Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Cake:
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- pinch salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons natural cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons red food coloring (liquid, not paste or gel)
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
For the Frosting:
- 16 ounces cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces, softened
- 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round baking pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottoms of pan with parchment and spray parchment. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Whisk buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla, and eggs in large measuring cup; set aside. Mix cocoa with food coloring in small bowl until a smooth paste forms; set aside.
- In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as necessary. Add one-third of flour mixture and beat on medium-low speed until just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add half of buttermilk mixture and beat on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl as necessary. Repeat with half of remaining flour mixture, remaining buttermilk mixture, and remaining flour mixture. Scrape down bowl, add cocoa mixture, and beat on medium speed until completely combined, about 30 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, give batter one final stir. Pour into prepared pans and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes then turn out onto rack to cool cakes to room temperature, about 2 hours.
- For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix cream cheese, butter, vanilla and salt at medium high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add confectioners’ sugar and mix until very fluffy, about 1 minute. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- When cakes are cooled, spread 2 cups frosting on one cake layer. Top with second cake layer and spread top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 3 days.