June 23, 2010

Red Velvet Cake From Scratch

A few months ago, I decided that I would be the "birthday cake baker" for everyone at work. Here's how I came to that decision.

Our boss T. has always bought us cakes for our birthdays. He is a VERY thoughtful person, and we have all appreciated him doing this. Everyone has always been delighted and so appreciative of their birthday cake. All of us have gobbled up these sweet treats with no problem!

Well, the very last cake that showed up in the break room got me thinking! Looking at the cake, I thought...oh boy, there is nothing to this thing, it's decorated with bright orange and royal blue roses, it measures about 8x8 square and stands about 1 to 2 inches tall. Last but not least, I know this cake probably cost about $10 bucks. The amount of ACTUAL CAKE in this cake, was not even a whole "box of cake mix" worth...which by the way costs anywhere between 88 cents to $1.20.

OK, so enough is enough! I LOVE to bake, I LIVE to bake, I am a GOOD baker...why am I not baking my friends a birthday cake? And, why should the responsibility of providing a cake for fellow employees rest solely on one man's shoulders? That was it! From then on, I vowed to make each and every person/friend/co-worker and or boss, at my work place, a homemade cake for their birthday. First of all, I would be honored to do it, and second of all, everyone deserves a homemade birthday cake...at the very least! Wow, maybe that should be my mission in life....making every man, woman and child a homemade cake for their birthday! OK...getting a little carried away here!!! but I would do it if I could!

So far, I have had the opportunity to bake three different birthday cakes for friends at work. Today, I baked the fourth, and I think, maybe the most beautiful of all! I made a three-layer, red velvet cake, from scratch...and the butter cream frosting...from scratch too! I am very proud of this cake and I hope it is well received at work. I got to taste a bit of the cake that stuck to the bottom of the pans and it was DELICIOUS!! I could taste a hint of the cocoa powder that gives this cake it's unique flavor. Oh my gosh, I can't wait to actually get a WHOLE piece of this thing!

As I mentioned, I have made 3 other cakes before this one. I made a brownie cake for my Boss, T., a white cake with pink, strawberry frosting for my friend S., and a butter pecan cake with butter cream frosting for my friend G.

This red velvet cake is for my boss A. If she really likes it...maybe...just maybe, I'll get to be employee of the month! HA! HA! Just a little joke there!!!

Oh ya, one more thing, I need to make another birthday cake for Friday for my friend S. Oh...what to make???? I will look around some of my favorite baking blogs to find just the right cake for S. It may seem like there are a lot of birthday cakes coming and going from that break room, but it just so happens these last 2 birthdays were close to one another. That happened with the first 3 cakes too, but it's been about a month since I've made a cake for anyone. I think everyone is ready for something yummy!

P.S. Here is the recipe for the red velvet cake. I got it from the blog The Cook Book Chronicles. Here is the link. thecookbookchronicles Check it out! Oh ya, I forgot to mention that I decided to use a basic buttercream frosting on this cake instead of the cream cheese frosting that was in the recipe. I REALLY, REALLY wanted to make the cream cheese frosting for this cake! I know it would have been fantabulous to say the least! However, we have the world's smallest fridge in our breakroom...so whatever I make, it has to be something I can leave out on the counter.

Basic Buttercream Recipe: 1/2 C plus 3 Tbsp. softened butter, 1/2 cup shortening, 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract, 2 Tbsp. milk, 4 cups powdered sugar. Mix well, add additional 1 tsp. of milk at a time if frosting is too thick.