So I blogged yesterday about a Blue Velvet Cake that I did for my friends little boy. I thought today I would just throw in this layer cake I did a while ago for my friends boyfriends birthday. As we all know Red Velvet is a favourite and looks amazing when it has three layers.

I used the perfect Hummingbird Bakery recipe, it’s the one for the cupcakes but you can adapt it into a cake. In all honesty I made four lots of the recipe. Just to have a thick middle layer and also make some cupcakes for a decorative crust. If you do it this way you should first do two lots of the basic recipe, divide them between two 8′ sandwich tins and bake. Then do another two lots, fill one 8′ sandwich tin three-quarters full to make a big layer but leave some left over to make at least 3-4 cupcakes. Also two lots of the cream cheese frosting is more than enough for this cake. It came out pretty well:

Here’s the basic recipe

  • 60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 10g cocoa powder
  • 20ml red food colouring (we recommend Dr. Oetker’s or a paste colouring as red food colourings vary in strength)
  • ½tsp vanilla extract
  • 120ml buttermilk
  • 150g plain flour
  • ½tsp salt
  • ½tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1½tsp white wine vinegar

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 300g icing sugar, sifted
  • 50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 125g cream cheese, cold


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.
  2. Grease three 8′ sandwich tins and line the bottoms with baking paper.
  3. Put the butter and the sugar in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and well mixed. Turn the mixer up to high-speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk. Beat until well mixed, then add half the flour, and beat until everything is well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added. Scrape down the side of the bowl again. Turn the mixer up to high-speed and beat until you have a smooth, even mixture. Turn the mixer down to low-speed and add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.
  5. Divide into your 8′ Sandwich tins as mentioned above. Bake in the oven for about 20-25mins or until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  6. While your cake parts are cooling fill as many cupcake/muffin cases as you can with the remaining batter and bake for 20 mins or until a cake tester comes out clean. Set aside for decorating later.
  7. Meanwhile for the cream cheese frosting: Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 mins. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.

**Wait until all three parts of the cake are fully cooled before assembly. When you do come to assembling the layers, you’ll notice they may have a little bump in the middle where they have risen. If you have a steady hand then you can get a bread knife or something similar with a serrated edge, and slice the little bump off to make flat. There are also special cake cutters out there for this.

**When you start to layer, be sure to put it on the plate/board/moving turntable that you will serve/transport it on. This cake is heavy when it’s together and a killer to move without messing it up.

**If you want to be perfect and precise you can put the individual layers in the fridge before icing; this helps the cake to not crumble into the icing and give it a clean finish.

**Layer your pieces together with frosting about half a fingernail deep (too much will be too sickly). The top piece is usually better upside down for ease of frosting.

**When all layers are assembled, put in the fridge for 10-15mins. Then layer the outside of the cake, don’t worry too much about the sides being neat just make sure you cover the whole cake. Make the top as smooth as you can.

**I had one of those old hand whisks with the handle, so I placed the cooled cupcakes in a bowl and battered them with the whisk. Just watch they don’t congeal together and go doughy as they will not look good. Take some of the cupcake crumbles and delicately press them all around the sides of the cake to achieve the crust.

Hey presto! Layers hopefully should be neat and cake will taste lovely 🙂


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