I love how the chocolate batter morphs into a gorgeous Christmas color when you add an entire ounce of red food coloring. I’ve seen some recipes call for two ounces. So feel free to go generous if you like. I only had an ounce, but it turned out beautiful (the picture didn’t show up as red as I thought it would).
After baking the original recipe, I chopped good old-fashioned peppermint with my Pampered Chef food chopper (a freezer bag and rolling pin work, too) and sprinkled it on top to add color and excitement to this birthday party. I placed larger pieces around the cake plate as an added treat for the kids.
This is a pretty way to dress up the usual red velvet cake. If you’re not into peppermint, chopped pecans pressed against the side of the cake is stunning. There are so many ways to flatter the white backdrop of this moist, delicious cake.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cocoa
- 1 cup canola oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1 cup buttermilk (I add 1 Tablespoon lemon juice to 1 cup milk; allow to stand for an hour)
- 1 ounce red food coloring (use 2 for a deeper color)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Baking spray with flour
- Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
- 8 ounce package cream cheese
- 8 ounces powdered sugar (1 small box)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Cream sugar and oil in a stand mixer.
- Add eggs and beat well.
- Add vinegar and food coloring.
- Add dry ingredients.
- Add vanilla and buttermilk just until combined, stopping to scrape down sides.
- Divide between two (9-inch) or three (8-inch) round cake pans sprayed with baking spray.
- Bake at 325 for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Cool in pans ten minutes; remove and transfer to wire racks; cool completely.
- Beat butter, cream cheese and vanilla until fluffy for cream cheese frosting.
- Add powdered sugar and beat until combined.
- If desired sprinkle crushed or chopped peppermint candies, candy canes or Andies Mints on top.
Did you know you can make this cake ahead of time and freeze for the holidays? Simply bake the 8 or 9-inch cakes and cool completely on a wire rack. Wrap in foil and place inside gallon size freezer bags. Thaw at room temperature for a few hours when you are ready to frost. Make the homemade cream cheese frosting and creatively dress up your cake for the holidays.
How do you top your red velvet cake?