Fluffy and moist with just a hint of chocolate and deep red colouring, this gluten free red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting is the perfect special treat, especially when topped with vanilla-laced cream cheese frosting.
Red velvet cake is a little like love itself. When you first come across it, you don’t know how to categorise it. You can appreciate its beauty, the feeling of sinking into it, but try to examine it more closely and it flies apart into elements so disparate that you can’t fathom how they come together to form the wondrous whole. Luckily for us, red velvet cake proves a lot easier to examine and recreate in our own kitchens. The recipe for love, I leave to you all to figure out for yourselves. Mine involves 1 tall, geeky ginger + 1 nerdy, cookbook obsessed brunette = love. The recipe for a lush, gluten free red velvet cake with tangy, vanilla scented cream cheese frosting, that, I can help you with.
I wanted to give you a red velvet cake for Valentine’s Day. To show my love for you all, and your support here on Thoroughly Nourished Life. Like any project of love, it took some experimenting. Third time round, I figured out the formula for a fluffy, moist, tightly crumbed cake with a stunning deep red hue. Red velvet isn’t a cake for everyone. This cake walks the line between chocolate and vanilla. You will keep going back for slice after slice just to try and figure it out. I’m okay with that.
The secrets of love, those I also have no idea how to solve, the secrets of the perfect gluten free red velvet cake, those I can decode. It starts with creaming butter and sugar to pearled perfection. To that we add eggs, a decent dose of vanilla, and pillar box red food colouring. This cake uses a simple mix of three gluten free flours, and these are added to the mix along with cocoa powder, and the key ingredient in red velvet cake’s moist and moreish texture – buttermilk. Buttermilk, combined with baking soda and a touch of lemon juice, gives this cake it’s lift and the tender crumb that defines red velvet cake from merely a red-coloured vanilla cake.
After your cake is baked and cooled, then the magic happens: you whip together cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla essence, and lemon juice to create dreamy cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese frosting is the perfect dancing partner for red velvet cake. The tangy, smooth cream cheese contrasts with this cake and highlights the balance between vanilla and chocolate to perfection, like a delicious, velvety tango for your taste buds.
From me, to you, this Valentine’s Day. Red velvet perfection.
Gluten Free | Makes one 7-inch (18 cm) cake
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon ground chia seeds
- 80 grams buckwheat flour
- 80 grams white rice flour
- 80 grams brown rice flour
- 125 grams butter, softened
- 3/4 cup caster sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon liquid red food colouring
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 180C. Butter and line on 7-inch (18 cm) round cake tin with baking paper.
- In a small bowl whisk together the warm water and cocoa powder. Allow to cool and then mix in the buttermilk and chia seeds. Set aside until required.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the buckwheat flour, white rice flour, and brown rice flour. Set aside until needed.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer) beat butter and sugar on medium-high until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. The butter and sugar should be very pale by this stage.
- Beat in eggs one at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl between each addition.
- Add red food colouring, vanilla essence, and salt. Beat until completely incorporated.
- Turn mixer speed to low and beat in flour in three parts alternating with buttermilk and cocoa mixture. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as required. Beat until just combined.
- In a small bowl mix together baking soda and lemon juice so that it foams. Quickly mix into cake batter.
- Pour cake batter into prepared baking tin and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Once the cake is cooked, remove from the oven. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from tin and allow to cool completely before frosting and decorating as desired. Use this time to make and refrigerate the frosting.
- To decorate the cake, split the cake into two layers. Use a serrated edge knife to make the job easier. Place one layer of cake on a plate and spread with half the frosting. Top with the second layer of cake and spread with the remainder of the frosting. Decorate with sprinkles, or as desired.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 175 grams cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
- 3-4 cups of icing sugar
- In a medium size bowl beat together the cream cheese, lemon juice, vanilla essence, and 3 cups of the icing sugar until smooth.
- If your mixture is too runny beat in the extra cup of icing sugar.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes before use.
Tell me, dear reader, are you a red velvet fan? What’s your recipe for love?