Cakes · Desserts

Blue Velvet Cake!

I know that I just posted about how I want to fill this blog with Fall themed recipes, but something came up first. It’s become tradition, as you may have noticed by now, for me to make birthday cakes for each of the people who hang out in my apartment. I love making birthday cakes for people. I love thinking about what flavors that person will like best and what cake designs would be cool. My friend, Ian, who actually used to live in the next building over, pretty much couldn’t wait until his birthday so that I could make him a cake. 

For months he had been asking me to make an ice cream cake, but when his birthday finally came around, Ian told me to surprise him. So, I did. I surprised him with a blue velvet cake. 

It’s unorthodox, for sure, but the idea was very intriguing. I stumbled across the blue velvet cake recipe while I was wasting away another evening on Pinterest.com. The picture of the cake was so vibrantly blue that it almost looked like it had been photo-shopped. When I got to the original link, I found the food blog Family Bites and the recipe for blue velvet cupcakes, which I just translated into a cake recipe.

 

It all started by creaming butter and sugar together…

Next, I prepared my buttermilk substitute – 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in 1 cup of milk. I let that sit for a few minutes. When it had been five minutes, I used a fork to stir the mixture around because some clumps had formed on the top of the milk.

Then came the eggs, one at a time. I made sure to mix well after each egg had been added.

The next direction was to mix cocoa powder and food coloring gel together. Well, I didn’t have food coloring gel, I just had regular liquid food coloring. I figured it could hurt if I just added the food coloring and the cocoa powder straight into the batter. I lost count of how many blue drops I put in…

Then I sifted cake flour and salt together and added it into the batter alternately with the buttermilk. 

I poured some vanilla into the batter, and poured vinegar over baking soda in a separate bowl. I had completely forgotten about the reaction between vinegar and baking soda and almost had a heart attack when the baking soda fizzled up noisily inside the bowl. Once the bubbles had fizzled out, I poured the mixture into the batter and mixed it well.

The batter immediately got super smooth and creamy. I snagged a taste from the side of the bowl and was impressed with how well this cake was turning out. 

Here’s another shot of the super smooth batter

Something compelled me to bake these cakes the traditional way, by preparing the cake pans with butter and flour.

I divided the batter evenly between each pan and put them into the 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes. 

I pulled the cakes out when the tops were slightly springy and a knife inserted into the center of each cake came out clean. 

I made a buttercream frosting to go with the cake. I decided not to provide pictures or the recipe for this frosting because I have already made it in this post. You can find the recipe and directions there. 

When I had the cake totally frosted, it looked so terribly plain with its plain vanilla buttercream. I decided to go out on a limb and get pretty crafty on the decorations. I wanted to accent the awesome blueness of the cake, so I put drops of the blue food coloring around the top of the cake. Then, I took a knife and swirled the food coloring into the frosting. When the food coloring mixed into the frosting, I used the knife to make outward curves from the dots. It turned out pretty damn cool.

Ian is into visually trippy things, so I figured he would love the design.
When Ian saw his cake, his eyes bugged out. He loved the designs on top and he couldn’t wait to dig a fork into it. He immediately asked for a knife and began cutting out large slices for everybody. I took my designated piece and was happy to sit back and enjoy it. This cake turned out truly awesome. It was unlike any other cake I’ve had before. It was better than the traditional red velvet cake. This cake was moist and luscious like velvet cakes are, but this one was a little bit sweeter, which I really liked. Maybe that’s just this recipe and not the color of the cake, but red is so overdone, don’t you think?
 
Recipe for Blue Velvet Cake – adapted from Family Bites
 
2 cups sugar 
2 sticks butter, at room temperature 
2 eggs 
1 tablespoon cocoa powder 
1 tablespoon blue liquid food coloring
2½ cups cake flour 
1 teaspoon salt 
1 cup buttermilk 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
½ teaspoon baking soda 
1 tablespoon vinegar 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter, mix until light and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time and mix well after each addition. Add cocoa and food coloring to sugar mixture; mix well. Sift together flour and salt. Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Blend in vanilla. In a small bowl, combine baking soda and vinegar and add to mixture.

Pour batter into prepared cake pans for bake for 30-35 minutes. 
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