This was the cake I made for my son's birthday a few weeks ago. I was actually quite surprised that he wanted this cake but he didn't regret it because this cake was so good. The only comment from him was that it was a bit rich :). But, nevertheless, he helped us finish the cake.
Red Velvet Cake
Makes 16 servings
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1-ounce bottle (2 tablespoons) red food coloring
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk or sour milk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar
Never-Fail Buttercream Frosting (recipe follows)
Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degree F. Grease and lightly flour three 9x2-inch or 8x2-inch round cake pans. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside.
In an extra-large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating on medium speed until combined. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes more, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in food coloring and vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. In a small bowl, combine baking soda and vinegar; stir into batter. Pour batter into the prepared pans, spreading evenly.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes for 9-inch pan, 25 to 30 minutes for 8-inch pan, or until a toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool cake in the pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on rack.
Prepare Never-Fail Buttercream Frosting. Place one cake layer, bottom side up, on a serving plate. Spread with one third of the frosting. Top with second layer, bottom side up; spread with one-third of the frosting. Top with third layer, top side up. Spread top with remaining frosting.
Never-Fail Buttercream Frosting
Makes about 4 cups
In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 1/2 cups milk, 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, and dash salt. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 1 minute more. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Cover surface with plastic wrap to prevent skin and cool completely at room temperature. Transfer to a large bowl. On medium speed of an electric mixer, gradually beat in 1 1/2 cups softened unsalted butter until mixture is smooth, scraping side of bowl occasionally. (Frosting might look curdled until all of the butter is incorporated.)
Source: adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Baking 2010