Ok seriously, who doesn’t like birthday cake?
Actually, my dad. He prefers birthday pie. But that’s not this post.
My beloved friend, whom I lovingly call J-Bird for no reason other than it amuses me, is having a birthday this weekend! She a low key kinda gal, so we’re having a game night at my place to celebrate and I’m in charge of cake!
J-bird loves red velvet. It combines her favorite things – chocolate and the color red. I’m not exaggerating when I say she probably lives off sugar. Her favorite breakfast is chocolate chip pancakes. She eats peanut butter and chocolate chip sandwiches for snacks. She convinced me to bake these brownies with cookie dough in them. (They weren’t too bad, but so heavy and sweet). She does eat normal food once in a while, but if given the choice she’d probably just eat chocolate all day.
I like to bake for birthday gifts. Its easy enough, and I usually keep enough ingredients on hand anyway. For this recipe I just had to buy buttermilk and red food dye. I keep cocoa powder on hand for mug brownies. The rest I use when cooking on a relatively regular basis. That’s one thing I love about learning how to cook, and being a grown-up about it. I generally know what I have in my kitchen if I think of something at work I want to make, and can swing by the grocery store on my way home. Its nice to not have to comb through the pantry every time I have a recipe to try.
Back to cake!
I halved the original recipe because I only have about six people coming over tomorrow. I know most of them aren’t huge sweet eaters – they’ll each have a slice, but probably no more. And I don’t really need cake hanging around! But it halved beautifully, and I can still split the one round cake to make two layers. The biggest issue was the fact that I don’t own a 1/8th cup for the cocoa powder. But I figured if there was a little too much chocolate powder, it wouldn’t be the worst thing.
Red Velvet Cake (adapted from Real Simple)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons red food coloring
1/2 cup buttermilk
2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy (2 to 3 mins). Beat in eggs, vanilla, vinegar and food coloring until incorporated.
3. Reduce mixer to low. Add flour mixture and buttermilk slowly. Mix until just combined – do not overmix.
4. Place batter in pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. About 30 minutes.
5. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto cooling rack. When cooled completely, ice with cream cheese or white chocolate frosting.
Maybe next time I write, it’ll actually be healthy. But probably not.