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Red Velvet Cake

Jan 15, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose

LIBBY QUESTION

Dear Rose,
I am an avid fan of yours and have been dedicated to the Cake Bible for as long as I have been baking. I've always wished you had a recipe for Red Velvet Cake in your book. I have tried to use your method of incorporating ingredients, but still have not found the success I experience with your recipes in baking. Do you have a recipe and if so would you share it?
Thank you for making me a better baker. Your book is amazing (as is your pie cookbook which I also love).
Most sincerely and with much admiration

ROSE REPLY

thank you dear libby. a red velvet cake is simply a layer cake that uses one bottle of liquid red food color for some of the liquid, so all you have to do is chose any of my cakes (yellow or white) and replace an equal volume of the liquid with the red food color.

RETRACTION i was so wrong and those of you who have my newest book Rose's Heavenly Cakes will see that I have created my version of the classic red velvet cake which I now love so much I even made a wedding cake which is also posted on the blog!

Comments

Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Candice
11/26/2013 09:27 PM

Hi Candice,
We suggest reducing the cocoa, which we did in "Rose's Heavenly Cakes".
Rose & Woody

REPLY

Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Kathryn
11/26/2013 09:22 PM

Hi Kathryn,
The beet juice can be subbed in at the same weight as the red food color. We have seen that the beet juice will not give the red velvet cake its bright red color but more of a darker red.
Rose & Woody

REPLY

Red Velvet cakes that Ive made homemade for decades calls for 2 bottles (2 oz) red food coloring and 1 tbls cocoa powder to a white-based layer cake. I use a specific recipe but whenever I try it out its ALWAYS a chocolate cake with red food coloring added and that is not a true red velvet!

REPLY

hi Rose,

I'd like to try a red velvet cake without red food coloring and am sitting here looking at your Heavenly Cakes book. I see your method for getting beet juice, but the recipe doesn't say how much to use. Do you use the same amount of beet juice as food coloring?

thanks!

REPLY

Hi Amina,
We agree that the bitterness could be from the red food coloring.
There are substitutes for red food coloring, but they do not produce the shocking red color. A popular substitute is the juice from roasting beets.
Other alternative juices are pomegranate and cranberry.
You may also want to try a different brand of red food coloring from several that are available online.
Rose & Woody

REPLY

Amina Maina
Amina Maina
08/ 9/2013 12:26 AM

I've baked red velvet cake several times but it always comes out bitter. I think its from the food colour, and its the only available brand where i live. What do i do?

REPLY

Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Nedra
04/21/2013 08:23 PM

Hi Nedra,
Yes, you can consider the Rose's Heavenly Cakes recipe as a Level 1, Factor 2 as it is 1 layer of the 9 by 2 inch cake layers. We purposely domed this cake for its presentation in RHC, as Rose prefers single layer cakes to have a slight dome.
From testing, we have found that you should increase the baking powder from 3-1/8 to 3-1/4 to achieve a level top for a 1 layer in a 9 by 2 inch round pan.
After you find suitable results for your 9 inch layer, you can use the Master Chart in conjunction with the Baking Powder chart on page 492, accommodating your adjustment for the baking powder, to work out the ingredient amounts for other pan sizes.
Enjoy experimenting to come up with your Rose Red Velvet dream cake.
Rose & Woody

REPLY

I am trying to convert the Rose Red Velvet Cake recipe in Heavenly using the conversion chart in the Bible and I'm not sure I'm doing it right. I could really use some feedback if I'm on the right track.
First, I am using the Master butter cake base chart, is this the right base chart to use?
Second, I'm treating the Red Velvet recipe as a level 1, Rose factor 2. Is this correct?
I appreciate any help!

REPLY

Woody & Rose! I just finished to make the red velvet cake, i split the batter in 3 round 9 inch pans and just doubled the recipe, surprisely the layers are flat, not domed, so I will not have to trim them, I believe its maybe because each pan weights less?? The cakes look good, the color and hope they are moist, I bake the just for 18 minutes!

REPLY

Hi Woody!! thank you so much for responding so quickly!! I will try to make the 2 layer cake. As when you said increase the powder sugar for flat cakes how much should i use?Rose's recipe calls for 3 tsp, did you try that before?


Again, thank you! have a great day:)

REPLY

Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from zlota
02/18/2013 11:55 PM

Hi Zlota,
Virtually any recipe can be double long as your mixer has the capacity for the batter. You simply just double the ingredients if you want two cakes. We suggest that if you are making the Red Velvet Cake in Rose's Heavenly Cakes and are going to serve it as a layer cake with a filling that you trim the bottom layer and invert it so that the bottom side is now facing up. You may want to do the same thing with the top layer if you want a flat top or leave it domed.
If you do not want to trim the cakes, you can experiment with increasing the baking powder to produce a flatter top.
Rose & Woody

REPLY

Hi Rose!! I want to make your red velvet cake but need 2 9 inch layers, is it as easy as just double the recipe?

As always, thanks so much in advanced for your help!

REPLY

Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Martie
02/ 1/2013 12:01 PM

Hi Martie,
We will have a red velvet wedding cake in our next book which comes out in 2015. We posted an article on the blog, Chocolate Red Velvet Passion, when we made this a couple of years ago.
We have a single layer red velvet cake recipe in Rose's Heavenly Cakes that you could adapt to make the layers for a wedding cake.
We are uncertain what you mean by Veronica's version.
Rose & Woody

REPLY

hi,

i need to bake a "red velvet" wedding cake..
i have tried a few recipes but really needs one that would stay moist and is firm enough to decorate.

i can find the recipe for Rose's cake here...

where can i look?

and then...
Rose, i would really like your opion on Veronicas version of your cake...
i baked her but find the baking time way to long and the cake get...like...solid and hard, but stay tasty

thanks a lot

REPLY

Jacqueline de villiers
Jacqueline de villiers in reply to comment from Woody Wolston
10/18/2012 12:26 AM

Rose & woody

Thank you so much, i think i overfilled them maybe thats wy they muchroomed over the top,and i will decrease the baking powder a little bit,but oooooe the cake texture and taste was awsome.i love my book and cant wait to try some of the other recipe's

REPLY

Hi Jacqueline,
I may have not stated this correctly that our suggestion was to make the batter and bake half them immediately and let half sit the 20 minutes. This is stated in the Baby Cake's introduction chapter on page 294.
The cupcakes should be at cool room temperature before trying to unwrap them.
As we mentioned, you will likely need to make adjustments after the the first test, whether it is adjusting the baking powder and/or reducing the butter and adding some oil.
We also suggest spraying the liners with baking spay with flour as a test and making sure the cupcake do not mushroom over the tops of the liners. This should prevent the top from pealing off when removing the liner.
Rose & Woody

REPLY

jacqueline de villiers
jacqueline de villiers in reply to comment from Woody Wolston
10/17/2012 02:47 PM

Hi Rose and woody
i Baked the Red Velvet Cupcakes ,and used the red velvet cake recipe in the book exactly,they came out super soft an moist but don't know why ,the tops were flat and almost crusty.when i take them out of the pan the round top just come off.what could be the reason.i really appreciate any help.i left them out 20 min like you suggested.

REPLY

Hi Jacqueline,
For converting a layer cake recipe to a cupcake version, you usually just have to adjust the leavening as a cupcake has less surface area than a cake layer. Where we try to achieve as close as possible flat top for a multiple layer cake to give even thicknesses of fillings, Rose prefers a slightly domed cake for a single layer cake.
For most multiple layer cakes, we slightly reduce the amount of leavening.
For single layer cakes, like the Red Velvet, you can stay with the same amount of leavening or a slight increase.
Also, if two flours are stated, you may have to adjust more or less for one versus the other. We do not have leavening conversions on record for all of the layer cakes in our catalog of cake recipes. However, the cupcake recipes given in Rose's Heavenly Cakes will give you a several examples.
We would suggest to make a first attempt without adjusting the leavening and with letting half of the cupcakes sit at room temperature for 20 minutes for you see what are the results. You can adjust from the results.
If the cupcakes are slightly dry compared to the layer cake version, you could try reducing the butter a bit and adding more oil.
Rose & Woody

REPLY

jacqueline de villiers
jacqueline de villiers
10/16/2012 06:35 AM

Hi i am new to baking and from sunny south africa I purchased the book "Heavenly Cakes". know want to use the "Rose Red Velvet Cake recipe" to make cupcakes what do i need to change for it to come out perfectly moist.thank you so much

REPLY

Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from angie
05/23/2012 12:14 PM

Hi Angie,
In virtually all of Rose's recipes for butter and/or oil cakes, the butter or oil is added to the dry ingredients. We suggest you look at Rose's reasoning for her 2-stage mixing method given in both The Cake Bible and Rose's Heavenly Cakes. In most cases, this gives a better texture than the traditional creaming method.
For Rose's version of the Red Velvet Cake, we found adding the dry ingredients to the butter and oil mixture gave the best texture.

REPLY

Hi Rose

Just wanted to ask why the flour is added to the oil? In many other recipes such as carrot cake or even some chocolate cakes, oil is added last. Does this result in a difference in texture?

REPLY

Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from Nidia Moreno
03/12/2012 09:56 AM

Nidia, any liquid food color (such as mccormack or schillerd, should be fine.

REPLY

Nidia Moreno
Nidia Moreno
03/10/2012 10:27 AM

I just want to say that the Red Velvet Cake on Heavenly Cakes is GREAT!! Texture, taste, etc.
I just have a question, I went to a bakery store and ask for red food coloring to make the red velvet cake. they offer a 9oz bottle of super red DecoPac air brush 9612, the color looks beautiful....but I was no sure if the airbrush colors are good for baking.
I did not bought liquide gel becuse the book specified that need to be liquid red color.
I search some info about the decopac color/airbrush and it show is good for baking? do you know if that infor is correct? thank you.
Or do you recommend a specific brand ? thanks

REPLY

Hi Rose,

I just tried your Red Velvet recipe and for some reason mine came out really dry yet in the very center it was undercooked. I am totally baffled? Do you think that perhaps my oven was either too high or too low? I baked at the temperature it says in your book. I know that some ovens are different though. Any suggestions on how to ensure a cake comes out moist?

Thanks!!!
Cristi

REPLY

Hi Laura,
We can only think that the taste is from an ingredient, which could be the baking powder. What brand are you using?
You may want to try a different brand of baking powder, especially if yours has sodium aluminum sulfate. Then try making the cake without the red food coloring.

REPLY

Dear Rose,
I have been making your cakes and I have bought all of your books and love them, you are a great inspiration. I have learned so much about baking by reading your books, so thank you ;-)
I am writing to you regarding your Red Velvet cake that appears on your new book. I have been doing that recipe for about 6 months now and have never encounter any problem, it always comes out perfect and delicious.
I have used this recipe with cupcakes as well and succeeded all the time, except today, and I have no idea what went wrong. I haven't changed anything (same ingredients, same brand, oven, pans, measuring cups, spoons and scale). The texture is perfect, moist and they look very pretty but they have this after taste that is bothering me (and my husband) and that wasn't there the other time I've made them. It's a little bit bitter and tanic, might me metallic, that you feel on the back part of your tongue. Whan can be going on? I don't know why I feel it might be the food coloring, although I have used the exact amount you say (30grs) and same brand I have been using (Americolor). I used fresh ingredients, so it wasn't that the eggs were rotten or the buttermilk wasn't good, so I am completely blank.
Please help me ou becasue it is driving me insane! Thank you in advance for your reply,
Laura

REPLY

Wow! The cake looks really great. I'll be trying out Rose's recipe this coming weekend, hope everything works out fine :)

REPLY

Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Shi Hao
11/24/2011 10:17 AM

Hi Shi Hao,
Our posting was "Chocolate Red Velvet Passion". We did not post a recipe, but gave bloggers an insight to the steps it takes and decisions we made to make this wedding cake.

REPLY

I can't seem to find the post. Does anyone has a link to it?

REPLY

Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from TomD
11/17/2011 12:41 AM

Hi Tom,
We generally do not recommend making a butter or oil cake as a sheet cake for a 3 inch tall pan. All of Rose's recipes including our wedding cake were made for 2 inch tall pans to achieve a level top for most of the cake's top surface.
You will need to experiment using Rose's guidelines in The Cake Bible and Rose's Heavenly Cakes for converting recipes and modifying the leavening for sheet cakes and your own experience in making tall cakes to work out the modification. Our testing for the Rose Velvet Wedding cake took over a dozen tests.

REPLY

I see that you made the red velvet cake as a wedding cake. How do you modify the ingredients depending on the size of the layers. I want to use the recipe for a 16 or 18" X 3" pan.

REPLY

Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from Barbara Stephan
11/ 1/2011 04:29 PM

whenever an ingredient is in question it is a good idea to take a little taste of it. you could put a few drops of red food coloring in some water and see if you taste something off. i always have used the durkees liquid red food coloring in a bottle and have not noticed any strange taste.

REPLY

Barbara Stephan
Barbara Stephan
11/ 1/2011 04:22 PM

I made a homemade red velvet cake using a recipe from Foodnetwork-that came from a restaurant. Everyone raved about it in the reviews. I think it tastes great but has a strange tangy-peppery aftertaste to it. Is it red food coloring that does this? I have been baking for years and have never had this problem come up.

REPLY

Hi Rose,

I made red velvet cupcakes using the recipe (for cake) you have in the Heavenly Cakes book. The cupcakes came out dry. Is there something I did wrong? How can I fix?

REPLY

Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from Anonymous
09/22/2010 09:33 AM

dutch processed (alkalized)

REPLY

pardon my typo. i meanted to say, dutch processed.

REPLY

thank you. I will make the cake exactly to your recipe to produce the correct texture. as for the cocoa powder, natural or dutched process?

REPLY

Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from Linda
09/21/2010 10:06 AM

linda, this is a technique used in place of leavening. i've tried it and prefer the even crumb i get with leavening. if you beat the whites in addition to leavening it might give an airier texture but since i'm looking for a velvet effect i have not tried this.

REPLY

hello there. I am used to whisking egg whites to either semi-soft or stiff peaks before folding it into the batter. can you tell me what would happen to the finished product based on your testings? thank you.

Linda

REPLY

Thanks for the quick response Woody.

REPLY

Thanks Bill. I will use the supermarket liquid red food coloring.

REPLY

Kathy, our Red Velvet needs to made with either red liquid food coloring or from beet juice, which Rose has shown how to make it in Rose's Heavenly Cakes. I tried gels and pastes in our testing and they perform differently because they generally have sugar or some other component in them.

REPLY

I've never tried this...but my instinct tells me that you should make up the difference in liquid with water. That being said, I have a friend who is self-proclaimed red velvet expert and she always says that one should use regular supermarked red food color in red velvet cake and not gel or paste color.

REPLY

Hi Rose. When I bake your red velvet cake I am using only 1 teaspoon of red food gel instead of the 2 tablespoons liquid food coloring because the gel is concentrated. Do I need to add more liquid to the recipe to compensate for the loss of the additional food coloring? Thanks.

REPLY

Thanks so much for such a quick response! I live in Canada and she's getting married in October, so I'm not too worried about topical heat- although I wish I were! hehe I'm still a little skeptical about leaving the cake out, so I might do a 2 tiered trial run to see how things turn out? thanks!

REPLY

Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from Julia
08/10/2010 04:23 PM

the dreamy creamy frosting is very stable and can sit for several hours at room temp providing it's not in a very warm area such as the tropics!

REPLY

Hi Rose!

Quick question- I'm very new to baking red velvet cake, however I have tried your recipe and love it! I'm hoping to make this cake for a friends wedding- she also wants cream cheese frosting as the filling and iced in fondant. Since I don't have much experience with making red velvet cakes I'd assume this cake would need to be refrigerated, right? Do you think the the cake would be able to sit out on display for long periods? I'm a little concerened about that! The wedding isn't for a couple of months but I'd like to prepare and let the bride know what we'd have to do :) Thanks so much!!!

REPLY

Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from Stephanie
07/19/2010 05:32 PM

stephanie, the amount of beet juice and the difference in color is clearly described in the book. you might also light to experiment with powdered beet color available at kalustyan's in NY (they mail order). i've never used it but i think it would be worth a try.

REPLY

Rose,
I need to make a red velvet cake for a wedding next month, though the bride is allergic to red food coloring. According to your Heavenly Cakes book, you can substitute beet juice for the coloring. I have a bottle of beet juice, but I was interested in learning the amount to use so that the cake doesn't come out brown. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!

REPLY

gee C, i thought i apologized for that many postings down this thread and, in fact, gave my best rendition of a true red velvet cake in my new book. i'll have to add this to the original posting.

REPLY

Rose, red velvet cake is NOT "any" cake with red food colouring. Any red velvet cake I have ever seen a recipe for has a very delicate chocolate flavour with a rich texture and rich cream frosting - so telling your clients to use "any cake recipe and add red food colouring" is rediculous and shameful a baker such as yourself would suggest.

REPLY

Hi, Beth!!

I'm totally in love with red elvet cake and it would be great to know your gradma's recipe!

Did you find it??

Thanks!

REPLY

Just to warn you, Anat, I found it difficult to match the bright color of the red food coloring with mixing paste & water. Also, both the paste and beets have a sugar component to them. Sucrose for the paste and sugar from the beets. This may effect how the cake domes in the pan. Our recipes for single layer cakes is for a slight, rounded dome. The sugar component may lower the center a bit to flatten the top.
I would go with the beets as we do give a recipe in the Notes, page 85, on how to substitute them for the red food coloring. Happy baking.

REPLY

the color will not be as beautiful as the liquid food color one but it will still be nice. i'm really not sure which is the best option between beet juice and paste.

REPLY

Oh gosh. Firstly thank you for your quick response.
Secondly, I have only two options now because I have to bake the cake tomorrow: either to use beets or the paste & water. which is preferable do you think?
In what way doesn't the paste work well?
Thanks again for your very quick reply! Anat

REPLY

we tried it and it doesn't work well. it has other components that alter the color after baking.

REPLY

Can I substitue 1 oz of red paste diluted with water for a 1 oz bottle of red food coloring? for some reason there is a shortage in the grocery stores of red food coloring. Thanks.

REPLY

thanks-I'll definitely will give it a try. One question: did you use beet juice or dye?

REPLY

Tracy,
I changed Roses recipe a bit to be more similar to my old recipe. I loved the texture of Rose's cake but I like the taste of mine a bit more.
I used whole eggs instead of whites, vegetable oil instead of Canola, doubled the amount of cocoa and added a teaspoon of white vinegar.
Try it and let us know how it turns out.
Lori V.

REPLY

Hi, I've baked 3 red velvet cakes in the last 2 days-looking for the perfect recipe. I made one cake with red dye and one cake with beet juice, both using Roses recipe. They came out very different and can't figure out why. The cake made with beet juice was moister with a more chocolate flavor-although both had the same amount of chocolate in them. The beet cake had no red color at all. Both were a little dry. Can anyone help me figure this out? thanks!

REPLY

As a Southerner, we claim red velvet cake as something of a regional specialty. As such, I would say that it's not either a white or yellow cake with red food coloring mixed in, but instead is better seen as a german chocolate cake base with red food coloring. The dutch processed cocoa is the key, an ingredient that is not typically found in either white or yellow cake.

REPLY

I use beets, but if you use the juices as well (boiling them until they're reduced by 1/2 and replacing some of the liquid in your cake recipe) you get a redder color. The reaction someone was talking about earlier was with that the natural 'undutched' cocoa powder causes the cake to turn red (like in devils food cake)

REPLY

sara, i have to laugh when i see my original posting above from almost 3 years ago! how wrong i was. so many red velvets i've tasted since have the texture of dust and i am now so proud of my final version. fine to use the all purpose flour but for those less experienced pls pay attention to the amount indicated in the recipe--all purpose weighs more than cake flour so you need to use less by volume but the same by weight. and, definitely bleached all purpose. thanks sara for calling this recipe to everyone's attention!

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I purchased the book "Heavenly Cakes" and made the Red Velvet. WOW! Here in Philadelphia Red Velvet is the lastest hype. I tried a cupcake from a famous deli - DRY and too much chocolate. I tried a Food Network's recipe - spongee. I tried Rose's - it was delicious, moist and had the prettiest red color. Not sure what the original Red Velvet Cake is suppose to taste like but this recipe is definitely a winner. I made two changes, I used AP flour, sifting it twice. I used 2 teaspoons of cocoa. (Per note at the end - I used less that amount of flour.)

REPLY

Antony Jiovanazzo
Antony Jiovanazzo
05/ 2/2009 12:19 PM

THANKS! These both look good! I will try one out this weekend! I love red velvet cake.

REPLY

I was told there was a recipe with the beets in a booked entitled "How It All Vegan." I have never looked though

REPLY

BEETS! My grandmother used vinegar and beets. She passed away some time ago and I have never been able to find her recipie. Does anyone have a recipie that calls for beets that they can share?

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The original red velvet cakes made way back when, did not have food coloring in them. The red came from a chemical reaction of vinegar with another ingredient (which escapes me at the moment). I have been looking for that recipe & hope to locate it in my great grandmother's 1000's of recipes. As soon as I come across it I will happily share it with you all!

REPLY

Avid Red Velvet baker
Avid Red Velvet baker
12/17/2008 03:30 PM

The flour/butter/sugar one is the original frosting for this cake. Just remember to beat the sugar until you think it is ready and then beat it some more. This frosting is what makes the cake. Also my recipe for the cake part is more involved than just adding food coloring to a bax cake mix.

REPLY

Johnny - are you a member on the forum? If not, sign up and send me a PM with your email address and I'll forward Lori V's red velvet recipe to you.

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Would you happen to have that recipe for the Red Velvet cake? I need to make one for my sister for her birthday,

Thanks
Johnny

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Geri - Congratulations! Do you have a photo to share on the forum?

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The birthday went great! My son was not only surprised but he loved the cake. I did it! The cream cheese frosting was to die for. Everyone enjoyed the cake! Thanks much!

REPLY

Geri, I hope he has a wonderful birthday and the cake turns out great! Let us know how the day went.

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Thanks much for your help! Wish me luck! I have never made a red velvet cake and I will try to make one tomorrow for my son's 28th birthday. I will also make the cream cheese frosting! I am so glad I came upon this site. It is now on my favorite sites list!

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Yes, Geri
I ditto that! Only cream cheese frosting should top that cake.

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Hi Geri - here in VA, only cream cheese frosting will do on a red velvet cake.

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Help! What is the true frosting which is used on the red velvet cake? The majority of the recipes I have seen call for the flour/butter/sugar icing and I have also seen the cream cheese frostings. Which one is true to this cake. My son wants this for his birthday cake tomorrow. Thanks!

REPLY

Laura,
When is her birthday? Is there enough time to mail some red food coloring to you?
I don't know of a reliable substitute.
Lori V.

REPLY

My daughter wants red velvet cake for her birthday.we live in Italy and I cannot find red food coloring.I saw someone asked for possible substitutes, but I didn't see an answer. (Beets turn brown?) Anyone know of red food coloring substitute? Grazie Mille!

REPLY

Additionally, I might consider freezing a whole, crumb-coated cake though.

REPLY

Do you mean freeze leftovers slices, or an entire cake? I would consider freezing leftovers, but know the quality of your thawed slice might be a bit different than fresh.

I personally would not freeze a whole, decorated cake. I would much rather freeze the cake layers seperately, and then thaw and frost as needed.

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Can you freeze the Red Velvet cake that has been frosted with the flour/milk/sugar/butter frosting? I know you can with a buttercreme or one that has cream cheese in it.

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Actually, I don't believe Rose makes a Red Velvet cake mix - scratch that idea.

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You mention time constraints, but the only suggestion I could make for you to doctor up your plan is to avoid pre-made frosting at all costs... it's overly sweet, gritty, and has a very unpleasant and chemical tasting quality. Run of the mill cake mixes aren't quite as bad, but if you can find one of Rose's cake mixes that would be much better.

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I am making Red Velvet Cupcakes for a potluck. I have opted to use a store bought mix and frosting due to time constraints. Any ideas to doctor it up a bit?

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Red Velvet cakers,
I recently posted my new recipe for Red Velvet cake on Rose's new Forum. You might want to check out the thread and recipe.
Lori V.

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I know this is a month + after this discussion, but I thought I'd add that when I first starting baking, the frosting recipe for the Red Velvet Cake (from the Adams Vanilla bottle I believe) called for shortening instead of butter. I've never had a failure with Crisco in this frosting. I beat the Crisco and granulated sugar for up to 30 minutes so as to dissolve the sugar, before adding the cooked and cooled flour/milk mixture.

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Bruce,
I agree with Patrincia that temperature is most likely the problem. Your recipe is sort of like a pastry-cream butter cream. Each of the two components should be roughly the same temperature when you combine them together, otherwise, it will break, or "curdle."

REPLY

Bruce - I'm not familiar with this kind of icing, but assuming your milk/flour mixture has thickened properly and cooled completely, sounds like maybe your butter is too warm when you add it. How long do you let it sit out at room temp? The butter should never have a greasy or separated look. It should look exactly like a cold stick of butter, but be squishable when touched.

Another thought is maybe the icing is being mixed for too long... when it "breaks", does it do so immediately, or after you've been mixing for a while?

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The recipe I use is:

1c. sweet milk
3 Tbs. flour
1c. white sugar
1c. butter
1 Tbs. vanilla

Mix milk and flour to smooth paste in double boiler over simmering water, until thick. Cool completely.
Cream sugar and butter until fluffy, add vanilla.
Gradually add 1 Tbs. cooked mixture at a time to butter/sugar beating continuously.
Beat at full speed for 2 minutes.
Spread on top of each layer (not sides).

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Rose:
I am thrilled that you are developing a redvelvet cake recipe. Red velvet cake is a favorite of my best friend and my significant other. I just can't find one that I like. I have tried 4 different recipies to date and was even thinking of trying to develop one on my own, using the principles that I've learned reading your books. The prosepect of such a project was a little daunting...I don't know...cake with vinegar, a little cocoa, lots of red food coloring... I am, however, by nature a lazy person and have just kept putting it off... besides, what do you do with all the cake from the trial runs? lol...My door men would be very happy (I'm always sending down cake for them anyway). I have baked my way through much of the cake bible and have yet to find a recipe that wasn't spectacular. I'm sure that your red velvet cake will be amazing!. I can wait. I may be lazy but I'm patient.

Bill

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What is the recipe for your cooked milk icing?

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We always make red cake for birthday cakes, because it is so festive. We use the vanilla, cooked milk icing but sometimes it breaks and we can't seem to make it come back together, other times it is fine. Not sure what we are doing differently. Any suggestions?

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Marianne,
After trying many eggless chocolate recipes, I finally picked one and the bride and bridal party all enjoyed it. I on the other hand hated it! It was not as good as I am used to when using the Cake Bible recipes. I don't think I will agree to make that cake again. As far as a white or yellow eggless recipe goes, I gave up.
I'm done with trying to cater to those type of cakes.
Good Luck,
Lori V.

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I was interested in Lori's comment about the vegan wedding cake. I, too, have been baking (and throwing away) countless white cake attempts for my vegan baking program. I have found several really good chocolate cake recipes that have no eggs or dairy, but a white/yellow cake that has the texture of its egg and milk counterpart has been elusive. They are usually wet, heavy, and more like a bad quick bread than a cake. Some of the recipes are not too awful if used as cupcakes, but a regular layer size is more like an eight inch hockey puck. Any suggestions?

Marianne

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A & A - it depends on your frosting. If you frost with a traditional cream cheese frosting, then the answer would be yes.

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Does red velvet cake require refrigeration?

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Carolyn Carter
Carolyn Carter
07/ 4/2007 09:36 PM

Since red velvet is the cake I bake abysmally, a friend wants me to bake her daughter's wedding cake and of course it has to be red velvet. We also have an altitude problem, but I can deal with that. Any good recipes in large sizes?
CC

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Just wanted to chime in that it is not actually Sara Moulton's recipe, it's Cakeman Raven's from when he guested on her show. It is his signature cake and he wears red pants and hat to underscore that. Some of my students have made the cake from this recipe and it comes quite close to the ones he passed out during the wedding cake competition we both joined in Las Vegas (we were next to one another and made New York jokes).
Lookng forward to doing a side-by-side comparison with Rose's Red velvet... A red velvet rose! How poetic, I can see the picture now.:D

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Vreeke, I have made the Sara Moulton Red Velvet cake in many sizes, using Rose's leavening adjustment guidelines... My clients absolutely love it, but I'm waiting with bated breath until Rose lets us see her recipe!

I would actually not recommend converting the recipe to cake flour - it is incredibly moist (almost too moist, if there can be such a thing!) and tender...i think you'll be surprised - it's easy to forget there is AP flour in it. Also, be sure to bake it long enough, as I've found it sometimes requires a longer bake than the recipe indicates. I've also tweaked the flour & buttermilk amounts in various tests..

Curious to hear your results. Best of luck,

Jen N

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The wedding for the Vegan cake is not until July and I'm not really looking forward to it. The bride & groom liked the taste but I thought it was terrible tasting. I guess it's just what you are used to. The suggestion I received from one of you about encouraging them to have the other tiers not eggless would have been great. I will definitely encourage that in the future.
Thanks for asking and I will report back after the wedding.
Lori V.
Pastries By Vreeke

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Lori,
Can you tell us how your vegan cake turned out?

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I am going to be making the Red Velvet Cake from Sara Moulton. Has anyone substituted Cake flour for the all-purpose flour? I like the finer texture especially for wedding cakes.
Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Lori V.
Pastries By Vreeke

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Donna - have you thought about tinting Rose's white butter cake formula with red food coloring?

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donna, forgive me but i can't publish it until the book comes out fall of 2008.

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Hi.
Were you ever able to develop a recipe for red velvet? Is it published anywhere? I'm making a wedding cake in a few weeks and so far testing of different recipes haven't lived up to your recipes in the Cake Bible. I love the Cake Bible. I've used it so much the pages are starting to fall out.

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Help, I am making a red velvet cake and I need a substitutefor red food coloring. asap

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yes--temperature has a huge influence on flavor but also time can soften rough edges. red wine, for ex. becomes more bitter when cold whereas other substances become less so.

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Update:I just had another piece of cake and the bitterness for the most part was gone! What happened? The other person who thought it was bitter last night also noticed the difference. Could it be that I put it in the fridge last night and the cold did something? Or maybe because it was a day old? I think tomorrow I'll have another piece, but let it sit a while before tasting it--maybe eating it cold tonight was a factor?

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you've learned something really important here. people's level of bitterness perception is genetic. those who require sugar to make coffee taste right (me me) also find other food substances more bitter. in my upcoming book i'm giving a range of cocoa for this cake. the acidity especially of the vinegar really accentuates the bitterness.

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Thanks for responding so fast! Yes, I used 3 tsp of cocoa in the red velvet cake. Other people were using 2-3 Tblsp and loved the cake. I don't understand. Maybe some people are more sensitive to that bitter taste than others. 2 out of 5 people that tasted my cake thought it was bitter. The other 3 didn't notice.

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my guess is that you did the version with more than 1 teaspoon of cocoa and i also found that version had a bitter after-taste.

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I've just baked my first red velvet cake. As I was assembling it I took a taste of some crumbs...the initial taste was good, however there was a bitter aftertaste. Is this how red velvet cakes are supposed to taste? I will try the complete cake tonight and see if it tastes better with the frosting.

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i haven't officially posted/announced it yet because i am waiting for the publisher to sign the contract BUT it looks like a spanish version of the cake bible will be in the works shortly! thanks for asking.

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Hi Rose!

Thanks a lot for your recipes! Now I'm the official cake-baker of my family!! hehehe
My question is if I can find your book "The Cake Bible" in Spanish. I find difficult to understand some technical words :(

Thanks for your answer!

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i have been cajoled into developing a recipe for the red velvet. it's about to go into the oven. there is no substitute for red food color as beet, which works wonderfully with the acidic dough of bread becomes brownish in the essentially base cake batter.
so i'm creating my version of a red velvet using the red food color--really i don't in the end have a problem with it as long as there's more to the cake than the color and believe me there will be or i won't be including it in my next book. since everyone who has posted about it seems to adore the flavor and texture as well i'm sure i will too!
happy valentine's day all!!!!

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Hi,
How about freshly squeezed beet juice?
Has anybody tried?

Thanks,
Rgds,
Anna

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Sorry All,
I was refering to red velvet cake:)
Rgds,
Anna

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Uhm....there must be a substitute for the colour ... will not miss it personally - did not know about the cake until today:)- what to add to keep it soft (orange juice ?)...
like the recipe as it is very simple - the cake must be great !
have a great recipe here that I would like to share- will post it soon - have to translate it into Eng - nut cake recipe, simple and great - 100% natural .

Rgds, Anna


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p.s. and of course with chocolate cakes, be sure to cover the cocoa and water mixture so it doesn't evaporate and dry out!

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there are two possible reasons for dry cakes:
1) if you didn't weigh the flour and when measuring it added too much (you have to sift into the cup until it mounds over the top and level it off without tapping or shaking hte cup)--i'm assuming you're using cake flour, if all purpose you need to use less volume(see substitutions in the book)
2) over-baking: the cakes should not start shrinking from the sides of the pan. a metal cake tester should come out completely clean but a wooden toothpick or skewer should have a few little crumbs clinging to it.
let us know if this helps.

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Hi Rose, wow you respond so quickly - thank you! I purchased your cake bible book yesterday and tried your downy butter cake. I am a novice baker (just started later this year) and my cakes almost always come out a tad dry, except for the chocolate ones. Am I overbaking? I usually stay within the recommended time but I wait until the cake tester comes completely clean with absolutely no crumbs. Would that be the reason? Should the tester have a few crumbs sticking to it? Please help. I also live in a very hot and humid place - if that can help you assess my problem. Thank you for responding so quickly - I was so pleasantly surprised.

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m. cruz, why don't you try the link posted a little further up by redshoes? seems everyone likes that one. as you can see from my posting, it's not my style of cake .

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maya that is the most difficult cake in the book. i can't help you beyond what i wrote in the very very carefully detailed instructions. but i do advise that you do a little practise piping to see if you can handle it. when the book first came out, my publicist's little girl was diagnosed with leukemia. her father showed her the book and said pick a cake for your birthday and i'll make it. she picked the rose trellis and of course he couldn't say no. he was very good with his hands though he had never piped anything before. his specialty was designing prosthetic devices. and he accomplished it! that little girl is now graduating from college.

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I have tried several red velvet cakes and the taste is lacking focus somewhat. It is neither here nor there. How can I make such a beautiful looking cake taste just as good? Also, everytime I have tried to make sour cream coffee cake and red velvet cupcakes, they come out dry or rubbery. However, my chocolate ones have come out perfectly soft and moist each time. I do follow the recommended times and temperature but still consistently dry. What am I doing wrong?

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Maya Tavernier
Maya Tavernier
12/20/2006 01:28 PM

I recently got married and purchased your book the Cake Bible. My cake baking attempts have always been disasters. I was pleasantly surprised when I followed your recipes and the cakes were both attractive and delicious. Thanks!! I do have a question however. I offered to bake my brother-in-law's fiancee a cake for her bridal shower. She wants the Rose Trellis cake she saw in your book. I have never made a lattice in my life and I don't know how to start. Please help.

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most butter type layer cakes freeze well if wrapped airtight and defrosted first in the frig and then brought to full room temperature before serving. it's trickier to freeze frosted cakes bc first the frosting has to freeze solid enough to wrap it. then the wrapping has to be removed before thawing in the frig so it doesn't efface the frosting. but it can certainly be done.

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Pat Ward-Axness
Pat Ward-Axness
12/18/2006 02:40 PM

I'm using a recipe from Southern Living for red velvet cake and would like bake it several days in advance - does it freeze will, with out any glaze or icing?

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Dianne Greene
Dianne Greene
11/29/2006 09:22 AM

I am a red velvet geek, and I was absolutely blown away by the flippantly remarked line that a red velvet is just a ... . Absolutely not. I think it is one of the most crafted, flavorful, delicious, and exceptional dessert cakes ever made. It is baked with the flavor which is usually added after by way of composition/assembling. Why does the box mix red velvet style taste so bland even worse than their sister boxes? No vinegar, nor buttermilk if using one or both of these ingredients, and of course the quality of the chocolate/cocoa. Box mixes can be adjusted to become a true red velvet. I have have substituted colors, but that is all. I hope that everyone reading goes for the taste which tells the heart and soul of the baker. The color is just the prefix color discription. The holiday season is here so I hope that lots of True Red Velvet Cakes a will be served.

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Try the frosting recipe that is cooked milk and flour that is cooled and then has creamed sugar and butter whipped in. It must be refrigerated, but it is really the "traditional" red velvet frosting.

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My mother and grandmother use a slightly different recipe than the one posted above. It can be found on this page: http://www.geocities.com/brittlandk/desserts3.html

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I just made Red Velvet cake by Sara Moulton. Being very keen baker it was a must for me try this one. Looks great, and taste just delicious. Even thou I prefer continental type of cakes (I am from Europe) this one is realy special. Many, many thanks to RedShoes for posting this one.

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thank you for bringing up to speed. I'll have to revisit it.

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Cristina Fernández
Cristina Fernández
02/ 6/2006 04:41 AM

Me gustaría saber si hay posibilidades de encontrar los recetarios de cocina de la Sra. Rose Levy en ESPAÑOL, en internet .....
Gracias.

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A true red velvet cake has a small amount of cocoa powder, a cup of buttermilk and a dash of vinegar in it! I am very disappointed to hear the authority on cakes steering people so far astray. A red velvet cake is truly something special, not simply a layer cake with a pinch of cocoa and a "bottle of red food color".

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May I disagree? A true red velvet cake is a white cake with one teaspoon of cocoa powder in it. Just enough to make you ask, "what is that I taste?" and not be able to put your finger on it.

The best recipe I have used (and I am a red velvet cake fanatic), is this one:
Southern Red Velvet Cake by Sara Moulton

The "2 Tablespoons red Food Coloring" instruction should not be taken lightly. Any less, and you will not get a true red cake.

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you're right! it is a chocolate layer cake with a bottle of red food color as part of the liquid.

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I thought red velvet cake contained cocoa powder. Is that not correct? Most other recipes on the internet mention some amount of cocoa in the cake mix.

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