I am going to preface this post by writing here what I tell everyone: there’s no ‘red velvet flavor’. No actual cake that comes out bright red from some magical chemical reaction. What you get is the product of gobs of food coloring and very little chocolate that make your average rv cake. I know it’s disappointing but it’s gonna be ok, because now I get to make you an actual chocolate cake. And yes, I'll make it kinda red. It's gonna be beautiful and delicious.
A little over a year ago, I was in my local grocery store and stumbled over at the check-out counter. Gracing the cover of the magazine Bake from Scratch was a beauty of a bundt, a two-toned hot chocolate cake. I gasped to my husband, TWO types of chocolate are in this? And they are hot chocolate? I saved the recipe and used it to make cupcakes for valentines day last year, we liked it and promptly forgot about it. Fast-forward a year, and I won a birthday contest by the same magazine and part of my winnings was a beautiful nordic bundt pan. To break it in, I wanted something special.
The cake itself is simple to make, you cream the butter and sugar, add the rest of the ingredients slowly, alternate the milk and flour mix, etc. At the end, you split the batter in half and add two different types of cocoa. To my first I add a regular dutch-process. To the second, I add a combination of black cocoa (also part of my winnings!) and dutch process. One other, but more major alteration I made to the cake was to use cake flour instead of AP. This, because all that stirring you are going to do as you add the cocoa and later the red food coloring means more gluten will develop and so I want us to start with a flour that will keep the cake soft.
Lastly, that beautiful swirl you see on the inside is done by simply alternating the colored batters as you layer it into the bundt. Use ice cream scoops if you can to keep it even but really, as long as they don't totally mix, getting this swirl is easy.
Triple Red Velvet Bundt Cake
adapted from Bake from Scratch
1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2¾ cups (344 grams) cake flour
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
1½ cups (360 grams) whole milk
1/2 cup dutch process cocoa
1/4 cup black cocoa, plus 1/4 cup dutch process cocoa
red food coloring (gel)
Red Velvet Glaze
2/3 cup heavy cream
4 oz milk chocolate
red gel food coloring
Preheat the oven to 325. Butter and flour a 10 cup bundt pan.
Beat the butter on high for a few minutes, add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (longer than you want to!)
Add the eggs and vanilla, beat well.
In a bowl, measure your flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Add to the butter mix and then add the milk. Mix until well combined.
Separate the mix in half into two separate bowls, to one bowl add your 1/3 cup cocoa, to the other and the combination of black and dutch cocoa. Mix.
Add red food coloring to each bowl, about 1/2 tsp to each or until you reach the shade you like.
Using two ice cream scoops, alternate scooping the batter into the bundt pan like a checker pattern.
Bake for 45 minutes or 50, until center is clean.
To make the glaze: microwave cream and chopped chocolate in a bowl for 30 seconds and then another 30 seconds, until the cream is hot enough to melt the chocolate. Stir until chocolate is fully melted (you may have to stir and then leave it for a few minutes, then stir again). Stir in the food coloring.
Once cake is done, allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan before you flip it over to remove it from the pan. Allow the glaze to cool slightly in the fridge or freezer until slightly thickened - this will help it stay in place once you spoon it over the cake.
Splitting the batter in two need not be exact. I use a ladle and scoop roughly an equal number of into my bowls. Measuring is not really necessary here and it will turn out beautiful in any case.
To create the checker pattern, I scoop one color and then surround that color with the other. You could also take a tooth-pick and swirl it in for a more marbled effect.
I found I had way more batter than I needed for my 10 cup bundt pan. Once it baked I ended up trimming the bottom so it would rest flat on a plate. You could make 3-5 cupcakes in addition to the bundt and still get a perfect cake.
If you don't want to use the food coloring, skip it for a two-toned chocolate cake which would be equally delicious and beautiful. If you want to add some spice, I recommend cinnamon (two teaspoons should do it) or go for the original recipe which had ancho chile powder.
If you are feeling fancy like I was, you can give this cake some shimmer by flecking gold luster-duster on the cake.