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  • Writer's pictureNava

Red velvet cake and Happy birthday Ben

Good morning my friends,

How have you all been feeling with this freezing weather?

I hope you’re nice and dry and are keeping warm under the covers…

I miss not being able to post like I used to and I really miss you guys, I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things when i get back from my trip.

I have been crazy busy, working hard and at the same time trying to get ready for my big trip which is in SEVEN MORE SLEEPS!

The celebrations haven’t slowed down in my family. Last week we celebrated my nephew’s return from his overseas trip and I made a delicious flourless chocolate cake with a mousse topping. This chocolate cake is rich, tasty and fudgy made with loads of melted chocolate. I didn’t have time to take a photo so I will make it again for you guys.

This week we celebrated my nephew’s 18th birthday.

I made him a vivid red velvet cake. Moist, light and airy, this cake is delectable.

The recipe is by Nagi from Recipe Tin Eats.

I used her icing recipe and didn’t like it, it was too soft and sickly sweet, so I only used a smidgen of it.

I do have another icing recipe which I have made before which is firmer and far less sweeter, I will definitely use that one in the future and it’s the one I’m sharing with you today.

Until next time have a great day

What do you wish a young man who has everything? Looks personality, brains and charm. And what cake do you make an 18 year old?

A red velvet cake! why? Because I have always associated the colour red with passion, joy, adventure, vibrancy and excitement which are all the things I wish life will offer you as your school days will come to an end this year and you will embark on a new chapter in your life. As I was baking your cake I was feeling chuffed about it and the way I related it back to your birthday wish. But as I began to decorate the cake my enthusiasm began to dim and disappointed began to raise it’s ugly head. My cake looked nothing like the masterpiece I’d imagined. The icing didn’t turn out as firm as I had hoped, the crumbs on top looked like a lumpy mess and the smaller crumbs on the side of the cake looked like red bugs skittering up it. I was unimpressed, If I didn’t have to go to work I would have thrown it in the bin and would have made a new one, but I would not have done you justice because as I was begrudgingly putting the final touches on the cake I remembered that, like this cake, things in life don’t always go according to plan and life is messy and complicated and there are ups and downs and while I wish you all the wonderful things that life has to offer, I also wish you strength in the face of adversity to strive for excellence and not perfection, and always remember “carpe diem”. And like this rich decadent desert, I hope your life is full of richness and delight.

And finally, while this cake may not be perfect in some ways, it is full of love as you will find out as soon as you take the first bite, and that, after all is the most important ingredient. But I don’t have to wish you that, you have it in abundance and always will in this family. Love you lots, Happy 18th Ben, Ben.


Before you begin baking please take the time to read these important tips:

I made double the quantities for the cake and if I was making the cream cheese icing I am sharing with you, I would have made one and a half times the ingredients but if you’re not making it for a large gathering there is no need to increase the amount of ingredients.

For a thick and stable icing you need to use full fat cream cheese and follow the method exactly.

By mixing the sifted icing sugar with the butter first, you will be coating the sugar molecules with fat, which means no moisture will be drawn out of the cream cheese and this will create a stable and firm icing.

Make sure you sift the icing sugar thoroughly or you will end up with clumpy icing.

Ingredients should be at room temperature.

You can prepare the icing a day or two before and keep it in the fridge in an airtight container.

The cake can be made a day in advance.

It’s really worth investing in a scale, you can pick one up at the supermarket. Your cakes will turn out much better if you weigh the ingredients.

Red velvet cake


400g (2 & 2/3 cups) plain cake flour

20g (2 tablespoons) cocoa powder

5g (1 teaspoon) bi-carbonate soda

Pinch of salt

115g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter

330g (1 ½ cups) caster sugar (super fine sugar)

2 eggs extra large they weigh about 60g each

250mls (1 cup) vegetable oil

1 tsp white vinegar

2 tsp vanilla extract

250mls (1 cup ) buttermilk

2 ½ tablespoons red food colouring


Pre heat the oven to 180C

Line 2 x 20/21cm round cake tins with oiled baking paper and set a ide.

Sift dry ingredients and gently whisk to combine.

Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a handheld mixer or a standalone mixer with a paddle attachment and mix until smooth and well combined.

Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. It will look like it’s curdled, don’t worry, just keep mixing until smooth.

Add the oil in a steady stream, vinegar, vanilla extract, butter milk and red food colouring mix until combined and smooth.

Add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined, don’t over mix, it’s okay if you have a couple of lumps.

Divide cake batter evenly between the two cake tins and bake (on the same shelf) in the oven for 25-30 min, (it took 45min in mine) or until when you insert a skewer into the centre of the cake it comes out clean.

Rest cakes in the tin for ten minutes before turning them out to cool onto a cooling rack.

While cake is cooling prepare cream cheese Icing.

Cream cheese Icing


175 g unsalted butter (room temp)

220gr icing sugar (sifted)

500g Philadelphia cream cheese (room temp)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Step 1.

Using a standalone mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter and icing sugar together until nice and creamy.

Step 2.

Add 500g Philadelphia cream cheese and continue to mix until the icing consistency is thick and smooth. Add vanilla extract!

Put it all together

Using a serrated knife, Cut the top off the cake. This way the cakes will not have a dome which will help the cake to remain steady and will also give you a nice neat look.

Spread half of the icing on the bottom cake, place the second cake on top and spread its top and sides with the remaining icing.

Crumble up the cake offcuts and use them to decorate the top and base of the cake.

Strawberries dipped in chocolate (optional)


1 punnet of strawberries

150g Dark chocolate

150g White chocolate


Wash and pat try the strawberries with paper towels.

Cut strawberries in half and lay them cut side facing down on paper towel to absorb moisture.

Line a large flat tray with baking paper and set aside

Place white chocolate in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave chocolate for approx. 25 seconds. Remove from microwave and give it a stir. Continue to microwave in 10 seconds increments, stirring frequently, until the chocolate has completely melted and is smooth.

Working with one strawberry at a time, pick up a strawberry by the stem and dip 3/4 of the strawberry into the melted chocolate , allow excess chocolate to drip . Carefully lay the dipped strawberry on the baking sheet (flat side facing down). Once you have dipped all the strawberries in white chocolate, place the tray of strawberries in the fridge to harden, about ten minutes.

Take the strawberries out of the fridge and repeat the process using dark melted chocolate and this time dip the strawberries half way.

Allow to cool down in the fridge, about 10min.

Place strawberries on top of cake, starting from the centre.

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