Red Velvet Cake with Boiled Milk Icing
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • About 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 2 heaping tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2¼ cups cake flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
Boiled Milk Frosting:
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional garnish: chocolate shavings, sprinkles or red candies
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven; preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease and flour the bottoms and sides of three, 8-inch round cake pans.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition.
  4. In a small bowl, make a paste of the food coloring and cocoa. Add this paste to the butter mixture, beating on low speed so that you don't send drops of red coloring everywhere! Add the flour alternately with the buttermilk, ensuring that each addition is fully mixed in before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. Stir in the salt and vanilla.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the baking soda and vinegar (it will fizz up). Immediately mix it into the batter until everything is combined. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans; smooth and level the batter with an offset set or rubber spatula.
  6. Bake for 22 to 28 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cakes comes out mostly clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes; loosen the sides from the pan using a small paring knife, then turn the cakes onto a wire rack. Let cool completely before frosting.
  7. For Frosting: Whisk together the milk with the flour until smooth.
  8. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking continuously until it comes to a low boil. Remove the pan from the stove and transfer the hot mixture into a medium bowl; place plastic wrap directly against the milk’s surface to prevent it from forming a skin. Let cool.
  9. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and salt on high speed until very light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and mix on medium speed for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  10. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually pour the cooled milk mixture into the bowl. Increase the speed to high and beat for 5 to 7 minutes; during this time, the frosting will become smooth and fluffy, which will give it a more pleasing texture and a more easily spreadable consistency.
  11. For the Assembly: Set one of the layers on a plate with its flattest side up. Spread about one-quarter of the icing on top, stopping a little short of the outside edge of the cake. Add another layer of cake, press lightly. Place your last cake on top and press lightly. Frost the sides and then the top of the cake with the remainder of the frosting. If desired, garnish with chocolate shavings, sprinkles or red candies.
Recipe by Bakepedia at