Red Velvet Cake with Butter Roux Frosting has been a tradition in my home for years. My love of Red Velvet started in the late 60’s when this cake wasn’t even popular yet. Our neighbor asked us over for cake one day and to my delight, she sliced up a beautiful red cake with fluffy white icing. Ever since then I have made Red Velvet Cake a tradition.
Tradition is such a good thing. It ties us together with stories and memories, it creates a culture in families now and for future generations. So having a cake as a tradition in our home has meant Red Velvet Cake for birthdays, Christmas and weddings. We never ask for anything else.
There are several steps to preparing the cake batter, meaning several bowls, but it is all worth the dirty dishes.
I get asked why I leave the sides of the cake unfrosted and the reason is (you guessed it) tradition. My mom didn’t frost the sides of her cake and I personally love showing off the beautiful red cake inside. And by the way, my Red Velvet cakes are always square. Tradition!
You can make this cake without any decoration and many times I simply just frost the cake with the butter roux frosting, but today roses are in order for the birthday girl.
I am including the recipes for the Red Velvet Cake, Butter Roux Frosting, and Piping Frosting.
If you are not familiar with Butter Roux Frosting it is quite different in flavor and texture than regular buttercream. You start by cooking milk and flour together to make a roux. Then add the roux to a creamed butter and sugar mixture. This frosting is sweet, buttery and smooth.
The cake itself has a unique flavor from the buttermilk, vinegar and cocoa powder and the texture is moist with a soft crumb. I admit it is hard to describe this cake but it is outrageously good.
Red Velvet Cake with Butter Roux Frosting
Butter Roux Frosting
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 8" pans with nonstick spray and parchment paper - I use square pans
- In a small bowl mix the cocoa powder and red food coloring together and set aside.
- In a large bowl beat the shortening and sugar together until fluffy.
- In another bowl mix the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla,
- To the bowl of shortening and sugar, add the flour and buttermilk mixture alternating between the two. Mix well after each addition. Add the salt
- Pour the cocoa powder mixture into the bowl and mix until combined.
- In a small bowl mix the vinegar and cocoa powder, then mix into the batter until combined.
- Pour the batter between the two baking pans. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on racks for before removing from pans.
Butter Roux Frosting
- In a heavy saucepan whisk the flour and milk together and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth and thick, about 10 - 14 minutes.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Place a piece of plastic over the mixture. Let the mixture cool completely, about 30 - 45 minutes in the fridge This will be thick like pudding.
- Beat the sugar and butter for about 5 minutes until fluffy, then add the vanilla.
- Add the cooled flour milk mixture in thirds, beating well after each addition until smooth and creamy.
Perfect Piping Buttercream
- Mix the butter until smooth and fluffy, then add the cream, cornstarch, and salt.
- Scrape the bowl then add the sifted powdered sugar in batches. Beat to combine and scraping bowl occasionally.
- Add the almond extract.
- Adjust the consistency of the icing by adding more powdered sugar or more cream for your desired piping.
- Add food coloring.
- This is a crusting buttercream so keep a plastic wrap over the bowl.
This buttercream can be stored in the refrigerator for two weeks or it can be frozen for six months.
Happy Birthday to my daughter Juliane who I know will be carrying on the Red Velvet Cake with Roux Buttercream tradition for her family too.