>As you slowly come out of your Thanksgiving food coma (or Black Friday shopping frenzy, for that matter) many of you are probably getting ready to shift into to Holiday gear. Now that Thanksgiving is over I feel like I can open up to you and confess that my tree has been up for 2 weeks. It’s always been my goal/tradition to put my tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving and this year we did ours early so, technically, my turkey was well respected. Plus I wanted Jesse to be able to enjoy it a little before he left for China. Oh, and my cats love it when the tree is up. They just curl up under the lights and sleep the days away. Just look at their little silhouettes.
I made this cake for a friends birthday, but how fun would this be at Christmas party? The festive white and red. Also, because our friend has a thing for cake balls, I saved a little cake batter and put it in a small ramekin and baked it, crumbled it and made a few cake balls to sit on top. Wouldn’t it be cool to roll them around in some sparkly sprinkles and make them look like snow balls? I know what I’m doing next time!
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 to 3 TBSP cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 tsp white vinegar
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
5/8 ounce bottle red food coloring (or 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp)
2-3 ounces white chocolate for melting and coating cake balls – optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-inch cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper, then butter the parchment paper. Flour the pans (shake about 1 tablespoon of flour in each pan).
In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the sugar, oil, eggs, and vinegar until light and fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and beat to combine. While still beating, slowly add the buttermilk, then the vanilla and food coloring. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. To make the cake balls, reserve 1/3 cup of batter and place in a greased ramekin to be added to the oven in the last half of baking.
Bake the cakes for about 25 minutes, until the cake feels spongy and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in pans on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, then turn out the cakes onto the cooling racks.
Once the cake has cooled completely, place one of the cakes on a cake platter or cardboard circle, then spread 1/2 cup of frosting on top. Place the other cake on top and work the rest of the frosting over the top and sides of the cake. To make the cake balls, reserve a few tablespoons of frosting. Once the ramekin of cake has cooled, crumble the cake. Add the reserved frosting to the cake crumbles and shape into balls. Place in freezer for about 20 minutes. Then dip each of the balls into melted white chocolate and allow to cool/dry on sheets of parchment paper. Use any remaining cake crumbs (without frosting mixed in) to garnish the cake.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 ounce) block of cream cheese, softened
1 (4 ounce) stick of unsalted butter, softened
1 lb confectioners/powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 Tbsp milk
pinch of salt
Cream together the softened cream cheese and butter. Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, increasing the speed as it becomes incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Before adding the last cup of sugar, add the vanilla, 1 tablespoon of milk, and pinch of salt. Beat to combine then finish adding the sugar. If the frosting seems too stiff, add the extra tablespoon of milk. If it seems too soft try adding a little more powdered sugar.
Cake recipe adapted from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody, Cream Cheese frosting as I always make adapted over time from many different sources
On a more somber note, if you have a minute to please say a prayer for a fellow food blogger, Annie of Annie’s Eats, her dad passed away very unexpectedly yesterday. I know he meant so much to her and by the way she has described him in her posts he sounded like a terrific man. Please keep her family in your thoughts as you celebrate this holiday with your families and give your loved ones an extra tight squeeze today. My heart is aching knowing this will be a rough road for Annie and her family.