This is a real red velvet cake with the moistness of gorgeous red beetroot making it just delicious in every way. Perfect as a celebration cake as I have here. Happy birthday Idgy!
It’s that time of year again folks, Idgy’s birthday. Can’t believe that my wee girl is now 17 years old! Where has all the time gone?
I feel ancient, a veritable crone when I see how the years have fluttered by and my once cute, cuddly little girl is now a clever, witty, funny and wonderful young woman. How lucky I am to have her, how very, very blessed. A birthday calls for cake and this Red Velvet cake is her favourite.
I’ve made her birthday cake every year and they have ranged from the quirky to the basic, from the stunning to the downright disastrous.
For someone who has written a successful book on Scottish baking (Simply Scottish Cakes & Bakes) I am somewhat challenged when it comes to creating birthday cakes. I guess it is the pressure I put myself through, this is for my favourite person so must be perfect. I then try too hard, go too far and invariable have some sort of catastrophe.
Last year it took two cakes to get it right when I cocked up the icing on a chocolate cake. This time I went over the top, did an enormous four level red velvet cake and watched in horror as the whole bloody thing tilted like the tower of Pisa after I slapped on the butter cream frosting and then ever so slowly collapsed completely into a heap of crumb and chaos.
Idgy (bless her) just laughed and said it definitely had a homemade look, quite frankly it had the look of a total car wreck. No, no, no, must start again.
This time I halved the measurements of my ingredients and went for a simple two layer sandwich cake. I was using traditional beetroot in my red velvet cake to get that gorgeous blood-red colouring, but I cheated and added in a tablespoon of red food colouring as well to really ramp up that dramatic redness.
Red Velvet cake
I have used beetroot as the base in this cake. If you haven’t baked with beetroot before just think of it like making a carrot cake. Both veggies but work well in a cake batter too.
The beetroot does give this cake a nice touch of red but I have also added a spoonful of natural red food colouring just to boost up that red a wee bit more.
Chocolate is the other really important ingredient in a red velvet cake. In fact most red velvet cakes nowadays are just a basic chocolate cake with added red colouring. This is real old fashioned red velvet cake with beetroot!
Anyway, back to that chocolate. Make sure you use good quality dark chocolate for the best flavour and go for 70% cocoa solids.
Cake decorating the natural way
Instead of trying to be clever with the decorating I just ambled round the garden and picked the last of the pretty primroses, some delicate tiny blue forget-me-nots, frothy white sweet woodruff flowers and of course daisies. Throw in some of those yummy chocolate-filled silver candy balls and the obligatory candles and that was it.
One birthday cake. Red velvet cake as requested by the birthday girl. Only two days and one cock-up to create it. I call that a bloody good result.
Happy birthday darling Idgy, you are the light of my life and I am so incredibly proud of the wonderful person you have become.
Looking for more super tasty cakes to bake? Then check these out before you go;
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
Real Red Velvet Cake
- 125 g butter unsalted
- 100 g dark chocolate 75% cocoa
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 250 g plain flour
- 250 g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 100 ml boiling water
- 100 g Greek yogurt
- 200 g cooked beetroot in juice not vinegar!
- 1 tbsp red food colouring
- 100 g cream cheese
- 100 g butter unsalted
- 250 g icing sugar
- 25 g plain chocolate
- 25 g milk chocolate
- 3 tbsp double cream
- pinch of instant espresso powder
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and grease and line two 8″ baking tins
- Melt the butter and chocolate and then mix with the flour, sugar, cinnamon, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
- Whazz the beetroot in food processor until a smooth puree and add the egg and yogurt before mixing this with the other ingredients already in your baking bowl.
- Now add the boiling water and food colouring and mix thoroughly.
- Pour into your prepared tins and bake for approx 25-30 minutes until you can pierce centre with a skewer and have it come out clean. Don’t over cook or the cake will go from red to brown.
- Remove from oven and cool before removing from tins and cooling completely on a wire rack.
- Melt the chocolate in a bain marie and stir in the cream and espresso powder till you have a rich creamy consistancy.
- Spread the chocolate creram on one of the cakes and add the other on top to create a sponge sandwich.
- Mix together all ingredients for the butter cream frosting and spread this carefully all over the cake and all around the sides.