Red velvet cake traditionally used boiled sweets or beetroot to dye the cake its red-brown colour, but we’ve used food colouring for speed and ease.
- 250 g unsalted butter, softened
- 250 g caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp. red food colouring paste
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 284 ml tub buttermilk
- 2 tsp. cider vinegar
- 275 g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
- 40 g cocoa powder
- 275 g unsalted butter, very soft
- 400 g full-fat cream cheese (we used Philadelphia) at room temperature
- 475 g icing sugar, sifted
- Red and white sugar sprinkles, optional
- Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4. Lightly grease a deep, round 20.5cm (8in) cake tin and line with baking parchment.
- In a freestanding mixer or using a handheld electric whisk, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 5min. Beat in the food colouring paste.
- In a large jug, quickly beat together the vanilla, eggs, buttermilk and cider vinegar. Add the red butter mixture and beat until combined (don’t worry if the mixture looks a little curdled). Sift over the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder and fold together using a large metal spoon.
- Scrape into prepared tin, level surface and bake for 55-60min or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in tin for 10min, then remove from tin and cool completely on a wire rack.
- For the icing, beat the butter in a freestanding mixer or with a handheld electric whisk until completely smooth. Next, beat in the room-temperature cream cheese. Sift over the icing sugar and beat (carefully, as there will be clouds of icing sugar otherwise) until fluffy and combined.
- Cut cooled cake into three horizontal layers. Use some of the icing to sandwich the layers together, then spread remaining icing over top and sides of cake. Scatter over the sugar sprinkles, if using, and serve in slices.