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Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Red Velvet Cake
Serves 16 

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder, See Note
2 Tbsp. red food coloring (one 1-ounce bottle)
12 Tbsp. unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
16 Tbsp. unsalted butter (2 sticks, softened)
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
16 oz. cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces, softened
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans. Whisk flour, baking soda and salt together in medium bowl.

Whisk buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla and eggs in large measuring cup.  Mix cocoa with food coloring in small bowl until smooth paste forms.

With stand mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as necessary. Add one-third of flour mixture and beat on medium-low speed until just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add half of buttermilk mixture and beat on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds.

Scrape down bowl as necessary and repeat with half of remaining flour mixture, remaining buttermilk mixture, and finally remaining flour mixture. Scrape down bowl, add cocoa mixture and beat on medium speed until completely incorporated about 30 seconds. Using a rubber spatula give batter final stir.

Scrape into prepared pans and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely, at least 30 minutes.

With stand mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add cream cheese, 1 piece at a time, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Beat in vanilla and salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.

When cakes are cooled, spread about 2 cups frosting on 1 cake layer. Top with second cake layer and spread top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 3 days.

Note: This recipe must be prepared with natural cocoa powder. Dutch-processed cocoa will not rise or yield the proper color.





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