Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Red Velvet Penguin Cake

Last week, DF and I once again taunted the temper of the nefarious Kitchen God. Several months ago, I swore off baking cakes and decorating in DFs kitchen (and the rest of the house!) because of several failed cakes. Layers sliding off one another, fillings leaking out, frostings falling apart... It was horrible!

We contrived to bake two layers of cake and after filling the cake (standard cream cheese frosting), cut it to match a picture which I am sure you will all recognize: Tux (the Linux penguin). One crumb coat and full frosting coat later, there was nary a fault to our cake. Success! We proceeded to colour and pipe the penguin design to the top.

Random side rant: I HATE it when people say: "Red Velvet Cake is just a chocolate cake with food colouring." That is completely absurd and absolutely wrong! It is instead a tender buttermilk cake with a HINT of chocolate. It's the touch of chocolate that makes you go: "hmm..." End rant.

Southern Red Velvet Cake

2 1/2 c all-purpose flour (APF)
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 TB cocoa
1 c vegetable oil
1/2 c melted butter
1 c buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 TB red food colour = 1 oz
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla

Oven: 350F
Pans: 2 x 9" rounds or 3 x 8" rounds, ~24 cupcakes
One bowl wonder

In a large bowl (not plastic as the dye will stain), whisk the sugar and cocoa together until there are no more small lumps of cocoa. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, and then slowly add the oil, butter, vanilla, vinegar, buttermilk, salt and food colour. Sprinkle the APF over the wet, then sprinkle the baking soda over the flour. Whisk together until smooth. Pour into greased and parchment lined rounds and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 30mins for 9" pans and 25mins for 8" pans.

Cool 5 mins, run a knife around the edge to loosen from the pan, cool another 10 mins, then unmold onto cooling racks and cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 lb cream cheese, cold
2 sticks butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla
8-10 cups powdered sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the cream cheese until creamy. Add the butter and mix until smooth. Add vanilla and mix, then add 8 cups of sugar and cover the mixer with plastic wrap or a towel, and mix until combined. Add the last amount of sugar slowly until you reach the desired consistency. Thin with milk or cream if you accidentally add too much sugar.


  1. This was for her birthday. Savage wanted to eat a poor defenseless Linux penguin. At least it all tasted great. One of our attempts to find the "perfect" RV recipe for our wedding!

    One note... even though we made it in two 8" square pans to get the shape, I seriously don't recommend it. It just makes so much! Definitely opt for the three 8" rounds.