I really don't like Red Velvet cake. Here's why:
1. It's not chocolate and it's not vanilla; it's in some no-man's land in between. Just pick a side!
2. No one wants to consume an entire bottle of red food coloring in one sitting.
3. Most people only think they like it because it's super trendy. There are Red Velvet scented candles, for crying out loud! What do they smell like?? Mostly nothing, with the merest pathetic hint of chocolate, if you ask me.
4. There is a traditional frosting (which I don't like), but most people make it with cream cheese frosting (which I hate, because it makes me throw up).
5. The historical versions of Red Velvet cake did not use food coloring, but rather a chemical reaction. They had a significantly less garish shade of red, but people also probably didn't die from toxic waste intake.
Okay, so you understand that I really don't like it. Then why on earth did I make it - twice?
Well, a fellow library employee was leaving our branch after about six years of employment there and my boss wanted a party - with cake. "Yes, we want cake!" hinted all the other employees, but not one of them volunteered to make the cake or even buy it. So I did. "What's her favorite cake?" I asked, innocently hoping it would be chocolate, like any sensible person would choose. "She LOVES Red Velvet cake!" was the enthusiastic reply.
So, I had to learn to make Red Velvet cake. I started with cupcakes the weekend before, and they actually turned out pretty well. I chose a recipe with less food coloring than most.
I will say this for Red Velvet cake - it has an amazing texture. And I guess if you really like the 'hint of chocolate' thing, then I can't begrudge you this cake. However, if you only like it because it's trendy and/or colorful, I'm judging you.
I topped them with a vanilla buttercream, because I can't eat cream cheese frosting, and that was the perfect choice. Except for where I just wanted to eat the frosting because it's way better than the cake.
For the actual party, I made two 9x13 pans of cake: one Red Velvet and one chocolate.
(Yes, I am aware that I'm not that great at writing on cakes.)
And for the record, the chocolate cake was gone much sooner than the Red Velvet cake. Probably because I make a kick-butt chocolate cake.
My favorite part of the day, other than eating chocolate cake and then eating pizza, was that everyone kept saying what amazing cream cheese frosting I made! I agree - the best cream cheese frosting is one that has no cream cheese! :)
Love and Cocoa Powder,