Its my husbands grandpa’s birthday, and I always nominate myself to make birthday cakes. Mainly cause I like to bake, and its fun to get creative with cakes. So this year I did a red velvet cake with a cheesecake center and a cream cheese frosting. I really like this cake combination, because sometimes it seems like with the cake, filling and frosting it’s to sweet. But this cake was perfect, I think the cheesecake cut the sweetness, even the frosting wasn’t to sweet either. I was good!!
First lets start with the cheesecake. I have made a cheesecake twice in my life, neither one turned out the best. I came a crossed this blog post for a vanilla cheesecake from Rock Recipes, he had a lot of good tips for baking the perfect cheesecake. Let me tell you the cheesecake turned out perfect!! Click here for full recipes and tips.
Being this cheesecake is going to be a layer in the cake I cut the recipe in half.
1 1/2 package of cream cheese soften (12 oz) Save the other half of cream cheese for frosting.
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 eggs (crack and beat 1 egg, 2 T should be about 1/2 the egg. Discard or use the other half of the egg.
1 1/2-2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Preheat oven to 300 degree F and prepare your spring form pan. Spray with nonstick spray, and wrap the bottom and side in about 4-5 layers of tinfoil. Place the pan inside another pan that is larger and deep enough to add about an inch or so of boiling water. Also while you are making the cheesecake batter, start a pot or tea kettle of water and bring it to a boil.
Cream together the softened cream cheese and sugar. Add eggs and beat until well combined, next add vanilla. Once the first 4 ingredients are well combine, add the heavy cream and mix until smooth, scraping the side of bowl often. Pour the batter into the spring form pan. Place the pans in the oven and pour the boiling water into the outer pan, make sure not to get water in the cheesecake or the tinfoil. This is called a water bath, it helps the cheesecake to bake more evenly. Bake about 40-50 min, until the center is firm to touch.
Once the cheesecake is done take it out of the oven but leave it in the water, once the water and pans are cool to the touch, place on a cooling rack to finish cooling. Cover and place in fridge, leave the cheesecake in the pan for overnight to set completely before taking it out. Other wise it will fall part and be to fragile to handle.
Next start the red velvet cake, I started making this once the cheesecake came out of the oven. Bump the oven up to 350 degrees F, and prepare to round cake pans, with non stick spray and place parchment paper in the bottoms. This helps the cake come out after baking. I place the round pan on top of a piece of parchment paper and trace around it with the tip of scissors, this technique makes a perfect circle that fits in the bottom of the cake pan.
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 Tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 oz. Wilton red (no taste) food color
Mix all the wet ingredients together, included the red food coloring. Two suggest here, I use real buttermilk, not homemade (milk & vinegar) I have made this recipe both ways and it does make a difference. If you are worried about what to do with the left over buttermilk. I freeze it in a ice cube tray and once frozen place in a labeled freezer bag. Each cube is about 1 Tablespoon, then you have buttermilk in the freeze for when you need just a little bit. Next suggest, I buy the Wilton red gel food color, the no taste one, instead of the McCormick red color. One Wilton is cheaper and I feel like it gives a better red color.
In a separate bowl mix all the dry ingredients together.
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet, do not over mix. Once they are all mixed together, place evenly into the two prepared cake pans.
Bake for about 30 min, or until the toothpick from the center comes out clean.
Place the baked cakes on a cooling rack. After about 10 minutes take the cakes out of the pans and let cool completely on the cooling rack. Once they are cooled, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
To make the frosting, I make this when I am ready to layer the cakes.
2 stick softened butter
1 1/2 bricks of cream cheese (12 oz) This is why I saved the other half of the cream cheese from the cheesecake.
3 cups powder sugar.
2 tsp vanilla
Mix soften butter and cream cheese together. Add the powder sugar and vanilla, mix slowly until combined, then speed up the mixer. Whip until light and fluffy.
Start layering the cakes. Start with the red velvet and place a small amount of the frosting on the cake to help the cheesecake to stick. Next place the cheesecake on top of the cake. Spread another small amount of frosting on the other layer of cake. Spread it on the top part of the cake and place it frosting side down on top of the cheesecake. That way the bottom part of the cake makes a nice flat smooth top.
Finish frosting the cake and decorate to your liking. I did chocolate shavings for the sides and used melted chocolate to wrote happy birthday on the top, then drizzled the rest of melted chocolate over the top and sides.
It looks like a hot mess here, but it did turn out good! And really looks isn’t everything, taste counts too!