Red Velvet Cake

Ginny returned from his far-too-long sojourn to Australia and of course we had a big party. Themed party, because why not. Themed costume party, because we’re all only pretending to be grown-ups.

I decided to make a few contributions, namely, of course, a cake. After asking my friends for a few opinions, the overwhelming consensus was that I needed to make a red velvet cake. So a little research provided a few recipes I was ready to tweak, reducing oil, adding more cocoa powder, making a few substitutions.

2 eggs
1 cup oil (canola)
1 cup milk + 1 Tbs vinegar (instead of buttermilk)
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla.
The rest of the bottle of red food coloring from my seven layer cookies (2 oz was recommended)
2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 Tbs cocoa powder
Pinch of salt

Whisked the dry ingredients together in one bowl, then beat the eggs and the rest of the wet ingredients in a larger bowl, then mixed the dry into it in batches, a vibrant red batter. Divided in two, and baked in my round cake pan at 350F for 30 minutes. Cool in the fridge.

I was a bit afraid at first, even though the batter was so red, the first cake came out a little brown on top. But when I assembled the cake and trimmed it even, cutting it revealed a blood-scarlet interior. And the scraps were delicious–I had to prevent myself from eating the cake right then and there.

I put together a quick cream cheese frosting: 2 packs of 8 oz cream cheese, softened, 1 stick of butter, softened, 2 cups of powdered sugar and a dash of vanilla, creamed together (a hand mixer would be so nice to own!) painfully into a smooth concoction. I spread a thin layer between the two cakes, and then a thin layer around it, to “crumb” or catch all the crumbs. Put this in the fridge for 15 minutes, then applied a thick, smooth layer one it had set slightly, to ensure a smooth, crumb-less frosting. I had a little bit leftover, so I colored it green, improvised a pastry bag out of a ziplock bag, and made the cake a little fancy.

Red Velvet Welcome Home Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, inexpertly frosted

Beautiful, delicious, and quickly eaten, which is good otherwise I would have eaten far too many slices myself.

Beautifully red and sinfully addictive cake for Ginny

Other party prep included an adventure to get a photoshop banner printed (and I will never be able to go back to that particular Kodak Express without being judged as that crazy, strange foreign girl with creepy friends), nailing together a bar out of a salvaged reception desk and some cheap black sheets (end result: actually pretty classy looking), and some last minute costume design (surprisingly, I whipped up an amazing Pokemon costume for a friend out of some old shirts and a needle, and a passable last-minute Princess Jasmine costume for another friend out of a shawl)

Cake was a success, welcoming Ginny back to his proper country was a success, and ended, as good things should, with a Batman movie marathon and a boatload of Gung Ho pizza.


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