I don’t know about you, but I the idea of a snacking cake is fabulous! The idea of having the just right slice of cake at the ready for you is incredibly tantalizing. Any cake will do, but why not make sure it’s a favorite cake, and for me, that’s a dark, ruby red velvet cake. The hint of a chocolate hitting the back of your tongue, the tender crumb and bits of cake lingering on your fingers…delicious. Oh, let’s not forget about the icing!
Cream Cheese icing is usually the norm, and that’s what I did here; puddles and swirls of velvety softness, forming mountain peaks on top of the cake. You take a slice, and don’t where to begin… do you bit into the cake first, do start at the icing, or do you take a bite of both together? Some other icing flavors to consider -- White Chocolate or Honey Vanilla.
For this recipe, I used Martha Stewart’s but of course, if you have a favorite recipe or one handed down in your family, use that!
Makes 1 Loaf:
1 stick, plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for the pan
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, plus more for the pan
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (I use unbleached, organic)
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt (kosher)
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
¾ teaspoon good vanilla extract, divided
¾ teaspoons distilled white vinegar
½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
¼ teaspoon red gel food coloring
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
Preheat oven to 325* and lightly brush a 9x5 loaf pan with butter and dust with cocoa powder, tapping out any excess
In a medium bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt – set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until pale and fluffy – about 4-5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Reduce the speed and add your eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and vinegar and mix into the batter. Add your dry ingredients in 3 batches alternating with buttermilk and beginning and ending with the dry… mix until just combined. Add the food coloring and mix until fully incorporated.
Pour the batter into your loaf pan and slight lift and drop the pan on your counter, then smooth the top with a small offset spatula or back of a spoon. Bake until a toothpick insert into the center comes out clean – baking for about 80 minutes. When done, transfer your loaf cake to a wire rack and let cool for 15-minutes; then remove from the pan and let cool completely.
The plain loaf cake can be frozen when completely cooled wrapped in plastic and foil. If eating now, the cake can be wrapped in plastic and kept at room temperature for 2 days.
You can make this now, if eating immediately or make when you’re ready to serve.
In a bowl, mix the room temperature cream cheese with the confectioner’s sugar and remaining ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract. Spread and swirl on top of the cake.