorporated. Once all the ingredients are incorporated, beat the batter 10 to 12 strokes with a spoon or spatula if using cake flour, 2 to 3 strokes if using all-purpose flour.
• Divide the batter between the cake pans and spread the tops evenly with the spoon or spatula. Bake until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, for about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool in their pans on a rack for 10 minutes. Slide a thin paring knife around the edges and invert the cakes onto the rack to cool completely, for at least 1 hour.
For The Icing
• Beat the butter in a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium-high speed until creamy, for about 30 seconds.
• Add the cream cheese and continue to beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is fluffy, white, and very smooth, for about 1 minute.
• Reduce the speed to low and add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each addition, until the mixture is creamy, fluffy, and smooth. If the frosting is too stiff, beat the milk into it to loosen it.
• Transfer 1 of the cake layers, bottom side up, to a serving plate or cake stand. Spoon 1 cup of the icing into the center of the cake layer and spread it.
• Carefully set the second cake layer on top of the first and ice the second layer in the same manner. Then ice the sides of the cake.
• Store the cake at room temperature beneath a cake cover or refrigerate. Remember to remove the cake from the refrigerator an hour before serving.