This “American Beauty” Retro Red Velvet Cake is one of the most romantic, vintage-modern cakes ever.
Do I even have to explain why?
It’s SO obvious.
That deep dark red, alluring color!
Is it not amazing?
Is it not sexy?
Is it not romantic?
Is it not the most beautiful of red hue you’ve ever seen?
Is it not for those special occasions you want to show the love?
Have I not entertained you? 🙂 Please say YES!
Ahem…Slowly, I back away from my kind of sarcastic “Gladiator” favorite ‘one-liner up there .
..but if YOU really, really want to entertain, may I suggest making this “American Beauty” Retro Red Velvet Cake?
It is definitely the way to impress.
Let’s get to the details about this eye-catching American Beauty.
The texture is tender and moist, yet dense enough to give it a “velvet” texture. Not too much cocoa, with a slightly tangy buttermilk taste brings it back to the 50’s and 60’s popular era, with an elegant modern touch. A cream cheese buttercream frosting pulls it all together like a happy yummy velvet cake dream come true.
A Few Tips to make Cake Life better:
- Use parchment paper in the cake pans (BEST THING EVER!) by placing the cake pans upside down and outlline the pan bottom circle by tracing around the pan: cut out and place paper circles in the pan adhering with non-stick cooking spray. Spray the parchment paper and insides of the cake pans. Dust with some flour and shake to distribute an even layer of flour in the pan. Remove excess flour. In the end, the layers will come out beautifully.
- Measure flour correctly, or the cake will have a crumbly/dry texture.
- Check cake at 20 minutes, and if not done should be done at 25. Don’t over-bake but also make sure it’s done.
- Did you know? Using room temperature eggs are best, because they mix better with the batter and the cake rises more easily. The temperature of eggs also affects the baking time: a cake will take longer to bake if a recipe calls for room-temperature eggs and cold eggs are used instead; just place them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.
- If you don’t have buttermilk: Pour milk into a glass measuring cup. Add distilled white vinegar OR lemon juice and allow to sit for about 10 minutes before use. The milk will thicken and curdle.
"American Beauty" Retro Red Velvet Cake
- 2-1/4 cups all purpose flour or cake flour will give a higher rise, what I used
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1-1/4 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 tablespoons red food coloring 1 ounce or red paste gel (use as much as you like)
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons oil of choice I used canola oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 2 Tablespoons marascino cherry juice
- 1 cup buttermilk
Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
- 2 8 oz packages cream cheese room temperature and softened
- 3/4 cup or 12 Tablespoons butter softened
- 4 & 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Or 5 tubs Cream Cheese Frosting
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
- Cream butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add in food coloring, vinegar, oil and vanilla/or cherry juice and beat together. (do not add in the buttermilk at this stage)
- Add dry ingredients to creamed Eggs/Sugar/Eggs mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
- Pour into two lightly greased and floured 8-in.or 9-in round baking pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes.
- Cool layers 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- After cakes have cooled, you can cut off the top of the cakes, to make both cakes level and not appear curved on top. I did it to one for the bottom of the cake and left the top as it was to get that old fashioned vintage curved look.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat together butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add in vanilla extract. Beat until combined. Beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time until frosting is smooth.
- Assemble and frost the completely cooled cake.
- For the crumbles on the sides, I used the top of the cake I sliced off to make my level bottom layer and made cake crumbles and applied some to the bottom on the cake. You can sprinkle them on top if you want as well.
- For more frosting, if you don't have enough for the top swirls, depending how thick, repeat the Cream Cheese Buttercream Recipe except divide it to make a half batch.