Hummingbird bakery red velvet cake - delicious!


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I made a Red Velvet Cake last week and wanted to share it here - I've never made one before, but I've often had it in cafes or at friends' houses so I thought I would give it a go. After a fair bit of research I picked the Hummingbird Bakery recipe, and (not to blow my own trumpet or anything) it was seriously the nicest Red Velvet Cake I've ever had!

The recipe can be found in 'The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook' - it is actually in the cupcake section but it includes instructions on how to scale it up for a cake.

Here are the ingredients for the cake (I have upscaled the amounts) :

120g unsalted butter at room temperature
300g caster sugar
2 eggs
20g cocoa powder
4 tbsp red food colouring (I found that 40g of Dr Oetker Gel Food Colouring in Bright Red worked well)
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean paste)
240ml buttermilk
300g plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 tsp white wine vinegar

For the frosting:
600g icing sugar, sifted
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
250g cream cheese, cold

Preheat oven to 170 deg C / 325 deg F (150 deg C fan assisted). The recipe suggests using three 20cm cake tins, but as I only have two of them I decided to use two 22cm tins instead which worked fine.

With the food colouring, I've heard that there are a few around that work well. Just make sure that you avoid any 'natural' colours and check it is bake stable otherwise it will turn brown when cooked.

The essential elements of the recipe are:

  1. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, and then gradually incorporate the eggs.
  2. Separately, combine the cocoa, red food colouring and vanilla (either paste or extract) to form a paste, and combine with the egg mixture.
  3. Gradually add the buttermilk and flour, adding a little of each at a time until fully combined.
  4. Add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar and ensure all ingredients are well mixed.
  5. Divide between the cake tins (whether you are using two or three), and bake for 20-25 mins in the oven.
  6. To make the cream cheese frosting, firstly whisk together the icing sugar and butter. I always find that whisking the butter first to loosen it up and then gradually adding the icing sugar works best and helps avoid the icing sugar going everywhere! Add the cream cheese at the end and be careful not to overbeat the mixture as it can go runny.
  7. When the cake is cooled, sandwich the layers together using the cream cheese frosting, and top with the remaining frosting.
Here are some photos from the making:

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The cake was so incredibly moist and light! I've had some before that were quite heavy but this one wasn't at all. I think the moistness comes from the buttermilk, it really was delicious. My husband thought it was yummy but said he would have preferred buttercream icing instead of cream cheese, so I might try that next time.

I would definitely recommend this recipe! :)
 
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MMM I must say that piece of red velvet cake really looks good, buttercream icing instead of cream cheese that might be tasteful too. I really like buttercream icing. so that might taste really good with the red velvet cake. Very nice, I will be trying this red velvet cake recipe for sure. Thanks for sharing it with us.
 
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looks delicious. I love red velvet cake it is so delicious. I would have to try this recipe.
 
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This recipe looks great! It also looks fairly easy to do. I love cream cheese icing! So I definitely think I would enjoy this! My husband however, like yours, is a big buttercream fan. I really imagine either one of the icings would be fabulous on this cake.
Thanks so much for sharing your recipe! The pictures were also very helpful, glad you shared them!
 
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This looks delicious. I have never tried to make a red velvet cake but I have wanted to. I think I am going to give your recipe a try and see how it turns out and how my family likes it. Thank you for sharing!
 
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I made this recipe for a birthday cake and it was highly enjoyed by everyone - easily the best red velvet cake Iv ever tasted. Perfectly moist and full of flavour. Thanks for the post! For the icing I used 200g of butter and 150g of cream cheese and added a tsp of Madagascan vanilla - it was delicious. I used vanilla bean paste for the cake as I find it always give an extra richness and depth of flavour. Perfect for special occasions : - ))
 
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I am in North Alabama and Red Velvet Cake is very popular in the south. It is my daughters favorite. However, i put a "Flour paste iceing" on it. It is light and fluffy and not as sweet and heavy as regular butter cream or cream cheese:

Recipe:
4 T flour
1 cup milk
*cook together till it forms a smoothe "paste"- (I run it through the food processor at this point). Cool completely
Whip together:
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1 t vanilla
Then add in flour/milk mixture and beat on med-high to high for 20-25 minutes. It will look "ruined" for quite a while and then will turn perfect!

I useually do not have to beat it for 20-25 minutes. It can be flavored with different extracts, or cocoa and colored with food coloring. I have even mixed coconut or nuts in it. And I have never run mine through the food processor. You do have to make sure the flour mixture is completely cool before adding it to the other indgredients and I add it to those ingredients by the spoonful, not all at one time.
 
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I am in North Alabama and Red Velvet Cake is very popular in the south. It is my daughters favorite. However, i put a "Flour paste iceing" on it. It is light and fluffy and not as sweet and heavy as regular butter cream or cream cheese:
Recipe:
4 T flour
1 cup milk
*cook together till it forms a smoothe "paste"- (I run it through the food processor at this point). Cool completely
Whip together:
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1 t vanilla
Then add in flour/milk mixture and beat on med-high to high for 20-25 minutes. It will look "ruined" for quite a while and then will turn perfect!
I useually do not have to beat it for 20-25 minutes. It can be flavored with different extracts, or cocoa and colored with food coloring. I have even mixed coconut or nuts in it. And I have never run mine through the food processor. You do have to make sure the flour mixture is completely cool before adding it to the other indgredients and I add it to those ingredients by the spoonful, not all at one time.
I've never heard of a flour paste icing before! How much does that recipe make - enough for one cake middle and top? Also does T stand for tablespoon or teaspoon?
 
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Hello becky,

This is my fave cake im obsessed with the store in london! I am going to try and bake this. Ive never baked a thing in my life! Can you tell me what brand of cream cheese you used? And also can this be made gluten free?
 
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Hello becky,

This is my fave cake im obsessed with the store in london! I am going to try and bake this. Ive never baked a thing in my life! Can you tell me what brand of cream cheese you used? And also can this be made gluten free?
I've never been to the store, I bet it's amazing! :D I used Philadelphia, and it's got to be the full fat one. Can't say I've tried baking it gluten free, but you could try substituting the flour for a GF alternative. It's such a tasty cake! Let me know how you get on with it!
 
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Ok soooo i baked my FIRST ever cake! The sponge turned brown and not red tho :( but tasted amazing! The cream cheese frosting however was a disaster it weny runny even tho u treied not to overbeat. I covered the cake in it anyway lol! Need to practice on the frosting

I've never been to the store, I bet it's amazing! :D I used Philadelphia, and it's got to be the full fat one. Can't say I've tried baking it gluten free, but you could try substituting the flour for a GF alternative. It's such a tasty cake! Let me know how you get on with it!
kiio i
 
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You need a lot of colouring to get the red colour (and I mean a lot!!) and it has to be 'bake safe' - some colours are fine for things like icing that don't require time in the oven, but if it's not bake safe then red turns brown.

With the runny frosting you can either pop it in the fridge for a bit until it's harder, or just add more icing sugar.

Good work though, not many people could make a tasty red velvet cake on their first attempt! :)
 
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I made this and it is delicious!! Me and my daughter ate quarter of it and I could eat more. The only thing is that I mixed all the dry ingredients together except the bicarbonate and vinegar. Mixed the butter an sugar 1st then added egg whisked that added the red dye and butter milk, mixed all of that and then added the dry stuff gradually. I then mixed the bi soda with vinegars and folded that in at the very end. Put it in 2 tins for 33 mins on gas mark 3. It was perfect!! I also only used 300g of icing sugar for the topping as I felt 600g was too much.
 

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Ok soooo i baked my FIRST ever cake! The sponge turned brown and not red tho :( but tasted amazing! The cream cheese frosting however was a disaster it weny runny even tho u treied not to overbeat. I covered the cake in it anyway lol! Need to practice on the frosting


kiio i
Don't mix the colouring as a paste. Mix dry ingredient 1st. Wet ingredients with the dye. I found that mixing it as a paste with the coco made it brown colour.
 
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I've never been to the store, I bet it's amazing! :D I used Philadelphia, and it's got to be the full fat one. Can't say I've tried baking it gluten free, but you could try substituting the flour for a GF alternative. It's such a tasty cake! Let me know how you get on with it!
I'm from the UK I used Sainsbury cheapest own range 70p an it worked wonders!!
 
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What do you think of the use of beetroot in red velvet cake recipes?
I thought it was the norm to include it, never made this particular cake before.
Recipes vary a lot, I'm unsure which to go for now.
 
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What do you think of the use of beetroot in red velvet cake recipes?
I thought it was the norm to include it, never made this particular cake before.
Recipes vary a lot, I'm unsure which to go for now.
Welcome to the forum Sarah! I've never tried using beetroot purely as a colouring agent, but I do know that you won't get a deep colour from it - instead it will look kind of brown. I have made a beetroot and chocolate cake before which was gorgeous! The grated beetroot adds a beautiful moist texture (a bit like carrot cake).
 
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Hi I am in the uk and i notice you use plain flour in this recipe whereas a uk recipe I found uses self raising...both use bicarbonate of soda...which should I use? I want to use the rest of your recipe but am concerned plain flour in the uk might be different???
 
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Hi I am in the uk and i notice you use plain flour in this recipe whereas a uk recipe I found uses self raising...both use bicarbonate of soda...which should I use? I want to use the rest of your recipe but am concerned plain flour in the uk might be different???
The difference between self-raising flour and plain flour is that self-raising flour contains a raising agent (baking powder). Usually you need to add some extra raising agent too (bicarbonate of soda). Every recipe has a fine balance - if you change an element, it will have a consequence and the result will be different. There isn't a lot of raising agent in this recipe, so swapping the plain flour for self-raising flour will have an effect - it could cause it to puff up too much and then collapse. I always try to stick to the recipe whenever possible, as substitutions always complicate things.
 
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