Make the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
- Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans or three 8-inch round cake pans.
- Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl.
- In a small bowl, mix food coloring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste.
- In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about three minutes.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go.
- Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well.
- Beat in half of the buttermilk.
- Beat in another third of flour mixture, scraping the bowl with a silicone spatula.
- Beat in second half of buttermilk.
- End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, scraping the bowl with a spatula.
- In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda until good and fizzy. Add it to the cake batter and stir well to combine.
- Divide batter evenly between the cake pans.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
- To remove the cakes from the pan, place a plate or wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, then gently lift the pan.
- Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting.
Make the frosting:
- With an electric mixer, blend together cream cheese and butter until smooth.
- Turn mixer to low and blend in powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract.
- Turn mixer on high and beat until light and fluffy.
- Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.
- Stack the cakes with a thick layer of frosting in between.
- Frost cake with one thin “crumb coat” layer to trap all the red crumbs from spreading.
- After this has set, apply a thick layer of frosting over the crumb coat.
Recipe and Photo Courtesy of scoochmaroo / CC BY-NC-SA