I made this cake to celebrate my sisters Engagement! What says congratulations better than a 5 tier red cake? This cake is 5 tiered – (5 x 6″ pans), although it was adapted originally from a standard 2 tier cake!
Below are all my instructions on how to obtain the ‘ombre’ finish on the cake. A cake scrapper is essential to give the buttercream a smooth finish!
I used a recipe from Food network , however the red velvet cake itself somehow lacked flavour. The main flavour came in the form of the cream cheese frosting which definitely made up for the bland sponge! The cake was still a delight to eat, and was definitely eye catching, but for now I am still searching for a new red velvet sponge recipe!
I hope you enjoy this recipe, feel free to adapt your own red velvet recipe too! 🙂 The recipe below is given in cups, which is ideal for this cake as everything is added so easily, and there is no need for extra washing up!
- 2 1/2 cups of plain flour
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar (which seemed like A LOT to me)
- 1 tsp. cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cups oil
- 1 cup of buttermilk
- 2 large eggs, free range
- red food colouring – always use a gel/paste for a vibrant colour
- 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 450g cream cheese – I use Philadelphia
- 4 cups icing sugar
- 240g unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
Start by preheating your oven to 180° and lightly butter your cakes pans, whether its 4 or 5 smaller pans, or two large ones.
Place your oil, buttermilk, eggs, food colouring, vanilla and white wine vinegar in a large bowl, and whisk well. Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl – flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Fold in the dry ingredients, and then divide equally in between your cake tins.
Place in the oven and bake for roughly 30 mins (large cake tin), or around 20 mins (the smaller tins). Make sure to check to see if your cakes are ready about 5mins before the time given above. If you insert a skewer into the centre of your cake, and it comes out clean then the cakes are perfect! You can also test the cakes by seeing if they spring back to the touch!
Cool your cakes on a cooling rack and start on the cream cheese buttercream – cream together your softened unsalted butter and icing sugar, by adding the icing sugar in batches. If your struggling to incorporate the butter and icing sugar together, I’ve found a hand held whisk really helps! Once you have formed a stiff butter cream, add your cream cheese and vanilla into your bowl and whisk on a fast speed for a minute, until you get a nice glossy finish 🙂
TIP: Try and trim your cakes to the same height, with flat tops! This will make your cake look nice and professional when you cut inside and the top of your cake with be perfect and flat!
Place your first layer of sponge in the centre of your cake board/ cake stand. Place a large spoonful of butter cream in the middle of your sponge, and spread right to the edges – you may need to add a bit more buttercream, I try to get a nice even spread the same thickness as a pound coin. If you only have 2 layers of cake, I would add roughly 1/4 of your buttercream into the centre between the two cakes.
Continue to repeat layering until you now have a full stack on cakes, with your top sponge cake iced too! I started by icing the top and outside of my cake with a layer of plain buttercream, and scrapping it to infill any gaps around the edges of my cake. To do with, place a large spoonful of buttercream on the edge of the top sponge cake. Gently tease the buttercream down the side of the cake using a large butter knife, or ideally an off set palette knife. Spread the butter cream down the sides of the cake. Once you have done this around the whole cake, scrape away any excess buttercream with a cake scraper (see pic below). This video shows how to ice a cake with buttercream extremely well!
I then added some red gel food colouring to my remaining buttercream. I took a palette-knife full of the red butter cream and pushed against the white buttercream on the side of the cake. I spread the red sponge of buttercream slightly around the cake. I did this another 7 or 8 times all around the cake, making sure to leave some patches of white buttercream in place. I then took my cake scraper again and scraped the side of my cake little distance away from the sponge itself (so you’re not literally scraping away the buttercream, but instead smoothing the sides). This video visually shows the same kind of principle as described above, but instead of splodges of red buttercream, it was placed on in stripes, so take a look if you’re at all stuck 🙂
I then completed my cake with some swirled piping with my left over buttercream on the top of my cake, using a star nozzle. I topped the cake with white pearls and free dried strawberry ❤