Red Velvet Cake

The pièce de resistance of any celebration, sumptuous Red Velvet Cake boasts a festive wreath of sugared cranberries and rosemary.

Red Velvet Cake
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
  • 1½ cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 (1-ounce) bottle red food coloring
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ cups whole buttermilk, room temperature
  • Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
  • Sugared Cranberries and Rosemary (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Spray 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with baking spray with flour. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper, and spray pans again.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sour cream, food coloring, and vanilla extract, beating to combine.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Divide batter among prepared pans (smoothing tops if necessary).
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
  5. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Using a bench scraper, smooth sides to expose some of the cake layers. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Top with Sugared Cranberries and Rosemary before serving.

Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes approximately 6 cups
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 (2-pound) package confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed until creamy, 4 to 5 minutes. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and salt, beating until smooth.

Sugared Cranberries and Rosemary
Makes 1 cup
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 cup cranberries
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Let cool slightly.
  2. Dip rosemary in syrup, remove, and let excess drip off. Place on parchment and let dry for 1 hour.
  3. Place cranberries in syrup. Using a slotted spoon, remove and let excess drip off. Place on parchment and let dry for 1 hour. Toss in remaining ½ cup sugar.

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