Can a red velvet cake taste any better? Soft, gorgeous red velvet cake layers, paired with my almond cream cheese frosting - perfect for your Halloween gathering this month, or any time of the year for your favorite red velvet die-hard.
It's finally here! I've been very slow at adding in my new cake recipes. I want to make sure everything is tweaked perfectly, and is at my best quality (versus quantity) before I share it with you. That said, this red velvet cake is about to blow your mind.
Halloween is my second favorite time of year (next to the Fourth of July). I have to admit, when I first thought of doing a gore-type cake, I was a little hesitant. I'm so used to doing happy unicorns and pink girly cakes, that I wasn't quite sure how it'd be received. However, I knew it had to happen, and totally went for it on Instagram here (video is pretty fun :) The blood gore spear on the side of the cake, the dark red eerie drip, and the knife on top to take it to the next unsettling level... it was a match made in heaven for any Halloween-lover like myself!
The side of the cake was smeared using only "no-taste-red" Wilton coloring gels. I frosted my cake as I would normally, white buttercream on the outside (see almond cream cheese buttercream below). Then I took my flat cake knife, dunked it directly into the coloring gels (easy, a little goes a loooong way), and added a little bit of it here and there on the side of the cake. With my cake scraper, I then smeared the sides while turning the cake turntable, creating a gore-smear look on the side.
Next comes the drip - I wanted it to not be a fun-happy-clown looking red, It had to have a little bit of depth to the color. So instead of using my usual white chocolate ganache (then tinted whatever color I'd like), I used Wilton red candy melts, a little heavy cream, and then ADDED more red coloring gel to it. If you're feeling extra creepy, you can add a little bit of dark blue (I'm talking a toothpick drip) to make it more like human blood. Gross, but true. Make sure your drip is a little runny, but not too runny. It needs to ooze down the side of the cake.
Lastly, I know Wilton has those fake knives you can use for this cake, but I wanted a real one to make things as Halloween-tastic as possible. I grabbed one of our dull kitchen knives, coated the bottom in a little bit of that blood drip ganache, and then stabbed the top of the cake. The knive was pretty heavy, so I recommend doing this when the cake is very cold/frozen, or right before you serve it.
As you may notice this recipe is very similar to my peanut butter chocolate cake recipe, only, we are using all the goodness of the red velvet to make the almond cream cheese frosting sing right off your dessert plate! Cream cheese is a classic pairing with red velvet, but the touch of almond is AMAZING. It will leave any other red velvet cake you taste to shame - it's that essential of an ingredient. SUPER delicious, I'm telling you. I've had so many people order this cake, I recommend the almond cream cheese frosting, and they REPEAT the order over and over again.
Hope you enjoy my red velvet cake with almond cream cheese buttercream, and keep an eye on my Instagram for more Halloween cakes to come. 😄
Red Velvet Cake
with Almond Cream Cheese Buttercream
makes 3x 5" rounds, or 2x 8" rounds
red velvet cake:
3 whole eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
(1/4 cup flour if you live in high altitude)
1 Duncan Heines Red Velvet Cake mix
almond cream cheese buttercream
1 brick of cream cheese
2 sticks of unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
4-6 cups sifted powdered sugar (add according to desired consistency)
3 Tablespoons of heavy cream (or more if needed for desired consistency)
blood drip ganache:
1/2 cup Wilton red candy melts
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon wilton gel coloring (optional)
to make cake:
1. Preheat convection oven to 325 degrees. Prep baking rounds (I usually do a light coat of shortening and a dust of flour). Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, sour cream, vegetable oil, and vanilla until thoroughly combined.
3. Sift in cake mix and stir until just combined. Will be thick.
4. Divide batter evenly into cake rounds. Bake for 25-27 minutes, depending on your oven, until centers have cooked through and spring back when touched.
5. Remove rounds from oven, and let cool in pans for 2 minutes, then turn over onto a wire rack to cool (I usually wrap mine in plastic wrap when they are barely room temperature, freeze for at least 30 minutes, before frosting).
to make frosting:
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the cream cheese and butter on high until they are completely creamed together (no butter pieces showing). Add in extracts, then mix for a minute to combine. Add in heavy cream.
2. Slowly add in powdered sugar, a half cup at a time, until you've reached your desired consistency. Add more heavy cream if you want it thinnner, add more powdered sugar if you want it thicker. Taste as you go, add more extracts if you need more flavor, but go easy on the almond - tends to be stronger than the vanilla with less of it.
to make the ganache:
1. To make the ganache, place the melts and heavy cream in the microwave for 1 minute, then stir. Add in the extra coloring. If your ganache is too thin, add in a couple candy melts. If it's too thick, add in a teeny bit of heavy cream. Let cool a little before adding the drip to your frosted cake.
Recipe source: Baking with Blondie