Friday, December 11, 2009

December Birthday....and Red Velvet

My baby boy had his 17th birthday last week. He is now the proud owner of a drivers license and a mother who either needs a Xanax or a Martini every time he goes out the door all alone and starts up a car. Ok, well I feel like I need one...I do not actually act upon the urge. I have been through this process of letting go before, not too long ago. It is just not easy. My heart goes with him wherever he goes...and always will.
It is hard for me to believe that there have been 17 birthday cakes...I have baked all but one. That one was a Batman cake served at a bowling party when he was 4. And I can remember that day exactly. His face when he opened his Dad being there brother....both have now passed. I remember all of the cakes. All of the smiles....all of the hugs and kisses....

He is a yellow cake and white icing boy. Not always the easiest cake to bake well. Over the years I have tried to get home made cakes better each year. This year he requested a Red Velvet cake. He loves Red Velvet Cupcakes. So I baked him a three layer Red Velvet...the same recipe as the cupcake up on my header. It is a lovely cake. If you do not mind the obscene amount of red food coloring that goes into it.
It is only one day...and it is a beautiful red cake...

I got this recipe from my dear friend Terrie....thank you my friend! For the frosting I use a Cream Cheese icing made in the food processor from the "Joy of Cooking" need a double recipe of this and perhaps a little more if you want to get fancier than I did...You definitely need to let the cake cool and use a crumb coat when icing. This is also a nice cake for the season...

Red Velvet Cake
Adapted from "The Confetti Cakes Cookbook" by Elisa Strauss
 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3½ cups cake flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch process)
1½ teaspoons salt
2 cups canola oil
2¼ cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) red food coloring
1½ teaspoons vanilla
1¼ cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking soda
2½ teaspoons white vinegar.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place teaspoon of butter in each of 3 round 9-inch layer cake pans and place pans in oven for a few minutes until butter melts. Remove pans from oven, brush interior bottom and sides of each with butter and line bottoms with parchment.

2. Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl.

3. Place oil and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well-blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. With machine on low, very slowly add red food coloring. (Take care: it may splash.) Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches. Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine.

4. Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds.

5. Divide batter among pans, place in oven and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pans 20 minutes. Then remove from pans, flip layers over and peel off parchment. Cool completely before frosting.

Yield: 3 cake layers or 24-30 cupcakes (bake 20-25 minutes).

Be sure to start checking on your cake layers at about 30 minutes. Mine were done in exactly 40 minutes. But everyone's oven is different.

Joy of Cooking Cream Cheese Frosting
About 2 cups(you will need to double this for this cake, and maybe even 2 1/2 recipes if you want to get fancy with decoration)

1. Food Processor Method

8 ounces cold cream cheese
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted (I only used 1 1/2 cups and did not worry about sifting)

Combine in a food processor and pulse just until smooth and creamy. If frosting is too stiff, process for a few seconds loner; do not over process. If desired, stir in additional flavorings to taste, such as grated lemon/orange zest, ground cinnamon or liqueur.

2. Electric Mixer Method

Beat in a medium bowl at low speed just until blended.

8 ounces cold cream cheese
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla

Add one-third at a time and beat just until smooth and the desired consistency:
4 cups (1 pound) confectioners' sugar, sifted

If frosting is too stiff, beat for a few seconds loner; do not over process. If desired, stir in additional flavorings to taste, such as grated lemon/orange zest, ground cinnamon or liqueur. 



  1. Linda.....

    WoW! this cake looks amazingly good. Looks moist and such a nice shade of red. I like the idea of those red sprinkles just on the edges.

    Happy Birthday! to your son, don't they just grow up so fast.

    Thanks for posting and sharing the recipe.....nis photo shoots.

  2. Beautiful cake, indeed! Made with love by a beautiful mom! Happy birthday to your "boy". And hugs to you, Linda.

  3. Happy Birthday to your son Linda..I remember all too well the first years..and the ensuing years..
    Remember we hold their hands for a while..their hearts forever..~

    The cake is beautiful and you are right so appropriate for the season~Your photos prove it..

    Funny.. I think we can all feel the love you put into it...
    I have to tell're going to be quite a nana one day:)
    I can just tell!

  4. Oh thank you my dears...

    Monique...I hope I make it to Nanahood...The boy just took off in the car with a friend to as he says..."Get Food"...he would not tell me where he was going. On the busy highway at rush hour....
    OY...give me that martini!

  5. happy bday from another dec baby, i am still cracking up at you passing out every time he hits the pavement~

    we have no kids, just the other day scott and i were saying we could have never done it, we worry sick when our dogs are in a fenced back yard for 15', i can't imagine a teenager out and about! pass the vodka please...

    great cake and story~

  6. Happy Birthday to your son. The red velvet cake looks luscious. I've never made one, but eating one sure is nice.

  7. Happy birthday to your son Linda. It is hard to let go. And esp when they get the drivers license I try not to let my imagination work too much.

    The cake looks so awesome ....gorgeous colour and made with love...what cld be better than that!

  8. Linda, my friend, you are one great cake maker!! I am layer-cake-challenged and am greatly impressed by anyone who can pull one off as beautifully as you have! Just gorgeous!

  9. know I am layer cake challenged too...but this is an easy one...
    I am trying...really trying...

  10. What a beautiful birthday cake. I would give anything for a big slice right now before breakfast.

    My boy will turn 39 in a few weeks. I still worry about him like I did when he was a small child. I still love to hug him and kiss him. Thank heavens he puts up with me.

  11. Absolutely Beautiful, Linda, and a labor of love. Happy Birthday to Jake!

  12. Linda, the cake came out beautifully!!

    I'm sure J was one happy man! :) I remember each cake as our son was growing up, too... funny how we moms can do that.

    Try not to worry... but I know that is not an easy task. ((hugs))

  13. Our babies do grow up! This was a great blog post. Thanks for sharing.

    P.S. The Red Velvet cake looks absolutely fabulous.

  14. Thank you so much everyone...I appreciate your stopping by to visit!

  15. Great cake! What a lucky son to have a mom who has made every cake! (but one....)

  16. I remember the days - your heart in your throat everytime they pull out of the driveway - and then the intense relief when they arrive safely back home. Happy Birthday to your son. Such a beautiful cake you have made.

  17. hi linda, just popping in to wish you happy holidays! i know you celebrate both so you should be in great sprits all month!

  18. OMG!! Such a delicious birthday cake. Have to arrange my sister’s birthday at one of NYC venues. Want to have best flavoured cake for the party. Will hire one of best catering service as they will be able to make this day great with their wonderful work.