Monday, April 11, 2011

The Pioneer Woman’s Red Velvet cake

Today I baked The Pioneer Woman's Red Velvet Cake

The Husabandman’s ranking: 7.5
The Little Wife’s ranking: 8.5 

I have to stand on a stool to stir anything on the counters comfortably.

     Its very red
     The icing is amazing
     I really like the directions for this recipe, especially the icing recipe.  They are very clear.  My favorite example is when thickening the flour and milk mixture.  Most recipes would simple tell you to thicken it and leave it at that which drives me crazy because there is a huge range of consistencies that fall under the “thick” heading.  This recipe tells you that it need to be thicker than the cake batter, almost like brownies.  That is so much more helpful!
     I also really liked this order of ingredients, the recipe adds the red food coloring and cocoa powder last, so that the batter can do double duty as a white cake if you just skip the last step.  I also like that because you mix almost everything and then set it aside, before blending the butter and sugar it seems much easier (it also gives me more time to bring my butter to room temperature)
     This cake really was so easy to bake.
     It’s very, very moist
     It has a very light and subtle flavor (which seems classier than most of my red velvet cakes)
     I loved the recipe, it was honestly fun to read (but anything Ree writes is) and the pairing of this cake with this icing is very nice.

I dusted it with cocoa powder to give it more pizazz (and to hide crumbs)

      I don’t like that it has a shortening base rather than a butter base, it makes clean-up messier (I absolutely hate the feeling of Crisco on my hands) and I think that a butter base just tastes better.
     The batter is very runny before you cook it (which always makes me very nervous)
     The batter is very sticky.  I greased and floured the pans as well as humanly possible, but it was still a little difficult to de-pan, and the cake layers also stuck to the cooling rack
     The cake had an odd texture, it still tasted wonderful, but the texture was a little different than most cakes.
     I would have liked to have a little more cocoa taste.

Cooling near a window

Other Notes

     Baking this cake reminded me of why I don’t bake during the summer months (it was in the upper 80’s today) we grill as much as humanly possible (we don’t have a/c) and eat outside as much as we can. This is the same reason that I am probably the only one in the world hoping for a few more cooler days before summer.
     Cool the cake (and the flour and milk mixture) in a window – no seriously! I know it sounds corny, but it really does the trick (especially on a windy day like today.) I guess you could cool it under an air vent, but we don’t have any, and it is not nearly as homey.


   When the directions say to cool the cake, you really need to cool it.  I usually skip this step.  Not a good idea with this cake.  You will end up with a huge mess (but very yummy) on your hands because the butter in the icing will melt and take everything with it as is slides off the side of the cake, slithers over the cake plate and pools all over the counter. Stick it in the fridge or even the freezer if you are the impatient type (like me) just don’t forget about it (like me.) I would suggest making the cake, making and having dinner, and then icing the cake right before you serve it for desert.
     If you are not going to make it in a sheet pan, I would cook it for an addition 10 to 15 min.

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Anonymous said...

Looks soooo delicious!

the little wife said...

Thanks! It really was delicious, I think I like it best so far.

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