I am in love with this cake!
Red velvet. Yes.
Cheesecake sandwiched between two layers of red velvet cake topped with cream cheese frosting. Hell Yesss!!
I made this for the first time almost a year back. As an experiment. I had a small 6 inch red velvet cake left from an order, and while thinking of ways to use it for our personal use, I wondered how a cheesecake layer sandwiched in between two red velvet cakes would taste. Turns out, after a quick google search, I had already been beaten to the idea. Thank You Cheesecake Factory! But that didn’t bother me- because I was going to make AND EAT a red velvet cheesecake cake! Who cares who thought of it first!
If you love cheesecake and if you love red velvet, you in all likelihood would love this red velvet cheesecake cake. We loved it. My parents and I enjoyed every bite of it. (I need to come up with a better, shorter name though- any suggestions?)
I had baked a New York cheesecake only once before and that was a while back. I could not find the recipe I used, but after going through several recipes I found this one and I knew I would not be disappointed. I was not.
For the red velvet cake I used a recipe I developed after several trials of a recipe I was already using. Red velvet was one of my most popular flavors when I was running TPC and this recipe was made almost every day. I love the moistness that oil gives to a cake, but I also love the taste that butter brings with it. A combination of the two worked well for me and my customers and thats what I use in this recipe.
Recreating this cake for V’s birthday (which was on Monday) was bittersweet. It is the first layer cake I have baked after I shut down TPC and moved to Dallas. And I realized how unequipped my kitchen is for layered cakes. I don’t even own a turntable! Nor do I have cake boards. Nor do I have a spring form pan. I also realized I missed it. Baking , layering, decorating and then finally having the finished product ready.
I have been avoiding baking cakes for a while now. One is for purely health reasons. I do not want cake near me, because I end up eating it. I have really been controlling not polishing this cake off in one sitting. And believe me, I can. But I keep reminding myself that it is V’s cake. I suggested that he take the cake to office for his friends. He told me that he will, but only a few pieces because he wants to keep most of the cake for himself. The sad part is that he does not realize that he has better chances of getting to eat the cake in office than with it being kept with his wife at home.
The second reason for avoiding baking has been that it was something I did for people to enjoy. I enjoyed being a part of someone’s celebration. Don’t get me wrong- I used to curse it too- difficult customers, late nights, tired hands and feet from standing all day long but then seeing the finished product and hearing that the person for whom the cake was for loved it and everybody raved about it made up for all that effort. And while baking for your own self has its own pleasure, it has just taken me some time to get around to it. Now that I have, I will be baking more. Hopefully I will be running more too.
I have halved the original cake recipe and instead of 2 8-inch cakes, this recipe yields 2 6-inch cakes. I had to scale down the original cheesecake recipe quite a bit to make it into a 6 inch round. This cake is good to serve 6-8 people. The cheesecake and cake layers with a cream cheese frosting make it a pretty rich cake.
When making this cake, I suggest baking the cheesecake a day ahead of serving. The cheesecake needs some time setting, so its best preparing it a day ahead. Freezing the cheesecake helps in easily handling it and sandwiching between the cake layers. Also, do read Katy’s post on things to keep in mind while baking cheesecakes.
A note about the cream cheese frosting: in India whenever I made cream cheese frosting, my frosting would split. I would be able to rescue the frosting by adding melted white chocolate but after some research and countless of trial and errors I found a way that helped me solve my problem. I started beating my butter with half the sugar in one bowl and beating the cream cheese with the rest of the sugar in another bowl. I would beat the butter till it was light and fluffy (for 3-4 minutes) and the cream cheese till the sugar was well dissolved (1-2 minutes). Then I would fold in the cream cheese into the butter, and beat on low till just mixed well. After following this technique I did not experience any splitting.
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 180 gm cream cheese, temperature
- 1.5 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup sour cream, room temperature
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tsp corn starch
- ½ tsp vanilla extract ( I used paste)
- ½ tsp lemon zest
- few drops of lemon juice
- 1¼ cup cake flour, sifted
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
- ¾ cup sugar
- pinch salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 56 gms butter (1/4 cup)
- ¼ cup oil (use a neutral oil- I use grapeseed oil)
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp red food coloring
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 200 gms cream cheese, room temperature
- 150 gas butter, room temperature
- 2 cups icing sugar ( I generally add 1.5 cups and then add more if I feel it requires it)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- few drops of Lorann oils cream cheese icing flavor
- Butter the inside of a 6-inch springform pan. Wrap a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil tightly around the outside bottom and sides, crimping and pleating the foil to make it conform to the pan. Have a pan big enough to hold the 6 inch cake pan and with edges high enough to hold water half way up the sides of the 6 inch pan. This will be used for your bain-marie.
- Preheat the oven to 300* F.
- In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sour cream until well blended.
- In another bowl, beat the cream cheese with the butter until smooth and creamy. Add this to the egg-sour cream mixture and beat until smooth.
- Add the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest and beat thoroughly, about 2 minutes.
- Pour into the prepared pan and place in a roasting pan (or other pan) large enough to prevent the sides from touching.
- Place in the oven and carefully pour in enough very hot tap water to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- Bake for 1 hour, 10 minutes, or until the cake is very lightly colored and a knife inserted in the center emerges clean.
- Remove from the water bath and carefully peel the aluminum foil from around the pan. Let stand at room temperature until completely cool, about 4 hours.
- Refrigerate, covered, until well chilled. For best flavor and texture, let the cheesecake rest chilled overnight. Freezing the cheesecake (wrapped well in cling wrap) helps handling it during assembly.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Line two 6 inch pans with parchment paper.
- Sift all the dry ingredients.
- Place the butter, sugar and beat for 3 minutes. Slowly pour in the oil, beating on medium low. Increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes till the light and fluffy.
- Beat in the egg, scraping the sides down.
- Add the vanilla and red food coloring to the buttermilk.
- Fold in the flour alternating with buttermilk mix in three additions, starting and ending with flour. Mix well to make a smooth batter, being careful not to overmix.
- Divide batter equally between the two prepared pans.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until the tester comes out clean.
- Let cool in pan for 15 minutes and carefully remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Freezing the cake, once cooled (wrapped well in cling film) helps in handling the cake during assembly stage.
- Beat the butter in a bowl for a minute. Add half the sifted icing sugar and beat with the butter till light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla and cream cheese flavoring oil. In another bowl beat the cream cheese with rest of the sugar for a minute or so. Add the beaten cream cheese to the beaten butter and beat for a few seconds on low till mixed well.
- In case your cakes are not flat on the top, using a serrated knife level them flat. You can use the crumbs for decoration like I did for V's birthday cake.
- Take a spoon of cream cheese frosting and put on cake board. Using an angled spatula spread the frosting and place one cake round on the cake board. The frosting helps glue the cake to the board.
- Put a few dollops of the frosting on top of the cake and spread it around the cake. Add the cheese cake layer. Spread another layer of frosting on top and then place the second cake round. The first time around I did not add any frosting in between layers. While it is fine if you don't but I have found putting a little frosting in between the layers helps the cheesecake stick better to the cake. Using the remaining frosting , decorate the cake as you like. Serve and enjoy!