Andrew’s Red Velvet Layered Cheesecake
About six years ago an acquaintance asked me if I had a Red Velvet Cake recipe. Until then I had never heard of a Red Velvet Cake, and since then they are everywhere! You can’t turn around without seeing or reading something about Red Velvet! This is also how my Bake(r)ing got its name.
My friend Andrew posted a link on Facebook one day to the most beautiful cake I had ever seen. He didn't elaborate; he just simply posted the link with a very simple “yumm” in the comments. Of course I followed the link to see what all the fuss was about, and found this cake recipe. I give all the credit to Erin at erinsFOODfiles for this recipe as I haven’t changed a single thing (except I use vanilla powder), and thank her for her step-by-step detailed instructions and giving me the courage to try it.
I immediately knew that I had to make this for Andrew for his birthday, and I filed it away in the back of my mind until his birthday got a bit closer. As August of that year (2010) approached, I started obsessing over the recipe. I read it and re-read it until I about had it memorized. I was scared to death to try it. I had made a cheesecake before with good results, but I had never made a layered cake, and honestly, all the talk about Bake Even strips and using a cake leveler had me a bit worried. Little did I know I had nothing to fear. I used professional baker’s grade Winco 10x3 cake pans that I purchased at Costco and a 10-inch springform pan, and the cakes baked perfectly flat with no leveling required, and the cheesecake was the exact right size and did not need trimmed.
I always make this cake over the course of two days. The first day I make the cheesecake so it can freeze and the next day I make and assemble the cake. On the day that Andrew and his wife Lorraine were coming for dinner, I posted on Facebook that I was Bake(r)ing a cake for a friend (with a link to the cake, so he would know). I was just being clever with my last name at the time, but the name stuck and I have since been doing a lot of Bake(r)ing.
I have now made this cake countless times. I have never changed anything except the color of the frosting as you will see in one of the pictures, and once I tried making it purple and gold for my Son’s birthday; I've included a picture of that as well, but I won’t be doing that again. Chocolate can turn red with no fuss, but does not turn purple as easily, as you can see by the picture.
As far as taste… where do I start? Erin says it best and it is true: this cake gets RAVE reviews every time it is made!! I have sold it for $100+ (more than once) at school auctions! The red velvet is a perfect combination of sweet, tangy, light and fluffy, while the cheesecake is oh so rich and moist. And who can resist a cream cheese frosting? I think my favorite part of this cake is that every single component of it could stand alone in taste, yet when you add them all together they become….well, heaven on a plate!!
Do yourself and your special valentine a favor and don’t be afraid to make this cake right away.
For the cheesecake:
1 1/4 pounds bar cream cheese (20 oz), room temperature (2 ½ blocks of cream cheese)
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
For the cake:
2 1/2 c. cake flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 TBSP cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk
2 TBSP (1 oz.) red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract (I use vanilla powder from here)
1 tsp. white distilled vinegar
For the frosting:
12 oz. cream cheese, softened (1 ½ blocks of cream cheese)
12 oz. butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (again, I always use vanilla powder)
3 c. confectioners' sugar
1 bar white or dark chocolate (Optional for decoration), I use Seattle Chocolates
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Set a kettle of water to boil. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium until fluffy, scraping down side of bowl. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in lemon zest and juice, and salt. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down side of bowl after each addition. Beat in sour cream.
Cut parchment paper in a circle and line the bottom of the cheesecake pan. Wrap bottom half of pan in foil. Pour the filling in a 10”springform pan; place in a roasting pan. Pour in boiling water to come halfway up side of springform. Bake until just set in center, about 45 minutes. Remove pan from water; let cool 20 minutes. Run a paring knife around edge; let cool completely. At this point, I cover the cheesecake lightly with a clean dish towel and place in the refrigerator for a few hours. Then I remove the sides of the springform pan and wrap the cheesecake with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350°. Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa, and salt into a medium bowl.
Beat eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Divide batter evenly between 2 greased and floured (I use Pam Baking spray) 10" round cake pans and bake 25-30 minutes, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool 5 minutes, and then invert each onto a plate, then invert again onto a cooling rack. Let cakes cool completely.
Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until combined. Add sugar and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, 5–7 minutes.
Place bottom layer on cake stand. Remove cheesecake from freezer, unwrap, and remove from metal bottom, then peel off parchment paper. Place cheesecake layer on top of the bottom layer of the red velvet cake. If the cheesecake is wider than the cake, and it is necessary to trim it, wait approximately 10 minutes for the cheesecake to soften, and then trim it with a knife. Place top layer of cake on top of the cheesecake, and coat with a generous layer of the cream cheese frosting to act as the crumb coat. Be careful not to get any red velvet crumbs in the bowl of frosting! Refrigerate approximately 30 minutes, and then frost with as much of the remaining frosting as necessary. Top with shaved white chocolate and/or shaved dark chocolate. Refrigerate until ready to serve. (This cake doesn't have to stay in the fridge until IMMEDIATELY before serving, so don't worry if you have a 30 minute lapse between the refrigerator and serving.)
|The one that I tried to make purple and gold for my Son|
|My Daughter's bridal shower cake|