Red Velvet Loaf – Ultra-moist red velvet loaf cake topped with fluffy cream cheese frosting
Okay I’m taking a break from all this healthy eating. Gimme me all the chocolate! It’s funny what one month of healthy eating will do to a person, especially a person who loves sweets as much as me!
I’ve officially been on Weight Watchers for one month. I’ve lost 6 pounds so I’d say it’s going pretty well! But I’m missing my sweets, guys. The good thing about WW, though, is that I can still have my sweets, just in moderation.
I’ve done a great job of avoiding sweet treats by simply not making them. The sweetest thing I’ve made recently are these peanut butter banana bites. However, with Valentine’s Day coming up, I wanted to try out a new festive treat. Something red, perhaps?
Ahh I think this Red Velvet Loaf is just the thing!
The trick to a moist cake
Cake has always been a touchy food for me. So many cakes in my life have been dry and crumbly, which is just not my style. I am all about moist, rich, dense cakes.
That’s why I love making loaf cakes – they’re suuuuper moist. And this one is no exception.
This red velvet loaf is made with buttermilk, which is my go-to for any cake. Buttermilk is a sure-fire way to keep your cake moist and keep out all that dry, crumbly mess.
What is red velvet?
A question I get a lot about red velvet is “what exactly is red velvet?” Being that I never even tasted red velvet cake until I moved to Atlanta, this is a fair question. Red velvet is a new-ish concept and not popular everywhere, but is definitely popular in the south.
Red velvet is a chocolate cake tinted with red food coloring. The chocolate flavor, however, is very mild. I find that my friends who aren’t crazy about chocolate cake are wild about red velvet cake.
Here is a before and after of the cake batter so you can see how the red food coloring add the perfect tint of red to the chocolate batter:
Tips and Tricks
You guys know I love giving you guys tips and tricks for every recipe. This one is no different so here we go:
- In addition to using buttermilk, the key to keep any cake moist is to not overbake it. Once the cake is about 15 minutes from the finish line, I start to check the doneness to ensure it doesn’t bake for too long. Oven temperatures can vary on any recipe so it’s important to keep an eye on anything you’re baking, especially cakes.
- I am a firm believer in using gel food coloring. I use that in all my recipes that need a touch of color because the gel consistency doesn’t add extra liquid so it won’t mess with the consistency of the batter. I bought mine on Amazon with a kit of many colors.
- This recipe calls for dutch-processed cocoa powder, which is hard to find at a local grocery store. I had to buy mine on Amazon but I bet Whole Foods or any specialty store would also carry it.
- Speaking of dutch-processed cocoa, it is NOT interchangeable with natural cocoa powder, which is the more popular variation. I won’t get into all the messy details but if you’re curious, here’s a great article that explains the whole thing.
There you have it- the first of many delicious treats I’ll be making this month. February is also my birthday month so I have something super special for you guys in honor of my special day. Can’t wait to share it with you all!!
See you next week!
Red Velvet Loaf
For the red velvet loaf cake:
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 10 tablespoons butter unsalted, softened
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 teaspoon red food coloring gel
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease loaf pan with nonstick spray and dust with cocoa powder. Tap out the excess powder. Set aside. Add flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda to a medium bowl. Whisk together. Set aside.
- In a bowl fitted for a stand mixer, add softened butter and granulated sugar. Beat together until fluffy. While mixer is on low, add eggs one at a time, scrapping down the sides of the bowl after each one. Add vanilla extract and vinegar and combine.
- Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk, making sure to start and end with the flour mixture. Add food coloring and mix just until combined. Do not overmix!
- Pour cake mix into prepared loaf pan. Smooth the top and place into oven to bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Make sure to start checking the cake around 1 hour to see if it's done by sticking a toothpick in the center. When it comes out clean, it's ready. You don't want to overbake the cake or it will be dry.
- Once the cake is done, remove from the oven. Let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then, use a knife to release the cake from the edges of the pan. Remove the cake from the pan and let it finish cooling. In the meantime, make the frosting.
For the frosting:
- Using a mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth and all lumps are gone. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat for 2-3 minutes to make the frosting extra fluffy. Spread onto the top of cooled loaf. Slice and serve!
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