3 cups (345g) cake flour (spoon and leveled)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons (10g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temerature
2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
1 cup (240ml) canola or vegetable oil
4 large eggs, room temperature and separated
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
liquid or gel red food coloring
1 cup (240ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
Cream Cheese Frosting :
450g full-fat block cream cheese that is to say 16 ounces, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, it better to softened to the temperature of the room
4 cups and 1/2 cups, it is 540g of confectioners’ sugar
1 Tablespoon (15ml) heavy cream or milk
1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease two 9-inch cake pans, line with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper. In order to help the cakes seamlessly release from the pans, you can use Parchment paper.
- Make the cake: Whisk the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until combined, about 1 minute. With a rubber spatula, you can Scrape up the bottom of the bowl down the sides as needed. Add the oil, egg yolks, vanilla extract, and vinegar and beat on high for 2 minutes. (Set the egg whites aside.) Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in 2-3 additions alternating with the buttermilk. Beat in your desired amount of food coloring just until combined. I use 1-2 teaspoons gel food coloring. Vigorously whisk or beat the 4 egg whites on high speed until fluffy peaks form as pictured above, about 3 minutes. Gently fold into cake batter. The batter will be silky and slightly thick.
- Divide batter between cake pans. Bake for 30-32 minutes or until the tops of the cakes spring back when gently touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If the cakes need a little longer as determined by wet crumbs on the toothpick, bake for longer. However, careful not to overbake as the cakes may dry out. Remove cakes from the oven and cool completely in the pans set on a wire rack. Before frosting and assembling the cakes, they must be completely cool
- Make the frosting: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar, cream/milk, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes until completely combined and creamy. Add more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin, more milk if frosting is too thick, or an extra pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet. Frosting should be soft, but not runny.
- Assemble and frost: Using a large serrated knife, slice a thin layer off the tops of the cakes to create a flat surface. Discard or crumble over finished cake. On your cake stand or serving plate, you place 1 cake layer. Evenly cover the top with frosting. All over the top and sides, spread remaining frosting so you can top with 2nd layer. I always use an icing spatula and bench scraper for the frosting. I used Wilton piping tip for decoration around the top.
- In order to help the cake hold its shape when cutting, refrigerate cake for at least 30-60 minutes before slicing.
- Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for 5 days. The cake layers which are either frosted cake or unfrosted can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before decorating/serving.
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