This Streamlined Red Velvet Cake is efficiently put together with a modified 1-2-3-4 mixing method. A vanilla bean honey cream cheese frosting creates an elevated update to a classic red velvet pairing.
She tries, against joints contorted like bare winter branches
Against knees that do not bend, and hips that do not twist
To have semblance of a routine that her human self had—
Glitter gel red nails.
At the nail salon she points
Because red is one of the last few colors she can still see without much strain
This time it shines, shimmering when she turns her hands one side to the other
Her nails rounded, filed into the shape of almonds
At this, the face folds upwards, content for a time
Lips thinned, shrink into a hole where a mouth should be
There is no place to put lipstick
That was her real mainstay
A daily dose of red
Bought on glass topped cosmetic counters, frequented more than mass and funerals
She does not know what to think of the glitter red nails, it is something unanticipated and her opinion of things—like many things— seems to get numb to the variation
Like a prayer for daily bread, comes another day in a place that she cannot recall. Things are made and taken down so quickly
Everything slips by and these hands, that can barely hold a shopping cart, can’t keep up
She is winded. It is only 7:30 in the morning as she slides back into her house
Suspended in the presence of framed photos and the purr of the radiators
The classic way to mix a red velvet cake involves mixing baking soda and white vinegar to create a reaction.
Here the simple creaming method produces a smooth silky crumb without the science symposium reaction.
Essentially this cake follows the principle of the 1-2-3-4 method.
Honey though, sweet, doesn’t blow the palate out with a tooth aching sugar rush. Added to the frosting, the honey provides a fragrant, floral note to the frosting.
For other Colorful Cakes:
Streamlined Red Velvet Cake
For the Streamlined Red Velvet Cake:
- 3 cups all purpose flour 360g
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Dutch process cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 2 cups granulated sugar 400g
- 1 cup shortening 191g
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 fluid ounce red food coloring
- 1 cups sour cream 240g
- ½ cup buttermilk 112g
For the Vanilla Bean Honey Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 16 ounces cream cheese very soft, 450g
- 1 cup unsalted butter very soft, 226g
- 1 pound powdered sugar 453g
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 vanilla bean scraped
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
To make the Streamlined Red Velvet Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8-inch cake pans with baking spray, set aside.
- Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl, whisking to combine.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream sugar and shortening until light in color, about 3 minutes on medium-high speed.
- At a medium-low speed, add eggs, one at a time. Lower speed further to add vanilla and red food coloring. Scrape bowl frequently. On a medium-low speed, add dry ingredients in three additions, alternately with sour cream and buttermilk in two additions, beginning and ending with the dry mixture. Scrape bowl and paddle to ensure proper incorporation.
- Divide batter into the two prepared pans. Baking until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few moist, not wet crumbs, about 40 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes before inverting into a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the Vanilla Bean Honey Cream Cheese Frosting:
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed, beating until smooth and lump free, scraping bowl frequently. Lower mixer speed to stir, gradually add powdered sugar followed by honey, vanilla scraped from the bean, and salt. Scraping frequently.
To assemble the Streamlined Red Velvet Cake:
- Use a serrated knife to level off the cakes. Apply a dollop of frosting onto a cake board to secure the first cake layer. Apply frosting, topping with second layer. Cover cake with a thin crumb coat, refrigerate. Apply final thicker layer of frosting. Pipe border and garnish with sprinkles if desired.