A rosy Red Velvet and Rich Vanilla verticle layer cake

May 30, 2011
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Am I crazy enough to make my own wedding cake? No! Stud begs to differ. I have mentioned to him that after watching many a program on Lifestyle Food, even the best of bakers won’t make their own wedding cake as it’s just too stressful. Please don’t misunderstand me and think I put myself up there with the best of bakers, or even good ones! I like to bake, I like to cook, anything that involves food, and I’m pretty much a fan. But when it comes to one of the most important cakes of our life and the stressful week leading up to the most important day of our life, I’m pretty sure I’ll crack under pressure. It also doest help when everyone who tried this cake was on Stud’s side. I’m fighting a losing battle!

I had been meaning to make a red velvet cake for a while. We’ve been on the hunt for a good wedding cake and after a few tastings, none of them seem to live up to what we have in our minds so to prove to myself that good red velvet cakes exist, I wanted to make one.

Stud is pretty obsesses with anything vanilla so had it in his head that he wanted a vanilla cake. After trying to explain to him that vanilla cake is just normal plain cake, he will still adamant so I went searching for a vanilla cake that was extremely vanilla-ey and modified it to add even more vanilla. Overload? Not for Stud.

So I had my red velvet, I had my moist vanilla, I had an occasion (Dad’s birthday) how to combine? Just basic tiers? A little dramatic for a birthday me thinks. It was then that I stumbled upon Amanda’s blog  and her post on vertical layers. Impressiiiiiiiive!!!!! This was the cake. She had even used the red velvet and basic vanilla. It was like a sign from the food gods!

Another pretty fancy trick from Amanda is her buttercream roses . A perfect coating to a (hopefully) perfect cake.

I definitely had my work cut out for me, but I do love a food challenge. When you actually do it all, its not as hard as you think. A little fiddly but totally worth it in the end to see my dads face when I told him “I made it myself” :) my grandmother didn’t believe me and kept asking mum and dad if I actually did make it myself. Why was she asking them? They don’t live with me???

Apologies lovely readers but I didn’t take photos during the assembling procedure however if you go to Amanda’s blog she gives you a step by step. The only thing I did differently was obviously the recipe, and also where she merged two cakes together, I kept mine thinner layers so I could put a buttercream filling and have a checkerboard effect.

With my cake, I actually make the moist vanilla cake and adapted it slightly by adding more vanilla and then also dousing it (not too much though otherwise it goes to slop) in vanilla syrup to keep it moist. Once assembled, I covered it in buttercream and got to work on my roses. My nozzle isn’t as thick as Amanda’s so they were thinner which meant they looked larger to cover more cake but I was still happy for my first try.

I must say the look on peoples face when they saw it, and most importantly, when they ate it, gave me a very warm and fuzzy feeling.

In hindsight, I should have levelled this cake off before assembling. I was happy with the shape however in order to get a good shape going, there was a lot more frosting on the edges of the cake which made it VERY rich around the edges and some of the family left their icing as it was too sweet for them (I offcourse finished mine but I can never leave frosting to go to waste – it’s the best bit!!). So next time I try these roses (perhaps for wedding cake practise??) I will level the cake like a proper baker should. I do always worry about wastage but after the amount of buttercream I had left, I can combine it with the cutoffs and make cake pops :) waste not, want not!!

Was my caking experience enough to tempt me to make my own cake? What do you guys think?

A very moist and vanilla-ey cake/Red velvet cake

Adapted from Kitchen Simplicity

2 cups caster sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 egg yolks, room temp.
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature (I didn’t have buttercream so used 1 tbs lemon juice and topped it up to 1 cup of milk, let that stand for 5 minutes before using)
3 tsp. vanilla
6 egg whites, room temp.
2 tbs cocoa
1 tsp red food colouring (I used paste as it’s much more concentrated)

Grease two round 8 or 9 inch pans.

Cream butter and sugar (it will be crumbly). Add egg yolks, one at a time and mix well.

Combine flour and baking soda in a separate bowl. Add alternately with buttermilk to butter/sugar mixture, in three additions, starting and ending with flour.

Mix in vanilla.

In a separate bowl whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 egg whites into batter to loosen. Fold in remaining egg whites gently until no white streaks remain.

Poor half the batter into prepared pan and in the remaining batter, add cocoa and food colouring. Fold until well combined, pour in to other cake tin and bake both mixtures at 180ºC for 25-30 min or until toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Cool 10 min. before removing to a cooling wrack.

Vanilla syrup

Adapted from allrecipes.com

1 cup caster sugar
1 cup water
1 ½ tbs vanilla essence

Combine ingredients in small pot and place on high heat until it comes to the boil

Once boiled, turn off and allow to cool completely.

Buttercream frosting

Adapted from iammommy

250g butter cut in to cubes
4 cups icing sugar (give or take, I did it by taste)
1 tsp salt
2 tbs vanilla essence
150ml double cream

Beat butter until very pale – I used the kitchenaid whisk attachment and left it to beat for around 15 minutes. Go have a cup of tea, you deserve it ;)

Add sugar in intervals until sweet enough for your liking. Once happy with the flavour, add salt and vanilla, mix until combined.

Add cream in slow stream while mixer is on medium speed and let whisk for 5 minutes until fluffly and awesomeness occurs.

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10 Responses to A rosy Red Velvet and Rich Vanilla verticle layer cake

  1. Suparockin on May 30, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    It was awesomeness in cake form.

  2. chocolatesuze on May 31, 2011 at 10:25 am

    wooooahhh that looks awesome!!!

  3. sugarpuffi on May 31, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    that is one amazing looking cake! and i think ur roses are better :P

  4. Phuoc'n Delicious on May 31, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    LOVE Amanda’s blog! And love the look of this cake and the rose icing. I’ve bookmarked it but I think I need to make it soon.

    As much as it’ll be ideal to make your own wedding cake, I think if you don’t make it, it’ll save you from going insane to the lead up of your wedding.

  5. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella on May 31, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    That looks wonderful! I had plans of making my wedding cake but thank god I didn’t. I’ve made them for other people and they were very high stress things to make! :)

  6. Hannah on May 31, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    That looks amazing!! I think I probably would never, ever make my own wedding cake – who needs the extra stress? But then again, if it makes you happy… who knows?!

  7. Joanne on June 2, 2011 at 4:41 am

    I’ll be honest…I secretly want to make my own wedding cake. But yeah, I think the stress would get to me. This cake does look fabulous though!

  8. Maria @ Scandifoodie on June 2, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    That is such a pretty cake! Great work!

  9. Anita on June 2, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    You’ve done an amazing job! I wouldn’t be confident enough to make my wedding cake, not yet – I would need a while to practise, but it’s too late for me, perhaps I will try and make an anniversary cake :)

  10. betty on June 29, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    the cake looks amazing :D

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These views are mine and mine only. I don't claim to be any kind of professional food critic, I just know what I do and don't like and express accordingly. Please contact me first if you wish to use any of my images for another purpose.