Monday, 28 January 2013

Red Velvet Vanilla Marble Cake

Valentine's Day dessert, Christmas potluck, Ruby wedding anniversary, or maybe you just love red....this cake is your style.  This is my second attempt at both a red velvet cake and a marble cake so I did some research before I dove in.  I borrowed bits and pieces from several different recipes and modified bits of others until I found a combination I thought would work.

I had two goals for this recipe - first, for the red velvet cake to be moist and flavourful, and second, a lovely marbled effect between the vanilla and the red velvet.

I started with Joy the Baker's simple vanilla cupcake recipe.  Her advice was to double the batch to make a layer cake, but I had decided to make a 9 x 13 cake so I opted to keep it simple and single. For the red velvet, I doubled the amount of butter that was called for in most recipes, as the last one I tried turned out dry and tasteless. I toyed with the idea of adding a tbsp of vegetable oil, but decided against it.   I also didn't want a lot of cocoa in it, so I only used 1tbsp of cocoa to 2 tbsp of red food colouring.

Ok, enough rambling.  It was a success in terms of a moist and delicious red velvet cake, and the marbling turned out rather well - a nice contrast between the red and the vanilla. The vanilla butter cake was superior,  and I will definitely use this recipe next time I make vanilla cupcakes.

Vanilla Cake
Joy the Baker's Simple Vanilla Cupcakes

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour, sifted
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk

  1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt.  
  2. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. 
  3. Add eggs one at a time to the butter and sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat until well combined.
  4. Add the vanilla to the egg mixture, and then half of the flour mixture, continuing to beat. 
  5. Add the milk, followed by the rest of the flour mixture.  
  6. Set aside.
Red Velvet Cake

1 1/2 cups flour, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg

1 tbsp cocoa
2 tbsp red food colouring
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp baking soda

  1. Combine flour and salt in a small bowl.  Set aside
  2. In a medium sized bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add the egg, beating well to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, combine cocoa and food colouring until it forms a thick paste, and add to the butter and sugar. 
  4. Stir in the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately, about half at a time, mixing in between.
  5. Add one tsp of the vinegar and the baking soda (Chemistry 101 - it will hiss and bubble), followed by the last tsp of vinegar. Stir well to incorporate.
  6. Pour the red velvet batter into a greased 9x13 inch pan.  It will be thick, you may have to use a spatula to move it into the corners evenly.  
  7. Pour the vanilla batter on top.
  8. Run a butter knife through the batter to create the marbled effect.  Don't be too cautious (I have learned from past mistakes), or you will not achieve the proper marbled effect.  Give it a good whirl.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.

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