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Earlier this week, I debuted my weekly Baking Basics Series. Did you catch that? It’s all about making your own buttermilk. How convenient! Since this cake is nothing without buttermilk! So if you haven’t had a chance to check that out, then head over there and give it a read. I’ll wait.
Ok you back? Great 🙂
Making your own buttermilk is a common baking substitution I use in my own kitchen allllll the time. I mean why would I want to buy a special container of buttermilk that I probably will waste half of when I have the two ingredients always on hand to make own.
Ok I know one of the top resolutions every year is losing weight, and January might be the month of healthier eating and hitting the gym hard, so that means posting this cake a week after the start of the new year would be wrong, wrong wrong. But I don’t care, care, care.
Because this cake is worth extra treadmill time and breaking those resolutions.
It’s red velvet people. You can forgive me right? And maybe you’re thinking it’s too soon for Valentine’s Day recipes, but oh well. I did. I went there. In a month, you’ll be glad I did. And I figure if Target can bust out their Valentine display, I can post this red velvet cake. So let’s dive in shall we?
This red velvet cake is adapted from the NYT recipe except I doubled it to make 4 layers. Now I made this cake in two batches to make 4 layers. You could try doubling up the recipe- just be aware that would affect your baking time. You would need to simply cut the layers in two when you are done. I wanted great height for this cake, so I made this cake TWICE in my 8-inch cake pans.
A couple tips on making this white chocolate red velvet cake:
- Prepare your cake pans before you start. I use butter and then dusted with a little cocoa powder. I used my favorite 8-inch cake pans for this cake. Normally I would use flour, but since this is a red velvet cake I used cocoa powder instead. Simply sprinkle a tablespoon of cocoa powder in your cake pan and then tilt your cake pan around to cover all edges, and then tip it upside down (preferable over your sink) and tap out the excess. For a full tutorial on how to prepare cake pans, check this post out!
- Do not over-mix. I say this a lot. But that’s because it is important! For this cake, I actually make this without a mixer and simply mix with a whisk or spatula. Mixing your ingredients in a bowl by hand, means you are less likely to over-mix. To ensure you don’t, leave a streak of flour in your bowl. Don’t worry it will cook out.
For this cake I made a white chocolate cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese frosting and red velvet cake I believe are one happy marriage. But white chocolate sends this frosting over the edge. To make this frosting, be sure the melted white chocolate has cooled slightly before you add it to the frosting.
Once the cake is cooled, go ahead and assemble and frost the cake. Once you have the cake frosted, it’s time for the chocolate covered pretzel rods. For these pretzel rods I dipped them in white candy melts and red candy melts using these Wilton dipping disposable containers and it made quick work of usually a tedious job. And of course, don’t forget the sprinkles! My pretzel rods were too tall for this cake, so I simply cut the ends off.
I simply stuck the pretzel rods on the sides of the cake after I frosted it. To top off the cake, I covered the top with white chocolate curls. Here is a handy dandy quick tutorial on making your own chocolate curls from the Pioneer Woman.
For more red velvet dessert recipes check these out:
Before we go, don’t forget to let me know- what is your biggest baking or cake decorating struggle that you have that hopefully I can help you with this year? Please let me know in the comment section 🙂
Happy baking everyone!
To Make This White Chocolate Red Velvet Cake You Will Need:
- 8-inch cake pans
- Mixing bowls
- Whisk (this is my new favorite whisk- doubles as a bowl scraper!)
- Plastic decorating bags
- Offset icing spatula
- Candy melts
- Wilton dipping containers
- Valentine Wilton Sprinkles
Pretzel Rod Red Velvet Cake
- For the cake I made this cake batter twice to create 4 layers
- ½ cup /113 grams butter at room temperature, plus 2 tablespoons to prepare pans
- 3 tablespoons/22 grams cocoa powder divided
- 1 ½ cups/300 grams sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons/10 milliliters vanilla
- 2 tablespoons/30 milliliters red food coloring
- 1 teaspoon/6 grams salt
- 1 teaspoon/5 grams baking soda
- 2 ½ cups/320 grams flour sifted
- 1 cup/236 milliliters whole buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon/15 milliliters vinegar
For the frosting
- 1 pound cream cheese softened
- 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter 1 cup, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the frosting
- 1 pound cream cheese softened
- 4 cups confectioner sugar
- 2 sticks butter softened (1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup white chocolate chips melted and slightly cooled
To make the chocolate covered pretzels
- 35 pretzel rods
- 2 12- ounce bag of candy melts
For the white chocolate curls
- 3 ounces white chocolate
- 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil and flour 2 (8-inch round) cake pans. I used non-stick cooking spray and dusted the pans with cocoa powder.
2. Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time and beat vigorously until each is incorporated. Mix in vanilla.
3. In a separate bowl, make a paste of the remaining 2 tablespoons cocoa and the food coloring. Blend into butter mixture.
4. Sift together remaining dry ingredients. Alternating in 2 batches each, add dry ingredients and buttermilk to the butter mixture. In the last batch of buttermilk, mix in the vinegar before adding to the batter. Mix until blended.
5.Divide batter among the 2 pans and bake for about 30 minutes. Cool on a rack completely. (Can also be made in 2 cake pans.)
To assemble, remove 1 cake from its pan and place flat side down on a serving platter. Drop about 1 cup of icing onto cake and, using a flat spatula, spread evenly over top. Remove the second cake from its pan. Place flat side down on top of first layer. Use remaining frosting to cover top and sides of cake.
4. Divide the cake batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Place the pans in the oven evenly spaced apart. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking, until the cake pulls away from the side of the pans, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
5.Remove the cakes from the oven and run a knife around the edges to loosen them from the sides of the pans. One at a time, invert the cakes onto a plate and then re-invert them onto a cooling rack, rounded-sides up. Let cool completely. With a serrated knife, cut each layer in half.
6. Make the frosting: In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter and mix to combine about 2-3 minutes. Add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time with the mixer stopped and mixing on low after each addition until combined. Add in the vanilla and the cooled white chocolate.Increase the speed to high and mix until fluffy about 5 minutes.
7.Frost the cake. Place 1 layer, rounded-side down, in the middle of a rotating cake stand. Using a palette knife or offset spatula spread some of the cream cheese frosting over the top of the cake. (Spread enough frosting to make a 1/4 to 1/2-inch layer.) Carefully set another layer on top, rounded-side down, and repeat. Top with the remaining layer and cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting.
8. Make the chocolate covered pretzels: Melt the candy melts in the microwave. I used dipping containers, but any tall container will do. Melt the candy melts in 30-second intervals at 50% power. Stir in between each interval. Once melted, dip each pretzel rod into the chocolate, and then tap the end of the pretzel over the chocolate to allow the excess to drip off. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Cover each pretzel immediately with sprinkles, before the chocolate cools and hardens. Place each pretzel around the cake. (I cut the ends off of the pretzels so they were about an inch taller than the cake).
9. Make the white chocolate curls by melting the white chocolate and vegetable shortening in a microwave safe bowl in 30-second intervals until melted. Then spread the white chocolate onto a cookie sheet using a spatula so it is a thin sheet. Place in the freezer for about 10 minutes until it hardens. Then using a small metal spatula scrape the white chocolate into curls. Top the cake with white chocolate curls.
Note: I made the cake twice to create 4 layers. If you double the recipe, keep an eye on the baking time as it will take longer. You will need to then also cut the layers in half before assembly.
Adapted from NYT red velvet cake
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