“Honey, what kind of cake do you want for your birthday?” I asked Middle Man, who was about to celebrate his fourth birthday.
When I ask my daughter this question, I get all sorts of ideas.
“I want a mermaid cake! Oh no, I want a rainbow cake! How about this year you get me a mermaid cake and next year a fairy princess cake? I think I want…” (Mermaid seems the favorite for this year… we’ll see how that goes…)
But my son only gave me only one word.
Now normally, I use birthdays as a happy excuse to practice some buttercream skills. Like this dump truck cupcake cake or this Elsa cake. But red buttercream is 1) pretty hard to get a vivid red and, 2) often disgusting unless you use a “no taste” red, which I was almost out of.
And since red was his one request, I needed some serious red color. So I decided to try my hand at a red velvet cake.
I went with this recipe for the cake, though I “made” my buttermilk by mixing a little lemon juice into the milk and letting it sit. I added the red gel food coloring at the end of the batter-mixing stage and folded it in until I got the deep red I was aiming for.
Admittedly, it didn’t turn out of the pan well, even with non-stick spray in the pan and wax paper at the bottom (also coated in non-stick).
BUT, I got to sample the disaster… and oh boy.
When cake tastes as good as this did, no one will care what it looks like.
I could have eaten the whole thing without even a dollop of frosting. The edges were slightly crisp with a moist interior and soft crumb. The hint of cocoa melted onto my tongue for a subtle flavor I had never experienced before. It was sheer delight.
But birthday candles require cake to be more sturdy… so to avoid another cake fail, I iced the other cake layer still in the pan. 🙂
Cream cheese frosting and some red sprinkles. Done.
The birthday boy loved it. 🙂
And the leftover layer that lay in pieces on my counter? That went into the freezer for later (compliments of my mom, who wrapped it up and reminded me that we probably didn’t need to eat it all right then). I’m hoping to use it in a trifle. Or maybe cake balls. Oh so good.
I hope you all had a wonderful 4th!
Until next time,