My oldest son recently had his 9th birthday and his birthday cake request was red velvet, but he wanted white chocolate frosting. I’m not sure where he got that idea from, but I’m glad he did, because it’s delicious!
This birthday was a little bittersweet for me. You see, for the past 8 years, I’ve labored over decorating some type of character cake. There’s been Winnie-the-Pooh, Lightning McQueen, Mario Kart, Hot Wheels, etc. When it’s all said and done, I’m always happy that I’ve made my kids their birthday cakes, but when it’s midnight and I’m still piping little stars on a cake, I question my sanity. This year, when I asked my son what theme he wanted for his birthday, he said he didn’t want one. *Gasp!* Wait, what?! I actually thought he was going to pick Harry Potter and I was getting excited about the possibilities, but I was also happy to hear that I was able to focus on the actual cake this year and not the decoration!
Red Velvet is his favorite cake, so I wasn’t surprised when he chose that, but the white chocolate frosting threw me for a bit of a loop because he does also like cream cheese frosting. I found this great recipe at Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt and it had both the cake and the frosting already together! Don’t get me wrong, I still love cream cheese frosting, but next time you make a red velvet cake, you should give this white chocolate frosting a try!
I didn’t have quite enough frosting for decorating, so I used up some extra buttercream frosting I had. There were a few different colors of frosting, so I combined two of them to kind of make my own ombre frosting. In the recipe below, I’ve increased the amount of the frosting ingredients from the original recipe, so there should be enough for decorating (or eating however you would like)!
Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate Frosting
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (or use regular milk with 1/2 tablespoon vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon concentrated red gel food coloring
- 2 1/4 cups white chocolate chips
- 7 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), room temperature
- 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- In a microwave-safe bowl, add the white chocolate chips and the heavy cream. Microwave on 50% power for 1 minute and stir. Repeat in 30 second intervals until the chocolate mixture is all melted and smooth. It will take a few minutes.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to cool until firm, at least 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, work on baking the cake.
- Once the ganache (chocolate mixture) has firmed up, take it out of the refrigerator. If it’s rock solid, let it sit out until it’s softened just a bit.
- Mix the ganache with a hand mixer on medium speed until it’s light and fluffy. (If it’s too hard, wait a few minutes and try again. Don’t burn up your hand mixer!)
- Add in the butter and continue to mix until it’s incorporated.
- Add in the powdered sugar and milk and mix on low until it’s almost all incorporated. Turn the hand mixer up to high and mix for 2-3 minutes until the frosting is whipped.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8 or 9″ cake pans with baking spray with flour.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter, sugar, and vegetable oil on medium speed until thoroughly combined.
- Add in the eggs one at a time. As soon as each one is incorporated, add another and mix until each is combined. (I like to crack mine in a glass measuring cup and then I can just pour one in at a time.)
- Measure out the buttermilk and vinegar and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, sift the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
- Alternately add the flour and buttermilk mixture into the butter and sugar mixture. Mix on medium speed until combined.
- Add in the red gel food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Add more, if needed, to get desired shade of red.)
- Divide the batter into the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until done. Use a toothpick and insert it into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. If there is batter or moist crumbs on it, let it bake for another minute or two.
- Let the cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes and then turn them out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.
- Once the cake is completely cooled, add the first layer of cake down on a cake platter.
- Add a layer of white chocolate frosting on the first layer.
- Place the next layer of cake on the frosting. Apply a thin layer of frosting (crumb coat) all over the top and sides of the cake. Put it in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to allow the frosting to set.
- After the frosting has set, place a large dollop of frosting on top of the cake. Spread the frosting nice and even on top and work the excess frosting over to the sides. Spread the frosting out to cover the sides.
- Decorate as you wish. I used the large open star tip from Wilton, No. 2110 (1M). This would also be a great Valentine’s Day dessert and you could sprinkle some heart sprinkles on top.