Red velvet cake will always be something I think of as a cake for large gatherings and celebrations, like weddings or birthdays. This is the smallest version of red velvet I’ve ever made! Even though I put “for 2” in the title, you can probably serve this to 4 people, comfortably.
One of my earliest memories, I was probably 4 or 5, was of being in a large gathering, I think it was either a wedding or a birthday, and seeing this huge red velvet sheet cake, and having a small square of it. The frosting was simpler then, but I feel that this white chocolate cream cheese frosting, based on The Cake Bible, by Rose Levy Beranbaum, is a big improvement and complements the cake very well with a slight tang from the cream cheese with a little lemon juice.
The cake part of this recipe is a Martha Stewart recipe for “Red Velvet Chocolate Cake”. It has always delivered on the flavor and color expected for red velvet, and seems to pair well with a cream cheese frosting, although some people prefer the more simple seven-minute frosting for their red velvet cake, which is more light and fluffy.
Today marks seven years since I started this blog. Truth be told, the only reason why I know this is because WordPress just sent me a “Happy Anniversary” email for my blog! Otherwise, I always think my start date was in July, for some reason. Oh well…
red velvet cake for 2
71.8 grams cake flour
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
75 grams sugar
1/2 cup minus 1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 small egg
1 Tablespoon liquid red food coloring
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup full-fat buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1 scant teaspoon baking soda
for the white chocolate cream cheese frosting:
2 ounces of white chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, unsalted
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease sides and bottom and line a 6-inch round pan with parchment paper at the bottom, and grease again. Set aside.
Sift together the cake flour, salt, cocoa, into a bowl and stir with a whisk several times. Set aside.
In another bowl, cream the oil and sugar together for about a minute with a hand held electric mixer with beater attachments. Add the egg and beat again for another 30 seconds until smooth and shiny. It will resemble lemon curd.
Add the red food color and vanilla extract to the egg mixture and beat again until the whole thing is one bright red color. Scrape down sides and bottom and mix again to ensure all the mixture is one color.
Add about a third of the flour mixture to the egg mixture, beating on low until it is all mixed in and flour is moistened, again scraping the sides and bottom, and mixing on low.
Add half the buttermilk, and do the same by mixing on low, and scraping the sides and bottom until all the white of the buttermilk is mixed in.
Repeat the above by adding half of the remaining flour mixture first, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then mixing again.
Add the rest of the buttermilk and mix in, followed by the rest of the flour mixture and again scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl if needed.
In a small bowl or saucer, combine the vinegar with the baking soda. Let it fizz and bubble briefly, then scrape or add to the batter and beat one final time for about 20 seconds until mixed in thoroughly.
Bake in oven for about 30 minutes, or until a clean toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan and letting it cool before frosting.
Prepare frosting by first melted the white chocolate, either by microwave or on a stove top over low heat. Do not get white chocolate too hot, but just heat enough for it to melt. Set aside to cool slightly if it is too hot.
Beat cream cheese and butter together with a hand held electric mixer until smooth. Add the melted white chocolate a little at a time until mixed in and smooth. Add the vanilla and lemon juice and beat again until the frosting is spreadable and one color.
Frost however you want. I didn’t frost the sides, but just put the frosting on top of the cake and use a small offset spatula to spread it evenly, making random swirls of frosting on top of the cake. Top with a maraschino cherry or cherries on top of cake, if desired.