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My Funny Valentine…’s Day Cake

cake collage

Happy Monday, dear friends!

Did you have a wonderful weekend? Anything exciting cross your path? I had the delightful opportunity of meeting up with three creative minds, the lovely ladies of Studio Yuki (Danny), Art for Happy People (Rakhee), and Deidre Dreams (Deidre). We had such a great time chatting, sipping tea, exchanging stories and giggling together. It’s always quite special to meet facebook contacts in real life, to make new connections and forge new friendships. In addition to socializing, we also did our fair share of eating… which gave me the perfect opportunity to use Danny, Deidre, and Rakhee as guinea pigs for a fun little Valentine’s recipe I’d been dying to try.

Red Velvet cake has become something of a family favorite since my sister first introduced us to it several years ago. It’s red… it’s chocolatey… and it’s sweet. What better batter to use as the basis for a very Valentine’s Day cake! :)

Ingredients

Batter:

  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 60 ml red food coloring (or substitute half of the food coloring with 3 pre-cooked red beets)
  • 120 grams butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or add 1 teaspoon vinegar to 1 cup of milk and let stand for 5 minutes)

Icing:

  • 400 g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 100 g butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2.5 cups powdered sugar

Time to get started guys, so gather up all of your heart shaped pans and muffin molds! Lightly butter whatever pans you decide to use for your red velvet cake and preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F).

Mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. In another small bowl, mix the food coloring with the cocoa powder. The recipe that I found said that this should result in a kind of paste… but mine didn’t.

I also didn’t feel totally comfortable using soooo much artificial food coloring. So, tada! I decided to use a few pre-cooked beets in order to add an extra pop of color.

In a blender, I improvised a bit and mixed half of the butter and the beets.

In a large bowl and using an electric mixer, I mixed the rest of the butter, sugar, and my butter-beet combination together. I added the eggs, one at a time, before adding the cocoa powder and half of the buttermilk.

Last but not least, I mixed in the flour, bit by bit.

Time to pour your batter into your pans and pop ‘em in the oven.

I baked the cupcakes for about 20 minutes and the cake for about 40 minutes (until a toothpick came out clean).

Thanks to the super flimsy silicone cupcake molds I used, the heart cupcakes looked a little bit wonky. The cake, however, turned out well.

For the icing, all you have to do is blend your butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy before slowly blending in the powdered sugar. Yum!

The internet assured me that the beets wouldn’t alter the flavor of the cake… but I would have to disagree. They definitely made the cake a lot denser and gave it just the teeniest, tiniest “earthy” flavor.

My guinea pigs seemed to enjoy the cake enough, even though it wasn’t particularly as bright red or light and fluffy as I’d hoped it would be.

Despite any shortcomings my red velvet cake might suffer, I hope you’ll enjoy giving this all-American treat a try sometime! :)

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