(Day 5 of the 12 Days of Christmas)
I’m not too modest to say it—I’m a good cook. Baking, though… baking is just not my forte. As much as I try to bake delightfully buttery sugar or gooey chocolate chip cookies, I can’t wrap my head around baking techniques. Baking, to me, seems like more of a science than cooking, and science was never my strong suit.
Needless to say, baking for the blog this season has been a challenge. However, yesterday, when I decided to make Red Velvet Wreath Cakes, I was pleasantly surprised with myself. Let me assure you, if I can bake these, so can you. You will need a doughnut pan and a decorator’s bag with leaf tip and small round tip attachments. You will also need icing color pastes. I’ve linked ones I recommend.
I should also say that I don’t really have a sweet tooth. I’ll almost always pass up something sugary for something salty (gasp!) but I ate these, and I loved them. I might have even eaten two… or three… I mean who knows? (It was three. Let a girl live.) If you like red velvet, make sure you limit yourself, or you might wind up eating a whole dozen. If you do, I won’t even judge you. That’s how good these are.
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 2 ¼ cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 eggs
- 1¼ cup canola oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 tablespoons red food coloring
- 1 stick butter
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Green and red icing color pastes
- Sugar pearls for decorating
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease the doughnut pan. The one I recommend is nonstick, but trust me, you want to grease it anyway.
- Whisk the two eggs in a medium bowl. Add the remaining liquid ingredients and whisk until blended. Set aside.
- In another medium bowl, add all of the dry ingredients and whisk together well.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high until completely combined. Be careful not to overmix.
- Pour the cake batter into a large freezer bag, and close the bag. Hold the bottom corner up higher than the rest of the bag, and cut the tip off to create a piping bag.
- Pipe the cake batter into the doughnut pan, pinching the tip between every “doughnut” to stop the flow of batter. You should fill each doughnut cavity about 75% of the way.
- Lightly drop the doughnut pan on the counter a few times to even out the batter and release any bubbles.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Let sit for 10 minutes, then remove the cakes from the doughnut pan and transfer them to a wire rack.
- Mix the butter, cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla extract in a medium sized bowl using a hand mixer. Add more confectioners’ sugar if necessary to reach the consistency you want, or add a tablespoon of milk to thin if necessary.
- Scoop out about ½ cup of the frosting and set it aside. Add about ¼ teaspoon green icing color paste to the remaining frosting. Mix until color is well-blended. Add more color paste if necessary.
- Add a dab of red icing color paste to the other ½ cup of frosting. Mix until color is well-blended, and again, add more color paste if necessary.
- Scoop some of your green frosting into a decorator’s bag with a leaf tip attached. You could take the time to make all of the leaves. I simply piped all over the cakes to create texture. Cover all of the cakes.
- Scoop red frosting into a decorator’s bag with a small round tip attached. Pipe on the ribbons. I have very shaky hands so mine didn’t turn out great, but if you pace yourself and practice a few times on parchment paper, I’m sure yours will be awesome.
- Top with edible pearls or other decorative toppings and dig in!