In the field of cake making, a Red Velvet Cake is among the most exuberant undertakings. Although not everyone will agree that this cake tastes as good as it looks, one still has to admire the assembly that's required. We are dealing with a chocolate sponge cake with a red or mahogany colored texture that's packed with quite an acidic kick to its taste, and complemented with a tarty cream cheese frosting. Hence, this is by no means an average cake to serve at a kid's birthday party.

The following red velvet cake recipe might seem overly common but it's here for a reason: its reputation is due to its reliability. To liven things up, it will include a Mascarpone Cheese frosting over the usually bland one.

The recipe

Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp cocoa (Non-Dutch quality)
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp all-natural red food coloring
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Unsalted butter as needed
  • 2 eggs

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 pack (8 oz) mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar

Cake Directions:

  1. Grease three 9" springform pans, then cover the bottom with a round sheet of parchment. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Separate the solid ingredients from the liquid ingredients. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk, vinegar and vanilla extract together. Set aside.
  3. In a second bowl, sift the flour, salt, cocoa powder and baking soda together, then combine using a fork. Set aside. In a third bowl, cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the liquid mixture and whisk together until fully incorporated. Finally, gradually add the dry mixture and fold in gently until all ingredients are fully incorporated to complete the batter.
  4. Divide the batter evenly among the springform pans. Put them into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove and place on cake racks to cool.

Frosting and presentation

Frosting Directions:

  1. Pour the heavy cream into a mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, whisk the heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks. Do not overmix.
  2. In a separate bowl, cream the icing sugar and mascarpone cheese until smooth. Fold in the heavy cream until fully incorporated to complete the frosting. Set aside.

Assembly Directions:

  1. Remove the cakes from the springform pans. Place one cake on a cake stand and apply a small portion of the frosting on one side of the top with a spatula. Slowly rotate the cake stand and use the spatula to spread the frosting across the surface, then smooth down the surface evenly. Gently press another portion of the icing vertically on the top 1/3 of the cake's side. Rotate the cake stand again to spread the icing around the cake. Repeat with the remaining portions of the side, then evenly smooth everything down with the spatula to complete the glazing of the first cake.
  2. Stack the second cake on top of the first one and repeat the glazing procedure. Do the same with the third cake and finish off by smoothing all the sides together with the spatula.
  3. Serve immediately or seal the cake and chill in a refrigerator for later use.

Serves: 8

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