Cook’s Country Red Velvet Cake is one excellent recipe from The Complete Cook’s Country TV Show Cookbook. Its a great cookbook. Cook’s Country has since come out with new books covering more seasons of the TV show, but I’m partial to this one. It has such a good variety of crowd pleasers, and is my go-to source for this cake!
Cook’s Country Red Velvet Cake
This really is one of my favorite red velvets. Cook’s Country nailed the level of tartness that red velvet is supposed to have and the amount of chocolate (which a lot of recipes get wrong). I like the color, which is kind of a dark brick red and similar to the old Red Velvet Cakes we used to buy at the H.E.B. Bakery. And most importantly, the texture is moist thanks to a combination of 12 tablespoons of butter and buttermilk. Older versions of the recipe use shortening and require a little more precision. This cake has a lower margin of error (and a little more flavor!) thanks to 12 tablespoons of butter.
Cream Cheese Frosting
The Cream Cheese Frosting on this cake is a pretty basic rendition with a pound of powdered sugar, a pound of cream cheese and a half pound of butter. It’s sweet, but it works here and people generally like it. However, I also have a good less sweet Cream Cheese Frosting and a White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting as well.
Red Velvet Cake
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour** (315 grams)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 pinch salt I used a generous pinch
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature (240 ml)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons natural cocoa powder do not use Dutch or Dark
- 2 tablespoons red food coloring
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened (170 grams)
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar ( 300 grams)
- 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks and softened (240 grams)
- 1 pound 3 ¾-4 cups confectioner’s sugar (448 grams)
- 1 pound cream cheese (449 grams)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat to 350 degrees. Grease two 9 inch round cake pans, line with parchment paper, grease parchment, then line pans (Note: I was out of parchment, so I just greased the pan with shortening and dusted it with flour). Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla extract together in a 4 cup liquid measure. Mix the 2 tablespoons of the cocoa and red food coloring together in a small bowl to form a smooth paste.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in flour mixture in three parts, alternating with egg mixture and scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add cocoa mixture and beat on medium speed until completely incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed. Give the batter a final stir with a rubber spatula. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans and bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Run a small knife around the edge of the cakes, then flip them out onto a wire rack. Peel off the parchment paper (if using), flip the cakes right side up, and let cool completely before frosting.
- For the Frosting: Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, 1 piece at a time, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Beat in vanilla and salt. If making ahead, keep chilled until ready to use (Bring to room temperature before using).
- When cakes are ready, line the edges of a cake platter with stripes of parchment or wax paper to keep the platter clean while you assemble the cake. Place one of the cake layers on the platter. Spread 2 cups of the frosting evenly over the top, right to the edge of the cake. Place the other cake layer on top and press gently to adhere. Frost the cake with the remaining frosting