She Wore Blue Velvet (Cake that is)…
If you are from the South…you know and love velvet cakes.
Yes, I did say velvet cakes….meaning they come in just about any color you choose. A literal rainbow of velvet cakes.
My Mother made a red velvet cake every Sunday for the longest time….(I really can’t remember when she stopped making them on a continuous basis) but because it was all about the texture and not the color for her…her cakes were more of an auburn color.
But, it is not the color…
What makes a velvet cake different from any other cake is the texture.
And it is a bit difficult to describe. It has a rich density and yet it is a bit fluffy…sort of like a silky sponge melting in your mouth.
Isn’t that an oxymoron?
Oh well, I shall push on….
The reason the cake has a velvety texture is the additions of a combination of buttermilk, baking soda and vinegar as the leavening.
To be more technical and perhaps TMI (too much information)…
The buttermilk is an acid and when combined with baking soda (which is more alkaline) causes a reaction of bubbling up…forming a carbon dioxide gas which in turn leavens the cake.
This was the method used before the invention of baking powder…which pretty much does the same thing.
Are your taste buds still yearning for velvet cake? 😉
Well, I hope so because no matter what color your velvet cake is….it is still a delicious Southern cake.
The color should be tasteless…I have heard some say they can taste the food coloring, which is why I use the AmeriColor food gel pastes…they are tasteless and odorless.
When Mother made her red velvet cakes (or should I say auburn colored cakes) she used very little food coloring. The choice is up to the baker.
The other key to a velvet cake is mixing the coloring into the cocoa powder. The brown chocolate and the food coloring make a vibrant color…no matter what your color choice is.
The recipe below is Blue Velvet Cake and whenever I hear the term blue velvet, I think of that Bobby Vinton song from many years ago…
“She wore blue velvet
Bluer than velvet was the night
Softer than satin was the light
From the stars”
Sigh! Remember I am the romantic and I think romance when ever I make a blue velvet cake!
I have also included a white buttercream frosting for your blue velvet cake.
When the Captain and I were looking at wedding cakes…we came across this little shop in Claycomo, MO called Nellie’s Custom Cakes.
I talked with Nellie at length on all types of frostings…and she of course gave us taste tests and a few tips on icings which I am passing on in the recipes!
Ultimately, the Captain and I chose fondant for our wedding cake layers…as the four layers were shaped like presents with a cluster of white roses on top and wrapped with a big bow!
Thanks Nellie…for a beautiful cake that we will remember always!
If you would like to check out Nellie’s website…the address is below.
Meanwhile, make this blue velvet cake or a red velvet cake or a white velvet cake or a orange velvet cake or a…well, you get the picture!
Enjoy the printable recipes below!
- 1/2 cup of shortening (I like Crisco)
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar
- 2 eggs (room temperature)
- 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
- 1 oz Royal Blue gel paste food color (I use Americolor brand)
- 2 drops of violet gel paste food color
- 2 1/4 cups of flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup of buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 1 tablespoon of vinegar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Grease and flour 3 8-inch round cake pans.
- Cream together shortening and sugar
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition
- In a small bowl, add the cocoa and the food coloring, making a paste
- Add to the colored paste to the creamed ingredients, blending well.
- Sift the flour and salt together
- Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, alternately with the buttermilk
- Blend in the vanilla
- In a small bowl combine the baking soda and the vinegar and blend gently into the cake batter.
- Bake the layers for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center
- Frost with white buttercream frosting (see recipe) after the cake has cooled
- In addition to oiling and flouring the pans....I like to place a circular piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pans. It just makes the bottom of the cakes smoother....easier to frost. 😉
- I use the gel food coloring ...you can purchase in your supermarket or hobby shop. Here in Florida, Michael's and Hobby Lobby carry the Wilton gel. I prefer the brand Americolor but whatever you prefer will do.
- 1 cup room temp softened butter
- 3 cups sifted powdered sugar (add more to the desired spreading consistency)
- 2 teaspoons clear vanilla (do not use regular vanilla or the white frosting will not be pure white)
- 2 tablespoons milk, skim milk, heavy cream, or half-and-half (or more as needed)
- Cream the butter using the paddle attachment on medium speed, of your stand mixer (about 3-4 minutes, very important)
- Add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time.
- After each cup has been incorporated, use the highest speed for about 10 seconds to lighten the frosting
- Add clear vanilla and mix until well blended
- Now add your liquid of choice (I use half and half) and beat until the frosting has reached the desired consistency.
- For a stiffer consistency, keep adding powdered sugar in 1/4 cup increments.
- For a more spreadable frosting add more of the half and half or your choice of liquids...one tablespoon at a time. This allows you to "test" for the desired consistency.
Grandmothers are so cool aren’t they? I love cakes of any kind….unfortunately, my hips show it! haha!
I’ve eaten the red velvet cake, and it’s delicious. It usually comes with cream cheese frosting, but I use a butter sugar frosting for my sugar cookies.
My grandmother always fixed angel food cake for me on my birthday because it was my favorite cake when I was young. Smile!