Sunday, February 14, 2016

Red Velvet Crumb Cake

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!
I know some people aren't fans of Valentine's Day but I love it. I mean.... a day dedicated to love. I'm on board. 
Also... heart shaped cake.
So... there's that...
Red velvet cake is perfect for Valentine's day for numerous reasons, most important of all - it's red and pretty. You could go with traditional chocolate but why not be a little more adventurous? You get a hint of chocolate in a red velvet so you're technically not straying too far. And the cream cheese frosting? Yes. It wins all the prizes. 
Your loved one will find you even more irresistible if you feed them this. Don't have anyone to share it with? Make it for yourself. It's Valentine's Day and you deserve delicious cake.  (Plus, it freezes very well too... if you have leftovers... I've heard that happens to some people!)

Red Velvet Crumb Cake

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp baking cocoa
2 Tbsp liquid red food coloring
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp vinegar

Cream Cheese Frosting
2 X 8oz bricks cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
5 cups icing sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Line 3 - 8 inch pans with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray, set aside. 
Prepare cake - In a small bowl, sift together flour and salt. Set aside.
In a larger bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping sides as necessary. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined. Beat in baking cocoa and red food coloring until well combined, again scraping sides as necessary. 
Alternately beat in the flour with the buttermilk until batter is smooth.
In a small bowl, stir together the baking soda and vinegar. This will foam up. When mixed, quickly beat into the cake batter. 
Pour evenly into the prepared pans.
Bake at 350 for approx 24 - 35 minutes, until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. 

Let cool in pans for about 8 minutes then run a knife around the outside of the cake to loosen, and invert cakes onto wire racks to cool completely. (I didn't have 3 matching pans so I traced out the smallest heart shaped pan on parchment paper and used that template to cut the same sized hearts out of the other two cakes.) 
To get crumbs - I used the pieces I cut off the cake in order to form the heart shapes. I think I had about 2 cups of crumbs or so. 

If you don't have to cut off any pieces because you have 3 pans the same shape - then simply cut a thin layer off the top of each cake and crumble that up. 
Prepare frosting - In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth, scraping sides as needed. Beat in vanilla. Gradually beat in icing sugar until you reach a spreadable consistency. (If too thick add a little milk, a TBSP at a time. If too thin add a bit more icing sugar) 
Place in fridge for at least 15 minutes to solidify a little. 
Assemble cake - Place one heart on a serving platter. Frost with a generous amount of cream cheese frosting.
Top with second cake and more frosting.
Lastly, place the 3 cake on top and frost the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting. 
Carefully press crumbs around the cake and sprinkle on top.

You may have a little of the white frosting peeking through, but that is okay. 

You can pick out any brownish pieces of cake so you have "pure red" only for crumbs but I don't think you need to. I love the little color variations. 
Note - once you mix the baking soda and vinegar it activates the baking soda so you want to get it into the batter and the batter into the oven fairly quickly otherwise your cake won't rise. 
Also - be prepared to have crumbs EVERYWHERE. I used a basting/pastry brush to get most of them off the serving tray. 
There you have it....
cake + cream cheese frosting + more cake = perfect dessert. 

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