Yes it’s red…very very red!

February 13, 2009

Happy Valentines foodie-lovers!

I don’t typically celebrate (or like) Valentines – I just think it’s such a manipulative ‘holiday’. Anyway I digress. This year Mr S. and I decided to break our convention and rejoin the throes of society. I loved that this day of shmaltz in Australia was preceded by Friday the 13th! Mr S. certainly didn’t know what was coming when I presented him with an early gift of a Valentines cake on this dark and superstitious day!

But the look of panic on his face was priceless…

”Er, is it Saturday already?!”

Inspired by Bakerella, this cake was supposed to resemble a ‘box of chocolates’ but instead it ended up looking like an avant garde wedding cake! Oh well at least the cake was red!

Yes, you heard right…bright…crimson…red!

It was a gorgeously scarlet Red Velvet Cake. As I mentioned in a previous post, I just adore anything Southern!

There’s fair bit of steps involved in putting it together so I’ll refer you to Bakerella who can explain it much better than I. You can see her instructions on how to make the Valentines Day cake box and the ‘chocolate truffle’ cake balls on her blog. What I can offer you is the recipe for the Red Velvet Cake.

As hard as I tried I couldn’t find any ready-made red fondant. Rather than laboriously mixing half a dozen bottles of red food colouring into white fondant (and that still wouldn’t give you the shade you want!), I stuck with white fondant. Which is a good thing on my end because the sight of the bright crimson cake against the white fondant was a sight to behold! But of course this just added to the wedding cake theme.

For the chocolate covered cake balls, I used good quality dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa but you could always substitute it with milk chocolate or white chocolate (again with the dazzling colour combination!).


This Red Velvet cake comes courtesy of my Southern belle (the same friend who provided me with the Mississippi Mud Cake). I can’t get over how crimson red the cake was! It was deliciously scarlet! As you can tell my chocolate coating skills needed a brush up. Also needing improvement was my fondant skills. I can happily make shapes, teddy bears, flowers and other fondant goodies but when it comes to rolling it out evenly and smoothly covering cakes, I get lost!

This was a bit of a tough job with my beginner cake decorating skills but it was a ball of fun to make and even more rewarding to see the look of Mr S.’s face when he saw the bright red cake inside! At least my gift is over and done with. Now I wait with baited breath to see what he has planned for me.

What are the chances that I’ll wake up to see a 1967 Ford Mustang with a big bow on my driveway tomorrow morning?

…well I can still dream…

Red Velvet Cake

(makes two 9” or 22.5cm tins)


2 ½ C sifted plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 Tbl unsweetened cocoa powder
120gm butter at room temperature
1 ½ C caster sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
60ml red food colouring
1 C buttermilk at room temperature
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp baking soda


Preheat oven to 180°C. Butter and flour two 22-23 cm round cake pans.

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder together in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy with an electric mixer.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the vanilla and red food colouring, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go.

Add one half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat well. Add in half of the buttermilk and mix well. Repeat with the other halves of the flour mixture and buttermilk.

Have the greased cake tins at the ready. In a small bowl, mix the vinegar and baking soda and enjoy watching it fizz up momentarily.

Add to the cake batter and mix well and combine. Quickly divide the batter evenly between the two cake tins and place them in the oven.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cake is ready when the skewer comes out of the cake cleanly and the tops of the cake spring back when touched.

Cool the cake in the tin for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack and allow to completely cool.

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

shelbybaby April 1, 2010 at 10:27

aaaargh!! why won't people like you exist in kl so that i can have either red velvet cakepops on my wedding day?!! which is soon!! :) great job with the chocolate box babydoll..


Kim May 14, 2009 at 19:45

Hi! The cakes looks GREAT! I see you used a LOT of red food color, though…I have 2 options for you. ;-) First and formost is to try GEL food coloring! It is MUCH more intense, and there are more shades to choose from! Plus, they don’t change the consistance of your frosting as much! (Hardly changed my buttercream at all) Second is the powdered food coloring, which I hear are even MORE intense, though I have never tried them myself.

Must try your recipe soon! Thanks for sharing!


Karen | Citrus and Candy February 24, 2009 at 17:27

Hi McTasty – Oh thank you :) You should def try the chocolate box for yourself asap!Hi Sara – Thanks Sara, you’re so kind :)Hi finsmom – you’re welcome and thanks for your lovely comments!Hi How To Eat A Cupcake – Lol I agree!


How To Eat A Cupcake February 22, 2009 at 18:24

Omg cake balls are seriously the best thing since sugar-free gum!


Despins February 22, 2009 at 15:37

Such beautiful photos! They are making me drool! Great site! Thanks for sharing!


Sara February 21, 2009 at 14:42

Your cake looks great! The chocolate truffle cake balls are really cute.


McTasty February 18, 2009 at 15:22

This looks amazing!! I love Bakerella, wasn’t able to try out the chocolate box this time, but you did a fantastic job!


Karen | Citrus and Candy February 17, 2009 at 09:36

Hi Helen – Thanks so much! I didn’t even realise I placed 13 chocolates! I’m with you on the chocolate patty papers!Hi Kimberly – Thanks for your lovely comments :)Hi Heidi – The right conditions being….a diamond ring? Copious amounts of food? Trip around the world? Lol!Hi Billy@ATFT – Aw thanks so much *blushes*Hi Cakebrain – Phew! That’s a relief then. Thankyou!Hi Lisa – Looks like we share the same sentiments! Hope your kitchen renovations are going well :)Hi SoCal Pastry Chef – Ooh hope you two enjoy it. Can’t wait to read about it!Hi Belle – Oh wow, thank you Belle! You sould def try it soon yourself :)Hi Lorraine – It’s funny the amount of dread that Valentines can cause the boys! Thanks sweetie!Hi Jennifer – And not without a lot of sweat I assure you! Thank you so much!Hi Chuck – You’re too kind…thank you!Hi Diva – Hehe I hope you didn’t lick the screen too! But what lovely complements…thank you!Hi Kathleen – Thanks a lot :)Hi Heather – I’m with you! Red Velvet is the most gorgeous cake!Hi Sara – Thank you so much Sara!Hi tummyrumble – lol then I guess it was worth the effort! Thanks Reem!Hi Rosa – Oh thank you! I was worried the red wouldn’t turn out!


Karen @ Citrus and Candy February 16, 2009 at 06:52

Wow now that’s love lol! I’ve never seen such a vibrant shade of red in a Red Velvet cake! Well done!

Reply February 15, 2009 at 23:20

Wow, looks soooo yummy…


Sara February 15, 2009 at 00:41

I love red velvet cake. Your cake and the cake balls look amazing. Great job!


Heather February 14, 2009 at 23:34

those cake balls look stunning. i love, love, love red velvet cake.


Kathleen (One Tree Past The Fence) February 14, 2009 at 23:01

Very cool, on all counts…very cool


diva February 14, 2009 at 21:05

I adore red velvet!! this cake is immense – i love the whole box of chocolates concept and it looks so gorgeous. I love clean-looking cakes! :D This is so good I actually dribbled…anyway, Happy Valentine’s :) xx


chuck February 14, 2009 at 17:49

Red Velvet Cake … Yummy! It looks amazing. A real show stopper. I’m so glad I found your blog. Love it!


Jennifer February 14, 2009 at 14:06

Speechless!!! Red Velvet is a tradition here in the South! You have just taken it to a new level!


Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella February 14, 2009 at 10:13

Gorgeous stuff! Red velvet cake is da bomb isn’t it (we had it as our wedding cake). LOL at his face and asking if it was Saturday. Poor boys! lol


OohLookBel February 14, 2009 at 06:41

I’ve always wanted to try Bakerella’s cake balls. Yours look even better, so moist and delicious. Great work, Karen!


... February 14, 2009 at 03:33

My hubby will be out of the house tomorrow….. and GUESS WHAT I’M MAKING?I love this idea… stay tuned!


Lisa February 13, 2009 at 23:30

wow, this looks so beautiful, I’m in awe! I’ve never really got into the whole valentines day thing and the extravagant gifts but I do like the idea of valentines baking, with cute heart shaped cookies and amazing desserts like this!


Cakebrain February 13, 2009 at 22:15

Hey! I love it! I don’t care what you say about being a beginner…that looks amazing!


Billy@ATFT February 13, 2009 at 21:54

oh my god! That looks absolutely amazing! I’m supposed to make a cake today for valentine’s day too now u inspired me. Not sure mine can be this elaborate though.


Heidi / Savory Tv February 13, 2009 at 21:19

It looks wonderful, and the truffles look delicious as well! I’m with you on the anti Valentine’s feelings, although that could change with the right conditions :)


The Nomadic Gourmet February 13, 2009 at 18:20

Amazing photography! And that chocolate looks like it needs to be in my mouth! lol


Helen (Grab Your Fork) February 13, 2009 at 14:47

wow this looks great! and i love red velvet cake – in fact I think I’m going to skip the buttermilk pancakes tomorrow and save the buttermilk for a red velvet cake instead!i think your chocolates were only missing the patty pans, otherwise it would have easily looked like a box of chocolates. that’s a clever strategy too, to give him 24 hours notice of V Day as well (as well as set a high standard!). and 13 chocolates is a nice touch!


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