Red Velvet Cake
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There's just something so indulgent about the deep color and satiny texture of red velvet cake. I love to top it with cream cheese frosting because the cool tanginess helps temper the richness of the cake.

Technique tip: To make party size cake bites, skip icing the sides of the cake and use a 4-inch ring mold to cut 6 rounds out of the assembled cake. Then cut each round in 8 wedges. This will give you 48 miniature slices of cake. Save the scraps for snacking!

Ingredients

  • Cake

    • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
    • 1½ cups sugar
    • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 1½ cup vegetable oil
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3 tablespoons liquid red food coloring
  • Cream cheese frosting (makes about 6 cups)

    • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, softened
    • 1 pound cream cheese, softened
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 4 cups sifted powdered sugar

Preparation

For the cake:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13- by 18-inch sheet pan and line with parchment paper.

2. In a bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients.

3. In a separate bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth.

4. Gradually add wet mixture to dry in three additions (stirring between each addition) and whisk until smooth.

5. Pour the batter into the papered sheet pan.

6. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the middle is set and a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.

7. Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool completely in the sheet pan.

For the frosting:

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a bowl using a hand mixer) beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Slowly add the sugar and mix on low speed until incorporated. Increase speed to high and beat until light and fluffy.

To assemble:

Cut the cake in half crosswise. Set one half aside and ice the other half with about 1/3 of the cream cheese frosting. Place the other cake half on top and ice top and sides with the remaining frosting. Let chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

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