Recipe: February 2020: Colorful Velvet Cake

It’s time for another recipe! First, the recipe. Then, me blathering onward about my occasionally questionable culinary capabilities and the memories this particular feast holds for me.

  • The Ingredients
    • The Cake:
      • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1 1/2 cups sugar
      • 1 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder
      • 1 1/2 cups applesauce
      • 1 cup buttermilk, room temp
      • 2 large eggs
      • 1 ounce food coloring, red is traditional but I use purple!
      • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
      • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
      • Crushed pecans, if desired for garnish
    • The Cream Cheese Frosting
      • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
      • 4 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
      • 2 sticks unsalted butter
      • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • The Way of Preparing the Cake
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C/Gas mark 4
    2. Prep three 9 inch round pans with spray, flour, and parchment paper. Alternatively, line and spray a large muffin tin.
    3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, sugar, salt, and cocoa powder.
    4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the applesauce, buttermilk, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla. If you’re making one color cake, add the food coloring now. If you’re making a colored swirl, wait until you have the finished batter and divide and color it once all combined.
    5. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until just combined and a smooth batter is formed.
    6. Divide among the three pans evenly, or fill your cupcake molds with an ice cream scoop.
    7. Bake for about thirty minutes, rotating the pans every ten minutes or so until a toothpick comes out from the center clean. The cake should pull away from the walls of the round pan a bit. This is normal.
    8. While the cakes are still warm, run a knife around the outside of the pans and tip the cakes out carefully. Flip them back, right side up, and let them cool.
    9. Once completely cool, stack and frost!
  • The Way of Preparing the Frosting:
    1. Cream together the sugar, butter, and cream cheese until completely mixed. Scrape down the bowl repeatedly so everything is well combined.
    2. Mix on high until light and fluffy, about six minutes.
    3. Add in the vanilla and mix until well combined.
    4. Refrigerate for at least half an hour, covered tightly, until stiff before using.
    5. This can be stored in the fridge for up to three days or frozen for six months.
  • Notes
    • How to make better:
      • Add two tablespoons of melted chocolate to the batter
      • I know it sounds weird but glaze the layers before you frost them with simple syrup or melted apricot jam.
      • Almond extract instead of vanilla in the frosting.
      • Garnish or add in crushed pecans for a little crunch.


I’ve made this exactly once and I made purple velvet cake. I wish I had pictures because I had turned the frosting bright pink and the interior of the cake was a super brill purple.

Maybe I’ll make it again just for the photo opportunity and yummy times!

This is actually also the base for my chocolate carrot cake, actually, with a few tweaks. That will be a recipe for March, I believe.

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