It’s a Red Velvet Birthday Cake!

Greetings all!

What a great time we had while celebrating my friend and neighbor’s birthday.  Actually, it was the somewhere between 15th and 20th anniversary of the first time she turned 29, so this is really her anniversary of her birthday cake… but I digress.

Here it is in progress, all 4 tiers of it (special day, special cake).

I have a set of oval cake pans.  So a smaller base, but taller cake makes for a special presentation.

Just a couple of hints, the butter cream frosting I used needs to be just slightly chilled, while the cake must be completely cooled before you start frosting it.  Think about it, a warm cake will melt the frosting.  And a harder cold frosting will tear holes in the cake while you frost it.

Also, I used a full bottle of the red food coloring to get the red cake look.  The more, the merrier!

The pink frosting has a bit of peppermint flavoring added.

The clowns are made with a large tip at the end of a pastry bag.

Make the body from a big glob of starred frosting, then add the arms and legs.  the clown heads are from broken toys.

Red Velvet Cake is legendary for it’s chocolate richness, buttercream icing decadence and the beauty of the red cake contrasted with the white icing.  Bobby Flay did one of his Throwdown shows about Red Velvet cake a few years ago.  A simple Google search came up with that recipe on the Food Network Website and I stuck to it…

Ingredients For the Cake  

  • 3 3/4 cups AP Flour
  • 3 tablespoons Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure Vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
  • The Frosting Recipe Follows

For the cake:


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 2 (9-inch) cake pans and line each pan with a round of parchment paper.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl
Cream the butter, sugar and oil in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beat until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla, vinegar and food coloring.
Add the flour mixture to the batter in 3 batches alternating with the buttermilk, mixing well after each addition. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool on a baking rack for 15 minutes before removing the cake from the pans. Let cool completely before frosting. Slice each cake into 2 layers and frost.


  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
Combine the cream, milk, vanilla bean and seeds in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Remove the vanilla bean and discard. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened to a paste, about 2 minutes. Scrape into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 2 hours.
Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat until the mixture is very fluffy and the sugar is totally dissolved, about 6 minutes. Add the cold paste, a few tablespoons at a time to the butter mixture and whip until light and fluffy.

Just as good as it looks!

Dave here from MY YEAR ON THE GRILL. It really is just this easy!  


And so can you!