Monday, January 10, 2011

Celebrating One Year with a Red Velvet Cake

Today marks a very special day. The Inner Gourmet is celebrating it's one year anniversary! Last year at this time, I remember my best friend Lakisha saying to me, "Alica instead of posting recipes on Facebook, why don't you start a food blog"?  My response was, "That's a great idea Lakisha, but who really has time for that?" Well let me tell you, I have found A LOT of time for it! 
 I really put my all into this blog and it has become a hobby that I don't ever think I can give up.  The truth is, when Lakisha suggested I start a blog, I said I didn't have time for it because I was scared of it not being a success.  I mean who would read this blog of mine? What would I blog about? After all, there are already so many recipes on the internet!  Those fears went away once I decided I was going to take the risk.   Who knew that this would've turned into such a wonderful hobby.  I've learned over the years when you really love doing something, you always find time to devote to it, no matter how tired you are or how long your day was. So Lakisha, I want to say thank you for encouraging me and helping to make this such a wonderful part of my life! 

This blog has brought me a lot of good luck in the past year and it has helped me to meet new and wonderful people.  I have received so many emails from my readers with lots of recipe requests, questions, and general feedback.  It was really overwhelming to see such a great response.  I want to sincerely thank all of you for your continued support.  I appreciate all of your feedback and encouragement, it really is what keeps me motivated to keep posting. 

So since this is such a special occasion, I decided that I needed to make a luxurious cake.  A cake that in one glimpse would demonstrate how special this occasion really is.  That cake is none other than Red Velvet Cake.  Red Velvet cake is really a mildly flavored chocolate cake that has been dyed with red food coloring.  It has a very dramatic and luxurious look and a velvety taste that is out of this world.  Some people say this cake originated in the South, but I am not really sure of its true origins.  It is usually frosted with cream cheese frosting or a white frosting that adds a sharp contrast to the cake.  I have mostly seen red velvet cake served at weddings and nowadays, at Starbucks. Eh, what can you do, slowly but surely, commercialization creeps in and takes away our most secret prized possessions.  Anyhow, I decided to use a recipe made popular by Paula Deen.  I made a few changes to her recipe and I think it turned out wonderful! Happy Baking! 

To bake the cake this is what you need to do:

once your batter is creamed, add the food coloring, its better to add it earlier so you know it will be mixed in pretty well throughout the rest of the mixing process

add the cocoa powder and mix thoroughly 

in a separate bowl sift only the flour and salt together, not the baking soda! 

in a small bowl add the baking soda to 1 tbsp of vinegar and set aside 

add flour, buttermilk and baking soda mixture to the batter 

bake in a 350 degree preheated oven 

While the cake is baking, make the FROSTING

Now back to the cake...

when the cake comes out the oven, let it cool then cut the top off. Pulse the top in the food processor to get crumbs to use for the sides of the frosted cake. 

once the cake is cooled, cut in half or if you baked two 9inch cakes, add 1 cup of frosting or as much as you would like to one layer then place second layer on top of frosting

crumb coating means spreading a thin layer of frosting to seal in any loose crumbs on the cake.  Refrigerate the cake then add the final layer of frosting to it. 

I thought the cake was a little more dense than expected, but it was still very delicious.  When someone says Red Velvet cake, I usually expect a deep dark red, not a neon looking red.  Paula does not state any other food coloring to be used except red, I decided to add a little bit of burgundy to the batter and it turned out to be the PERFECT red velvet color for me.  I also didn't use her frosting recipe, instead I used one of my favorite cream cheese recipes. I hope you enjoy this cake.  Thank you all for visiting and keeping me motivated! 

Recipe modified from 
Paula Deen

Red Velvet Cake 
(makes a 2 layer 9in cake) 


For the Cake:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) salted butter, room temp
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 ounces no-taste red food coloring (Wilton brand gel)
  • 1/4 tsp burgundy gel food coloring (Wilton brand gel)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
For the Frosting:
  • 1 lb cream cheese, room temp
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoons vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter, beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition. 
  3. Mix cocoa and food coloring together and then add to sugar mixture; mix well.
  4. Sift together flour and salt. Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. 
  5. Blend in vanilla. In a small bowl, combine baking soda and vinegar and add to mixture. 
  6. Pour batter into 3 (8-inch) round greased and floured pans or 2 (9-inch)Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from heat and cool completely before frosting.
  7. Blend cream cheese and butter together until smooth.  Add vanilla and mix well. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time until incorporated, refrigerate for 30 minutes before filling and frosting cake. 


  1. OMG. THIS CAKE LOOKS DIVINE! I just drooled at my lab bench thinking about this cake! I am trying this one!!

  2. oh! and Congratulations on your one year of amazing/delicious recipes as I am honored to sample and love them in my panza! Thank you! :)

  3. This cake looks unbelievable - your pictures are wonderful (love the step-by-step). I stumbled upon your blog and am excited to take a look around. Happy one year celebration!

  4. Planning to try this. Looks delicious!!! Love the clarity of the photos!

  5. once again u have done it Alicia. great recipe and superb pics. love your blog,

  6. I do not know what was wrong but my cake wouldn't rise as yours, it's flat and miserable :(