Crushed Velvet Cake

March  8, 2015
0 Ratings
Author Notes

This started with a 50th birthday, and a request for red velvet cake. My friend wanted red velvet and she specifically wanted it RED. I made it (the first time) with a natural food dye, and the cake came out more sort of auburn than red - it was pretty but not RED. Then the recipe I was working from didn't make enough icing so the auburn was peeking through, and I didn't pay close enough attention to the layers and the whole thing was slightly tilted. My husband laughed and said "That's not red velvet, that's crushed velvet!" - which got me to thinking ...
For my crushed velvet cake I decided to swap the vegetable oil for olive oil, use dark cocoa powder, no dye at all, a hint of orange, and a whiff of honey. I consulted with Hardlikearmour (I always do - she gives the best ideas!) and she suggested marmalade. It is delicious. And that is how a cake is born.
** NOTE - I am proud of this cake because I did adjusting and planning and BAKING which is kind of scary and it came out great! **
** I re-made the red velvet with real red dye and extra icing and it was very red and delicious ** —aargersi

  • Serves 1 9" layer cake
  • The Cake
  • 2 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder (dutch processed)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • zest from 1 orange
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil (I used a fairly light extra virgin one)
  • Icing and Assembly
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 generous spoonfuls orange marmalade
In This Recipe
  1. The Cake
  2. Butter and flour or spray (I spray, it's easier) 3 9" cake pans. Heat the oven to 350.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together. Beat the sugar and eggs in a large bowl until they are light and fluffy. Add in the zest, vinegar and olive oil and beat until smooth. Now add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat it just in, then 1/2 the buttermilk, 1/3 flour, other half buttermilk and finally the rest of the flour. Mix until just smooth.
  4. Put 1/3 of the batter into each pan and tap to flatten and remove bubbles. Bake them for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick test comes out clean. Remove and allow them to cool.
  1. Icing and Assembly
  2. Beat the cream cheese, crème fraiche and butter together. Beat in the honey and then, starting slowly so it doesn't poof all over the kitchen, beat in the sugar. Keep beating until the icing is smooth and fluffy.
  3. Put one cake layer on your cake plate. Smooth a spoonful of marmalade on it, then spread a layer of icing. Repeat with the next layer, then ice the rest of the cake. I am not the best at this but I used a flat spatula and it looked OK. Too bad my photo sucks. That's it - you're done! Store it in the fridge is you aren't serving right away, but let it come to room temp again to serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • drbabs
  • Aliwaks
  • hardlikearmour
  • cookinginvictoria
  • aargersi
I work in databases by day, but creativity is my outlet. Food - imagining it, making it, sharing it. And art, I come from a family of artists and have been collaging in my garage studio. You can see my work on Etsy in my shop AbbiesGarage https://www.etsy.com/shop/AbbiesGarage?ref=search_shop_redirect

    5 Reviews

    drbabs February 19, 2016
    Having eaten several of your cakes (lucky me), I have to say that you are a great baker! This sounds wonderful (and the photo is sweet!).
    Aliwaks February 19, 2016
    It sounds delicious!
    hardlikearmour March 11, 2015
    Glad you got this recipe figured out, and it sounds delicious!
    cookinginvictoria March 8, 2015
    I disagree -- this is a beautiful photo, and it looks delicious! Is the cake quite red inside?
    My husband's birthday is next month, and his all-time favorite cake is Red Velvet. I think that I will surprise him and make this for his b-day!
    Author Comment
    aargersi March 8, 2015
    Hi CIV and thanks! No it's actually dark chocolaty brown inside but if you used regular cocoa powder instead of dark and added food color you would have a red one. My brother in law just called to say it's even better day 2 so I had a slice to confirm and I agree, so bake a day ahead!!!