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5 from 1 vote

Naturally Red Velvet Cake with Ermine Icing

This old fashioned Red Velvet Cake recipe is moist and fluffy. It's frosted with classic Ermine icing and gets its red color from beets which is how this classic cake was originally made. 
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time1 hr 35 mins
Total Time2 hrs 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Red Velvet Cake
Servings: 18 slices

Ingredients

Naturally Red Velvet Cake:

  • 1 large beet
  • large eggs
  • 1 1/4  cups  buttermilk
  • 1 cup  warm water
  • ½  cup  vegetable oil
  • teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • teaspoon  distilled white vinegar
  • cups  all-purpose flour
  • cups  granulated sugar
  • 1/2  cup  cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup  unsweetened cocoa powder
  • tablespoon  baking soda
  • 1½  teaspoons  baking powder
  • 1½  teaspoons  salt

Ermine Frosting:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups unsalted butter cubed and softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt

Instructions

Naturally Red Velvet Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wrap beet in foil and roast until tender, about 1 hour. Reduce heat to 375 degrees for baking cake once beet is cooked. Butter three 9-inch cake rounds. Dust with flour and tap out the excess.
  • Remove roasted beet from foil. The skin should easily slide off the beet. Discard skin and place beet into a large mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer to whip the beet into mush. 
  • Add eggs, buttermilk, warm water, oil, vanilla, and vinegar and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Add in flour, sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a stand mixer using a low speed until the mixture is smooth.
  • Divide batter among the three prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the cake meets the toothpick test (stick a toothpick in and it comes out clean).
  • Cool on wire racks for 15 minutes and then turn out the cakes onto the racks and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Ermine Frosting:

  • In a medium sauce pan, whisk together flour and sugar over low heat. Cook for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk and bring to a boil. Cook until thickened into a pudding-like consistency, about 1 minute, and then remove from heat. Pour into a bowl and place plastic wrap directly on top of the mixture so no skin forms. Set aside. 
  • In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to whip butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in cooked milk mixture 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing well between each addition. Once all milk mixture has been added in, beat in vanilla and salt and continue beating until the frosting is thick and creamy and everything is well mixed in.  
  • Assemble and frost the completely cooled cake.

Video

Notes

*The video and photos in this recipe feature a cake that was only frosted between layers. The written recipe provides enough icing to cover the entire cake. If you only want to frost in between layers as shown in the pictures, you can easily halve the Ermine Icing ingredients.