31 March 2010

Red velvet cake (and cupcakes)

This is a post full of colors in celebration of spring.

Some blogs that I read have recently featured red velvet cake and although I have never made it before, the idea of making this cake seemed to grab me. I think it was something about the great contrast of the red cake with the white icing that looked so appealing. And it is soooo red!

I told some people at work that I was thinking of making this cake and no one had ever heard of it, which is not unusual in my world, but probably just means it's an American thing. I think the final consensus at work was that the cake lives up to its name and this cake should feature more regularly as a dessert. Now that I think of it, the cakes in the UK (that I have tried at least) are not usually as smooth or light as this cake and the icing is usually not a buttercream or cream cheese icing either. It makes a lovely spring cake and is a luscious dessert.

Here is what is needed for the cake part:

Mix the dry ingredients of flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cocoa together.

In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients together, starting with the eggs and oil, which makes a funny, creamy mixture.

For the really red color, add a whole bottle of red food coloring (!). You can marble along the way for amusement.

You would almost expect the redness to go away when mixing with the dry ingredients. Nope.
When everything is mixed together, pour the batter into a greased and floured cake tin or two, or cupcake liners if you would like.

The cake turned out a little brown on top, though the cupcakes were nice and red all the way through.

Now onto the icing- cream cheese, icing sugar, butter and vanilla all mixed together until smooth. Beautiful stuff.

Once the icing is all made (one hour and a very tired arm later when mixing by hand), time for the fun part!

A lovely spring birthday cake!


While out on my day off, my fiance and I happened upon an amazing shoe store in Carnaby street. We are never usually in this area of London but I may start to frequent it more often. The store features really cute and whimsical shoes in bold colors that invokes the Carnaby street of the 1960's. Though I am still learning to walk in heels, my fiance convinced me to get one pair of shoes in particular.

The bold colors, the heels, the funky flap in the front- I would never pick these out on my own. If there is one thing I have learned about London fashion though it is that you can wear anything and try anything. So I am trying these and embracing London fashion, and I think slowly over time my wardrobe is adjusting to living here. Much like my food repertoire, my clothing will become an amalgamation of London and US fashion.


  1. whoa. the shoes. crazy stuff--not your usual style, but they're so fun!
    spring goes sproing. love you. xx

  2. I thing red velvet cake (or its cupcake sibling) is my favourite cake. At least of recent times.

    But hey, those shoes have really surprised me! They're really funky, I love them!
    I dig your embracing attitude - way to go!

  3. You may be on to something with the cupcakes! I just heard on NPR that a street vendor in NYC just paid $600,000 for the license to sell cupcakes over the next 4 years. That's a lot of cupcakes even at the price of $3 per cupcake.