This Basic Bitch Cake is far from plain! The red velvet cake trumps all other recipes. A pumpkin spice latte filling and a chai latte buttercream are the perfect companions to this emblematic term!
Am I burning bridges with this cake? After so many posts, it’s hard not to transfer observations into a consumable and definable reality.
When it comes to the basic bitch, there is a certain level of terrior. Environmental differences create regionally specific variations of the basic bitch. To clarify what a basic bitch is, refer to the first two definitions here.
Observe (and please note, brand names are not meant to be bad, these details create the full picture ):
The Northwest Basic Bitch is an Midwest derivative. Migrating to the west coast, this female is seeking stardom or artistic journeys in Los Angeles. As the Los Angeles environment becomes too pressuring, this basic bitch moves up north, Portland or Seattle are most attractive. Here in these two cities, this Northwest Basic Bitch’s thick chunky frame is accepted. She wears high waist 20th century denim pants that are rolled up at the hem, crop top, and bottom down men’s shirts. At one point she bleached her hair or colored it blue, which has long since faded. Braided hair is common place. She may wear a rolled up bandanna as a hairband, ends tied in the front like rabbit ears. Thick rimmed, large lens glasses are expected. The Northwest Basic Bitch feeds off of cold brew coffee that has no ice.
The DC Capital Basic Bitch originates from suburbs, dotted with 90s mic-mansions. Her hair is straight, hitting her shoulder blades. She did track or soccer in high school, her hair contained in a thick healthy ponytail, stray hairs kept tidy with those thin elastic headbands. Nowadays she wear black leggings, brown riding boots, a Northface polar fleece, and uses a Longchamp tote. On Friday night outings with her ROTC boyfriend, she uses a MK handbag. This DC Basic Bitch majors in communications and pins inspirational quotes to her online boards.
The New York City Basic Bitch is always coming from somewhere. Either it be a cycling class, hot yoga, or chatting up during a hard cider tasting, this metropolitan variety is supported in part by her family. She too wears black leggings, but differs with the androgynous baggy gray top and boxy male coat. Her hair is wavy and tied in a sloppy bun. Her purse big and bottomless, it is leather, and made artisianlly in Brooklyn. Her jewelry is thin and unnoticeable. In short her attire minimalist, expensive, and painfully plain.
Though basic bitch has a somewhat negative term, I wanted to create a cake that transcends the connotations of being basic, boring, or flat, while using the food associated with the species.
Unlike other red velvet layer cakes, this version uses cake flour for an elegant crumb. The butter provides structure, while the oil provides moisture, making this cake great for days.
The Basic Bitch Cake’s filling and frosting are complex. The spices are bloomed in warm browned butter, creating a nutty earthy background for warm, vibrant spices.
Here a clean cut cake design is a literal interpretation, embodying the modern day imagery of the Basic Bitch.
Fusing people with cake imagery is just another way to consume an idea! So you’ll never be basic with this elegantly created and tasting Basic Bitch Cake!
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoon Dutch processed cocoa powder
- ¾ teaspoon fine salt
- ½ cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 1 ounce red food dye
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks, 6 ounces) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons espresso powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- ⅛ teaspoon cloves
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- 3 ½ to 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 ½ cups (3 sticks, 12 ounces) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- ½ teaspoon cloves
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 black tea bags (I used a mix of one Earl Grey and one Prince of Whales)
- ½ cup (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
- 8 to 9 cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8-inch cake pans with baking spray, set aside.
- Sift cake flour, baking soda, cocoa, and salt in a large bowl. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 45 seconds. Scrape bowl and paddle, add oil and sugar, and beat together until very light and thick, about 5 to 7 minutes on medium speed. Lower speed to medium-low and add eggs one at a time. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl.
- In a spouted cup, whisk buttermilk, red dye, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar.
- With mixer speed down to low, add dry mixture in three additions alternately with wet mixture in two additions, beginning and ending with dry mixture. Give batter a final mix by hand to ensure nothing is stuck to the bowl or paddle.
- Divide batter between prepared pans and bake for 24 to 28 minutes, rotating halfway. A toothpick inserted should come out mostly clean with a few moist, not wet, crumbs. Let cakes cool in pans for 5 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. For an even moister cake, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Put butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, continue cooking, scraping the bottom of saucepan, until butter turns a medium amber color and gives off a nutty aroma. Pour into a medium sized heat proof bowl. Add espresso powder and spices, stirring to combine. The heat will bloom the flavors in the espresso and spices.
- In the meantime, cook pumpkin puree over medium-high heat, scraping the sides and bottom of pan, until water evaporates, reduces in quantity, and puree turns a dark orange color, about 10 minutes. Pour into butter-spice mixture, whisk to combine. Refrigerate until lightly set, about 45 minutes.
- Beat butter-pumpkin mixture in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until smooth, about 30 seconds. With mixer on low, gradually add powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. It will be a little loose. Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate until set and ready to assemble.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, scraping the bottom of saucepan, until butter turns a medium amber color and gives off a nutty aroma. Pour into a heat proof bowl adding spices, stirring to incorporate. The heat will bloom the flavors in the spices. Let chill in refrigerator until mostly set, about 45 to 50 minutes.
- Microwave heavy cream for 30 to 45 seconds, until warmed but not boiling. Add in tea bags, seeping for 5 minutes.
- Beat spiced brown butter and cream cheese at medium speed until smooth and lump free, about 2 minutes. Lower speed, gradually add powdered sugar followed by flavored heavy cream, salt, and vanilla. The frosting will look a little soft, but refrigerate to set up about 1 hour.
- Dollop a bit of frosting onto a cake board and secure first cake layer. Apply an even layer of Pumpkin Spice Latte Filling, repeat process and top with final, third layer. Do a thin crumb coat with Chai Latte Frosting, refrigerate for 15 minutes. Apply a thicker, final layer of frosting, smoothing with a bench scraper and refrigerating for another 15 minutes.