Baked Goods · Cooking · Sweets

A Special Birthday Request: Red Velvet Cake

My mom requested a red velvet cake for her birthday this year. Since it was on my bucket list of things to make, I jumped at the opportunity to do it. Also: I love my mom. If she wants a cake, she gets a cake! Things in my life got crazy, which is not unusual, and I ended up outsourcing some of the work. I don’t know if I can tick it off my bucket list when I got Bobatt to make the cake? I iced it though, so I did help. I really feel that I outdid all of the cooking related things I’ve ever done with this icing too.

Red velvet cake is so special. Rich, moist, chocolatey and very, very red. In this particular cake though, it was hard to look at anything but that icing. I saw this icing technique on Pinterest, investigated, and found that it’s simpler to ice a cake this way than with a conventional spatula! It’s striking, beautiful, and well, impressive. People will think you’re quite the pastry chef after seeing this kind of cake.

I’m happy to report that my mom loved her cake. Here are a few links and recipes to help you make this beautiful cake too.

Rose Icing Tutorial Links:

Red Velvet Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Roses

Yield: 1 – 4 layer, iced cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cooking Time: 20 – 25 minutes | Cooling Time: 1 hour | Icing Time: 15 – 30 minutes


2 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp cocoa

1/2 cup lactose-free butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups white sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla
1 cup lactose-free buttermilk (If making your own butter for this cake and icing, use the resulting butter milk. Otherwise, remember to treat store-bought buttermilk at least 24 hours in advance.)

2 tbsp liquid red food coloring
1 tsp white vinegar

1 tsp baking soda

2 recipes of Vanilla Bean Buttercream Icing (recipe follows)


1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line 2 round cake pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, salt and cocoa. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter until soft. Add the sugar and beat until light fluffy.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula after each addition.
5. Add the vanilla extract and beat again until combined.
6. In a measuring cup, mix the buttermilk and the red food colouring.
7. With the mixer on low-speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture in three steps (start and end with the flour).
8. In another small measuring cup, mix the vinegar and the baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz, then quickly fold into the cake batter.
9. Quickly divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans. Tap the cake pans to level the batter and remove any bubbles.
10. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick – if it pulls out of the centre of the cake with no crumbs attached, it’s done. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan on cooling racks for 10 minutes.
11. Gently turn the cakes out of the pan on the cooling rack and cover with plastic wrap. Place in fridge until completely cool (this makes it easier to ice the cakes). Make the icing while you wait for the cakes to cool.
12. Remove the cakes from the fridge and remove the parchment paper from each.
13. Put a dollop of icing on the board you will serve the cake on. Place the rounded part of the cake (the top) on this icing, and press gently. This will keep the cake from sliding around while you ice it.
14. Add another dollop of icing on top of this layer and spread evenly to the edges.
15. Place some parchment paper under the edges of the bottom layer of cake to keep the serving platter clean.
16. Quickly frost the rest of the cake. It doesn’t need to be perfect, because you will be covering this up with the roses.
17. Prepare an icing bag with a star tip, and fill the bag with icing.
18. Starting in the center, place the tip on the cake. Start with the centre of the rose, and with steady even pressure create a tight circle around the centre. Do 1 – 3 loops around, depending on how big you’d like your roses to be. (I did varying sizes, but you could try to make them all the same size. If the rose doesn’t work out, simply scrape it off and try again.)
19. Continue in this fashion until the entire cake is covered in roses. Fill in any gaps between the roses with a rosebud of icing.
20. Refrigerate the cake immediately after icing until ready to serve, so the roses don’t fall off the cake.
(Adapted from Red Velvet Cake Recipe)

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Icing

Yield: Frosts a 1-layer cake


1/2 cup lactose-free butter
1/2 cup vegan margarine
4 cups icing sugar
3 tbsp lactose-free milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 vanilla bean
1 tsp vanilla extract


1. Add the butter and margarine to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until light and fluffy.

2. Sift the icing sugar into the butter. Beat well.

3. In a measuring cup, dissolve the salt in the milk. Add the milk, salt, vanilla and the vanilla bean seeds. Mix well.

(Adapted from Jerilyn Brusseau’s Butter Cream Frosting found on TasteSpotting at


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