Blood Orange Cardamom Olive Oil Cake

Sometimes, I get really wrapped up in the process of cake development–looking for perfectly creamed butter and sugar, checking for perfect emulsification of eggs, picking the perfect amounts of zest, juice and spice–that time just…evaporates.

You see, recipe development is about more than just baking science. It’s fun time, lost down a rabbit hole of research about ingredients and techniques. It’s relying on my extensive home training as a baker and trusting that the batter in my cake pan–a mere wisp of an idea an hour earlier–is going to bake up beautifully. It’s troubleshooting setbacks and celebrating victories. It’s knowing that I have the skillset to be creative as a baker.

That last part still gets me sometimes.

This Blood Orange Cardamom Olive Oil Cake took me through all of the emotions. It came together in two bowls, and there were no power tools involved. Just me, my bowls, and a whisk. As it baked, the spiced orange smell evoked childhood memories of the citrus boxes that my aunt used to send from Florida; those oranges and grapefruits were always a delicious highlight of the season.

I really enjoyed working with olive oil for this cake; while I will always prefer creaming method for cakes, the simplicity of this one truly captured me during the development process.

Let’s get into this Blood Orange Cardamom Olive Oil Cake, shall we? (I know it’s a mouthful, Y’all. 😊)

To Make this Cake

First, as with every recipe, proper mise en place is an absolute must. Prepping your ingredients in advance will help you stay incredibly calm during this or any baking process, and it really sets you up for success with this cake.

Start by preheating your oven to a true 325°F. An oven thermometer is extremely helpful to ensure that your oven is at the true temperature. To get the proper result, this (and every) cake really relies on your oven being at the right temperature!

Sift your dry ingredients into a large bowl. Sifting the ingredients helps aerate your flour mixture, which helps with cake rise in this olive oil cake. Because you’re not creaming butter and sugar together, the sifting step is extra important in this cake!

Place your sugar, eggs, olive oil, vanilla extract, blood orange zest (other oranges work just as beautifully!), blood orange juice, and sour cream in a medium bowl.

Not Pictured: Sour Cream

That’s right! This is a two-bowl recipe!

Next, whisk the wet mixture until it is completely combined.

Not this:

In this photo, there are still streaks of egg and unmixed oil that need to be fully incorporated.

But this:

The reason for this is simple: once this wet mixture is added to your dry mixture, you want to stir as little as possible, in order to avoid too much gluten formation. If you still have unincorporated oil and egg when you add your flour, you’ll have to mix a lot more in order to get a fully mixed cake.

That would lead to a chewy cake, and who wants that?

The answer is nobody. Nobody wants chewy cake.

You want this:

Once the batter reaches this consistency, place it into a prepared loaf pan. Put the loaf pan onto a sheet pan that’s covered in parchment and get ready to bake!

(If you’re making the “candied” blood oranges, place them directly on the parchment paper to bake alongside the cake. Everything will finish at the same time.)

The cake is done when an instant read thermometer reads somewhere between 212°F and 215°F. Alternately, your cake is done when a fingerprint indentation springs back completely and a toothpick comes out completely clean. I much prefer the thermometer method though.

Finishing Touches

Let the cake cool in the pan for ten minutes, then remove it from the pan and put it on top of a cooling rack to cool completely.

If you’re using the simple syrup, brush it onto the cake right after removing the cake from the cake pan. The simple syrup isn’t mandatory, and I skipped it when I wanted to serve this as a quick/breakfast bread one morning this past week. It’s honestly a matter of personal preference. If you’re using the simple syrup and the “candied” oranges, brush it over the cake and the oranges at this time to give a stunning effect.

Allow the cake to cool for at least 45 minutes to an hour before cutting. This cake can be served warm (although I would not serve it warm if I added the simple syrup) or after it’s been fully cooled.

I truly enjoy this cake, and I’ve loved the trip down memory lane as I created it. I hope you love it as much as I do!

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Blood Orange Cardamom Olive Oil Cake


  • Author: Shani

Description

This aromatic, beautiful blood orange cake is spiced with cardamom, an earthy spice that has sweet and spicy notes.  Cara Cara oranges also work beautifully in this wonderful cake.


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Cake Batter:

  • 192 g all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cardamom (optional)
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 160 g extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp blood orange zest
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed blood orange juice
  • 110 g sour cream (can also use 125 g buttermilk)
  • 1/8” slices of blood orange (optional)

For the Optional Simple Syrup:

  • 67 g granulated sugar
  • 84 g water
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice

Instructions

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°.  An oven thermometer is highly recommended, since many ovens run hot or cold.
  2. Place flour, salt, baking soda and cardamom (if using) in a medium-sized bowl.  Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Add granulated sugar, eggs, olive oil, vanilla extract, blood orange zest, blood orange juice, and sour cream in a medium bowl. 
  4. Stir wet mixture with a whisk until it is completely combined.  The oil and egg will be the last things to combine.  The mixture should be completely and consistently mixed before moving onto the next step.
  5. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture.  Use a rubber spatula to get all of the wet mixture into the bowl with the dry mixture.
  6. Stir the batter with a whisk until only a few lumps remain.  The orange zest will make the batter appear lumpy as well.  Don’t be fooled by this!
  7. Add the batter to a prepared 9” x 5” or 8.5” x 4.5” loaf pan.  Place the loaf pan atop a parchment-lined baking sheet.  If making “candied” oranges, place the oranges directly on the parchment-lined baking sheet, next to the cake pan.
  8. Bake in a 325°F oven for 60-70 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer reads 212°F-215°F.  Alternatively, your cake is done when a fingerprint indent springs back and a toothpick in the center comes out completely clean.
  9. Remove the cake and orange slices from the oven once the cake is complete.
  10. Place the cake pan on top of a cooling rack for ten minutes.  Then, remove the cake from the cake pan and allow to cool completely before slicing.  See below for simple syrup and “candied orange” instructions (if using).
  11. If you are not using simple syrup, this cake can be sliced about an hour after it comes out of the oven and served warm.

If Using Simple Syrup:

  1. After removing the cake from the oven, make the simple syrup.  Begin by adding sugar, water, and salt to a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce mixture to a simmer and cook until the sugar is completely dissolved.  
  3. Turn off the heat and add the orange juice.  Stir until dissolved.
  4. Use a pastry brush to brush the simple syrup over the warm cake (and orange slices, if using), immediately after removing the cake from the cake pan.
  5. Allow the cake to cool completely before eating.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

The Easiest Whipped Cream

Hey everyone!

If you’re following Begin with Butter on Instagram, you’ll know that I’ve recently been exploring all manner of sauces and creams. From the glazes and meringues on the Twelve Days of Pound Cake event, to the Crème de Cassis whipped cream on My Favorite Buttermilk* Pancakes and even the savory Easy Pizza Sauce that I recently posted, it’s been an amazingly fun journey.

Today, I wanted to feature one my favorite quick wins: the easiest whipped cream that you’ll ever make. My daughter loves whipped cream, and I love my daughter, so if there’s whipped cream in my house, it’s this one. Because I refuse to give her whipped cream from a can.

About this Whipped Cream

This whipped cream comes together with three (yes, THREE!) ingredients in 3-5 minutes. It doesn’t require a mixer or any special equipment. Just a clean bowl, a balloon whisk, some really cold heavy cream, and some confectioner’s sugar.

How to Make this Whipped Cream

First, prep your mise en place. Because you need to work with your heavy cream immediately out of the refrigerator, it’s important to have everything at the ready. This includes any additions (vanilla or other extract, liqueur) that you might want to add to it.

If you have time, chill your equipment. That would include your bowl and whisk. If you don’t have time to do this step, that’s fine. Chilling your equipment can help the heavy cream become whipped cream a touch sooner, and you might get a touch more volume from the whipped cream.

It is not mission critical to do this step, but it does make for less work for your arm and possibly a more voluminous whipped cream.

Make it!

Start by adding the heavy cream and confectioner’s sugar to a very clean medium-sized bowl. With your balloon whisk, slowly stir the mixture until the confectioner’s sugar is completely coated in heavy cream.

Then, whisk! You don’t have to whisk quickly in order to make whipped cream; I whisk at a low/medium pace and I get to whipped cream between 3-5 minutes.

I keep a couple of things in mind while I’m whisking:

  • Start with a clean, cool (or chilled) bowl;
  • Keep a flexible wrist so that my hand, elbow and shoulder don’t get too tired;
  • Consistent whisking is better than fast and/or hard whisking; and
  • I place my index finger on one of the tines of the whisk to help stabilize it in my hand; and
  • For perfectly whipped cream with stiff peaks, stop before it becomes curdled. If you’re looking to pipe this onto another dessert with a pastry bag, you want to go a touch past curdled in order to get a more stiff whipped cream.

Once it reaches soft peaks, or this:

I add my vanilla (or other additive). Another 30-45 seconds of easy whisking, and it’s done!

Here’s a video of the whole process from start to finish!

It really is that simple. And it really negates any reason I have to ever purchase whipped cream in a can or tub ever again. I love knowing what’s in the sweets that my children eat, and I love the expectant look on my daughter’s face when she see that I’m making this whipped cream for her.

Enjoy this quick recipe! See you soon!

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

The Easiest Whipped Cream


  • Author: Shani
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x

Description

This easy whipped cream is the perfect classic topping for ice cream sundaes, pies, waffles and more!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 250 g heavy cream, cold
  • 55 g confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. If you have time, chill a balloon whisk and medium-sized bowl in a refrigerator for 10-20 minutes.  This step is not mandatory, but it helps.
  2. Place cold heavy cream and confectioner’s sugar into your medium-sized bowl.  Stir gently until the confectioner’s sugar is completely covered in heavy cream.
  3. Whisk at a medium pace with the ballon whisk for 2-4 minutes, or until very soft peaks form.  
  4. Add vanilla and continue whisking for another 30-45 seconds, or until stiff peaks form.  
  5. For a pipe-able whipped cream, continue whisking after stiff peaks form.  The mixture will look curdled, but it will be more stiff for piping.
  6. Enjoy!

Notes

As shown, the whipped cream has just reached stiff peaks.  If you want to pipe this whipped cream onto a cake or other dessert, you will need to continue whipping until the mixture looks curdled.

  • Category: sauces

Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake

The weather in Maryland has been all over the place lately. Up and down and everywhere in between.

Seriously?!

But one thing has remained constant over the past couple of weeks.

I’ve made this Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake 9,847 times, to make it just perfect for you.

It has been a ray of sunshine during this unpredictable winter. Winter is peak season for citrus, so this cake takes full advantage of the wonderfully tart lemon, and balances it with plump, sweet blueberries.

This cake is bright and balanced in color and flavor, and the blueberries look beautiful in the cut cake. Finished with an optional lemon mascarpone whipped cream, this Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake is perfect for a reception cake for company, brunch with friends, or a Sunday afternoon snack cake.

About this Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake

This Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake works perfectly with either fresh or frozen blueberries; you’ll want to check your state’s harvest schedule to see when local blueberries are in season in your area.

If they’re not in season where you live (and, for those of us in Maryland, blueberries won’t be in season until the end of June 😱), this recipe shines with the best frozen blueberries you can find.

If you’re using frozen blueberries, you can thaw them gently under warm water to remove the exterior ice, and then spread them in a single row on a double layer of paper towels while you make the rest of your batter. By the time you’re ready to coat them with flour, they’ll be ready to go!

I recently wrote about four common types of liquids that I use for cakes. Friends, I tried three of the four for this cake and two of them produced exceptional, but different results. So, for this Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake, you can use either Greek yogurt or sour cream.

Greek Yogurt Cake

If you want a cake that has a very balanced texture and a WHOLE LOT OF lemon and blueberry flavor, Greek yogurt is the right choice.

If you use Greek yogurt, you can expect a more toothsome, less buttery-flavored cake with an amazing, balanced crumb; the blueberries had a more prominent flavor in this cake than in the sour cream cake. Don’t get me wrong; the cake was extremely rich but also very balanced. The blueberry distribution is absolutely ideal in this cake, making it gorgeous when cut.

Speaking of blueberries…the Greek yogurt brings out every sweet burst of blueberry flavor in this cake, and it also somewhat enhanced the tartness from the lemons. From a taste and texture standpoint, I thought this would be perfect for a breakfast or snack cake. It was exceptional.

Sour Cream Cake

If you’re going for extreme decadence, sour cream is the way to go; the sour cream cake just melts in your mouth from all of that extra butter fat, and the sweet blueberries add a wonderful pop of sweetness. The sour cream also mellowed the tartness of the lemon and the sweetness of the blueberries; it created a very well-balanced, buttery cake that just made my eyes roll back in my head.

I put a note in my Bits and Bobs book to try this sour cream version in a full layer cake, because I think this version could work really well as a showcase dessert. #comingsoon

Beginners Start Here

If you’re new to baking, or if your stand mixer is covered in dust, here are a couple of articles from the BwB site that will help you get off to a great start with this recipe!

These resources are never mandatory reading, but they are super useful to help you understand the techniques that you’ll need to successfully execute this Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake. Happy Reading!

Also, in this batter, there’s an important folding technique. You don’t want to break the blueberries in the batter and turn the whole thing blue! For a visual example on how to fold the blueberries into the batter, take a peek at this quick video at the :35 mark!

Important Tools Used in this Recipe

Below, you’ll find some tools that I used for this Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake. They’re what I use in my kitchen for just about everything that I bake. **I get paid a small commission if you purchase directly from some of these links, but they are truly amazing products that you’ll find in my kitchen.**

If you have them already, great! Think of this as a checklist to help you build the confidence that you’ll need to execute this recipe!

I hope you love this Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake as much as I do. It’s making regular rounds at my house right now and every cake is consistently delicious.

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Lemon Blueberry Loaf


  • Author: Shani

Description

This brightly balanced Lemon Blueberry Loaf is perfect for special occasions or lazy weekend days.


Ingredients

Scale

For the Batter:

192 g all purpose flour, plus 2 tbsp for the blueberries

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp kosher salt (if using table salt, reduce to 1/4 tsp)

115 g butter, room temperature

250 g granulated sugar

3 eggs

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tsp lemon zest

1 tsp vanilla extract

115 g full-fat sour cream or full-fat Greek yogurt

1 cup blueberries, washed and dried (if blueberries are not in season in your area, good frozen berries are preferable)

For the Simple Syrup:

67 g granulated sugar

84 g water

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

For the Mascarpone Whipped Cream:

250 g heavy whipping cream

86 g confectioner’s sugar

2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

230 g mascarpone cheese, cold


Instructions

To Make the Batter with a Stand Mixer:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.  An oven thermometer will help you determine where you need to set your oven in order to get to a true 325°F.
  2. Wash and inspect the blueberries, discarding any rotten ones.  Rinse blueberries and lay flat in a single layer, on top of a double layer of paper towels to dry.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and baking soda.
  4. Sift the flour mixture into another medium bowl.  Add kosher salt to the mix and whisk to combine.
  5. Place the room temperature butter in the bowl of your stand mixer.  Mix on low speed until smooth.  (20 seconds)
  6. Slowly add the granulated sugar and mix on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. (6-8 minutes total)
  7. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing for at least 45 seconds after each addition.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed (I usually scrape the bowl after the first and third egg for this recipe).  This step is essential to cake rise. (4 minutes)
  8. Add vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest and mix until thoroughly combined.  (1 minute)
  9. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.  (20-30 seconds)
  10. With the mixer on the lowest speed, add all of the Greek yogurt or sour cream and mix until combined.  (~1 minute)
  11. Add the second half of the flour mixture and mix on medium speed until combined.  (~1 minute)
  12. Using a rubber spatula, fully scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.  Then, mix the batter until it is smooth and consistent.  Make sure to fully scrape the bottom of the bowl!
  13. Put the blueberries in a medium bowl with the remaining 2 tbsp of flour.  Stir gently to coat.  Reserve a small handful of blueberries from this mix to top the batter.
  14. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the blueberries into the batter.
  15. Grease a 9”x5” or 8.5”x4.5” loaf pan.  I add parchment paper to the bottom of the cake pan for added insurance (see video).
  16. Place the batter into the pan, dotting the top of the batter with the remaining blueberries.

To Make the Batter with a Hand Mixer:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.  An oven thermometer will help you determine where you need to set your oven in order to get to a true 325°F.
  2. Wash and inspect the blueberries, discarding any rotten ones.  Rinse blueberries and lay flat in a single layer, on top of a double layer of paper towels to dry.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and baking soda.
  4. Sift the flour mixture into another medium bowl.  Add kosher salt to the mix and whisk to combine.
  5. Place the room temperature butter in a large mixing bowl.  Mix on low speed until smooth.  (30 seconds)
  6. Slowly add the granulated sugar and mix on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. (8-10 minutes total)
  7. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing for at least one minute after each addition.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed (I usually scrape the bowl after the first and third egg for this recipe).  This step is essential to cake rise. (4 minutes)
  8. Add vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest and mix until thoroughly combined.  (1.5 minutes)
  9. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.  (30-45 seconds)
  10. With the mixer on the lowest speed, add all of the Greek yogurt or sour cream and mix until combined.  (~1 minute)
  11. Add the second half of the flour mixture and mix on medium speed until combined.  (~1 minute)
  12. Using a rubber spatula, fully scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.  Then, mix the batter until it is smooth and consistent.  Make sure to fully scrape the bottom of the bowl!
  13. Put the blueberries in a medium bowl with the remaining 2 tbsp of flour.  Stir gently to coat.  Reserve a small handful of blueberries from this mix to top the batter.
  14. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the blueberries into the batter.
  15. Grease a 9”x5” or 8.5”x4.5” loaf pan.  I add parchment paper to the bottom of the cake pan for added insurance (see video).
  16. Place the batter into the pan, dotting the top of the batter with the remaining blueberries.

To Bake the Cake:

  1. Bake the cake at a true 325°F for 50-65 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer reads 210°F-215°F.  My preferred internal temperature for this cake is 212°F.  Alternately, the cake is done with a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and a fingerprint indentation bounces back.
  2. Allow the cake to rest for ten minutes while you make the simple syrup.

To Make the Lemon Simple Syrup:

  1. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Stir occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Remove the simple syrup from the heat and add lemon juice. Stir until incorporated.
  3. After allowing the cake to rest for ten minutes, remove it from the loaf pan to a cooling rack.
  4. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the lemon simple syrup over the entire cake.
  5. Allow the cake to cool completely.

To Make the Lemon Mascarpone Whipped Cream:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the confectioner’s sugar, mascarpone cheese, and heavy whipping cream.
  2. Using the mixer’s whisk attachment, whisk on high speed (on a Kitchenaid, between 8-10) until the mixture reaches soft peaks.  (~1 minute)
  3. Don’t walk away from the mixer while it’s working!  Mascarpone whipped cream happens very quickly and you don’t want to over-mix.  When it’s overworked, mascarpone turns to soup and it’s an irrecoverable error.
  4. Once the mixture reaches soft peaks, add the lemon juice.  Continue mixing until the mixture reaches stiff peaks. (~30 seconds)
  5. Once the cake is cooled, add the mascarpone cream cheese to the top and enjoy!

Until next time, Friends!


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Ruby Red Velvet Pound Cake

[This post was updated on May 17, 2022]

Friends, Ms. Ruby is back. And when I say that she is better than ever?

Ms. Ruby caused a stir on the Begin with Butter page last fall. So much so that I raced to get her dressed and ready for the website. Well, she was ready. And she was gorgeous.

But we recently spent a lot of quality time together…and she’s now something else.

I am so proud of this cake that I could literally burst.

Ms. Ruby’s Beginnings

Family, I live in Maryland, which is arguably the epicenter of all red velvet cake activity. Even as I was learning how to bake, one of the most requested item from friends and family was red velvet. Cupcakes. Layer cake. Cheesecake (who knew this was a thing?!). Red velvet marble cake. Red velvet ice cream cake.

You get the point. People here are very serious about red velvet.

I’m an equal opportunity cake eater, so red velvet is among the cakes that I like-a-whole-lot. But I can definitely appreciate the way that people love their red velvet cake. They go way out of their way to find good red velvet. As a baker, I have nothing but respect for red velvet super fans.

When I was developing a red velvet recipe, I knew it had to be unbelievable in order to satisfy discerning red velvet cake fans. So I toiled over this recipe for a while until I was ready to share it with the world. And then I spent the last six months figuring out how to make it even better.

Red velvet lovers, this one is for you.

Do you love baking cookies? Ever wonder why your cookies are sometimes perfectly, and sometimes a crumbly mess? Click here to download my FREE guide, “Five Easy Tips for Chewy Cookies!”

Beginners Start Here

If you’re new to baking or you’d like some additional information to refresh your baking, feel free to take a look at these resources on the BwB site! While they’re not mandatory reading, they will be really helpful for you to be successful with this cake!

With just a little prep, you’ll be ready to tackle this recipe head-on. I can’t wait to see your amazing creations! Don’t forget to tag @beginwithbutter on Instagram so that I can shout out your successes!

A Surprising Note

When I’m developing a recipe, I’m always looking for ways to improve upon what I did before. Always. This…does not help my perfectionist tendencies.

I really wanted to punch up Ms. Ruby’s flavor without sacrificing the flavor or texture. So, during the re-test for Ms. Ruby, I decided to do a few things:

  • I added oil to the batter. That tiny bit of oil creates big, delicious moisture in this cake. And that small amount of oil doesn’t interfere with the process of creaming butter and sugar. Like at all. It was entirely worth it, as red velvet cakes can be dry, and I’m willing to go the extra mile to avoid that sad fate.
  • I cut the amount of cocoa powder in the recipe. Red velvet cake is, indeed, chocolate cake. However, it’s always a very delicate balance, since the cocoa powder can overwhelm the red food coloring and render it meaningless. So, after multiple re-iterations of this cake, I’m happy to report that I reduced the cocoa powder in this cake, but did not sacrifice the flavor at all. I’ve also been lucky enough to receive the most incredible baking chocolate of my life from Scharffen Berger Chocolate, and I 10/10 highly recommend it for this wonderful dessert.
  • This one surprised even me. I used a baking spray to coat my pan, and brushed it on with my trusty pastry brush. I tried both cocoa powder and flour to grease my pan, Family, and I was never satisfied. I risked it all and used baking spray this time, and the outside of this cake caramelized perfectly. I still say that it is totally a matter of personal preference, but I can finally say that my aversion to baking sprays is over. 😊 So you’ll see them from time-to-time.

Oh! There’s Video!

Want to see Ms. Ruby’s “IG Official” re-introduction into society? Check this out!

Without further delay, let me re-introduce you to the updated recipe for my Ruby Red Velvet Pound Cake. Enjoy!

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Ruby Red Velvet Pound Cake


  • Author: Shani

Description

This show-stopping ruby red cake is the perfect addition to any Sunday dinner or holiday table.  Prepare for oohs and aahs when you unbox it, then perfect silence as this beautifully balanced cake is enjoyed by your friends and family.


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Cake Batter:

  • 320 g all purpose flour
  • 42 g natural cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 230 g butter, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp oil (I used avocado oil)
  • 500 g sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp red food coloring
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 250 g buttermilk

For the Vanilla Simple Syrup:

  • 67 g sugar
  • 84 g water
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the Cream Cheese Glaze:

  • 77 g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 120 g confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt

Instructions

To Make the Batter With a Hand Mixer:

  1. Set your oven to 325°F and place the oven rack in the center of your oven.  It’s highly recommended to use an oven thermometer for this recipe, since proper oven temperature can impact the finished product.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, natural cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt (if using kosher salt, omit it from this step).
  3. Sift the flour/cocoa powder mixture into a large bowl.  If using kosher salt, add it at this step.
  4. Place the room temperature butter and oil in a large bowl.  Mix on low speed with a hand mixer until smooth. (1 minute)
  5. Add half the sugar and mix until sugar is incorporated. (30 seconds)
  6. Add second half of the sugar and mix on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. (5-8 minutes)
  7. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing for at least a minute after each addition.  Scrape the bowl as needed (I usually scrape the bowl after the third and sixth egg).  Don’t skimp on this step! (7 minutes)
  8. Add vanilla, red food coloring, and vinegar and mix on lowest speed until fully combined.  The mixture might look a little curdled at this point and that is okay! (2 minutes)
  9. Add half of the flour/cocoa powder mixture and mix on low speed until combined. (~1 minute)
  10. Add all of the buttermilk and mix on lowest speed until combined. (~1 minute)
  11. Add the second half of the flour/cocoa powder mixture and mix on low speed until almost combined.  Stop mixing just before the mixture is fully together. (~1-2 minutes)
  12. Using a rubber spatula, fully scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix gently until the batter has a silky texture. (1-2 minutes)
  13. Grease a bundt pan and place the batter in a 10-12 cup bundt pan.

To Make the Batter With a Stand Mixer:

  1. Set your oven to 325°F.  It’s highly recommended to use an oven thermometer for this recipe, since proper oven temperature can impact the finished product.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, natural cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt (if using kosher salt, omit it from this step).
  3. Sift the flour/cocoa powder mixture into a large bowl.  If using kosher salt, add it at this step.
  4. Place the room temperature butter and oil in the bowl of your stand mixer.  Mix on lowest speed until smooth and combined. (30 seconds)
  5. Slowly add the sugar and mix on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy.  (5-7 minutes)
  6. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing for at least 45 seconds after each addition.  Scrape the bowl as needed (I usually scrape the bowl after the third and sixth egg).  Don’t skimp on this step! (7 minutes)
  7. Add vanilla, red food coloring, and vinegar and mix on lowest speed until fully combined, scraping the bowl as needed to make sure that the color is mixing uniformly.  The mixture might look curdled at this point and that is okay! (2 minutes)
  8. Add half of the flour/cocoa powder mixture and mix on low speed until combined. (30-45 seconds)
  9. Add all of the buttermilk and mix on low speed until combined. (30-45 seconds)
  10. Add the second half of the flour/cocoa powder mixture and mix on lowest speed until almost combined.  Stop mixing just before the mixture is fully together. (30-45 seconds)
  11. Using a rubber spatula, fully scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix gently until the batter has a silky texture. (1-2 minutes)
  12. Thoroughly grease a 10-12 cup bundt pan and place the batter in the pan.

To Bake the Cake:

  1. Bake the bundt cake at 325°F for 60-70 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer reads 210°F-215°F.  My preferred internal temperature is 212°F.  Alternately, the cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs.
  2. Allow the cake to rest for ten minutes while you make the simple syrup.

To Make the Simple Syrup:

  1. Combine sugar, water, and salt in a small sauce pan.
  2. Warm the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract.
  4. After allowing it to rest for ten minutes, invert the cake on a cooling rack and carefully remove the bundt pan.
  5. Using a pastry brush, brush the simple syrup over the entire cake.
  6. Allow the cake to cool completely (2-3 hours).

To Make the Final Glaze:

  1. Place room temperature cream cheese in a bowl.  Mix on lowest speed with a stand mixer (using the flat beater) or hand mixer until it the cream cheese is completely smooth.
  2. Add confectioner’s sugar, whole milk, salt, and vanilla to the mixing bowl.
  3. Mix on low speed until the glaze until completely smooth.  Scrape the bowl as necessary.
  4. Final glaze should have the consistency of thick honey.  Overmixing will cause the mixture to have air bubbles, so make sure to mix on the lowest speed if using a hand mixer.
  5. Using a spouted measuring cup, spoon, or squeeze bottle, drizzle final glaze over the cake.  Use a spoon to help the glaze fall over the sides of the cake.

To Store:

This cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.  It needs to be refrigerated because of the cream cheese glaze.  If you omit the final glaze, this cake can be stored on the countertop for up to a week.

Notes

  • An oven thermometer is strongly recommended to make sure that your oven reaches the correct temperature.
  • It is also strongly recommended to use a digital food scale to measure ingredients using metric measurement. It will seriously make your baking so much easier!
  • This recipe can be halved for a loaf pan or a 6-cup bundt pan.
  • Make sure you take your time to cream the butter and sugar on the front end!  Once you add your flour mixture, you have to mix gently in order to avoid over-mixing.
  • This is a big bundt cake.  I recommend placing a sheet pan underneath this cake while it bakes for extra insurance.

Want to receive the fun weekly update from Begin with Butter? Enter your email, below!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Technique Tips for The Best Cookies!

Hey BwB Family! Today we’re talking cookies.

Wait…the saying is “talking turkey”, isn’t it…😬

Oh well. “talking cookies” works. Friends, the purpose of this post is to give you universal techniques that you can use to make your favorite cookie recipes even better. You don’t need a specific recipe to make amazing cookies!

Let’s go!

In this Post

There are few things I love baking more than cookies. This post has been a long time coming because cookies are kind of my jam. Let’s get started!

Don’t Overmix the Dough

What does “overmix” mean, exactly? If you’ve done any baking whatsoever (not being dramatic 😉), then you’ve seen this word in a cookie recipe or two. Overmixing is literally just the process of mixing something too much, which usually creates texture issues from too much gluten development and leads to tough cookies.

Like these “soft, chewy” cookies from when I first started baking:

In standard cookie recipes, the flour (combined with a leavening/salt mixture) is the last thing added to the recipe; once that comes into contact with your wet ingredients, it starts to form gluten bonds that give structure and texture to those cookies. The more that you physically mix flour with the rest of your wet ingredients (either with a mixer, spoon, or spatula), the stronger those gluten bonds become.

Strong gluten bonds mean chewy texture in breads (yay!), but strong gluten bonds can also mean a brittle, tough texture for cookies (boo!). You don’t want this!

How to Mix Dough Properly (With a Picture Tutorial!)

How do I avoid overmixing cookies? I thought you’d never ask. This is a story that’s best told in photos.

Before you add the flour, you need to make sure that all of your other ingredients are completely incorporated. If they’re completely mixed together, you won’t have to do much more mixing once you add the flour. And don’t forget to cream the butter and sugar properly!

So, instead of this:

You’re looking for this:

Once the pre-flour ingredients are uniformly combined, that’s when it’s time to add flour. I add flour in batches, even if I’ve scaled my recipe down. Adding too much flour to your recipe at once is a great “recipe” for a giant, magical PUFF of flour right in your face.

That’s…not my favorite. It also means that that flour you’ve meticulously measured for your recipe isn’t going into that recipe.

So, I add a little flour and mix until it’s almost incorporated. Like this!

At this point, the objective is not to get every streak of flour incorporated into your dough. The objective is to have your mixer do as few revolutions as possible to combine most of the flour from that first batch. Remember, we want to reduce gluten development! The loose texture is what you want to see at the end of your first batch of flour.

Onto the next flour addition!

After the second batch, you can see that there’s still flour that’s not fully incorporated. This is okay! We will address all of it!

Third (and final) batch on deck!

Some of you probably want me to make it make sense at this point. To you I say, Okay!

At this point, I stop my mixer completely and finish by very gently mixing with my trusty red spatula.

If there are chocolate chips or other accoutrements that have to be added right at the end (like with this batch), I stop mixing with my trusty red spatula just shy of the flour being fully incorporated. This is because there’s still mixing going on when you add the chocolate chips! Luckily, the chocolate chips only need 3-4 turns with your mixer to be fully incorporated into your dough. Or, even better, you can use your trusty silicone spatula to incorporate those chocolate chips and avoid over-mixing!

Here’s the finished cookie dough!

At that point the flour is *just* incorporated and your dough is complete.

Let the Dough Rest!

I never, ever bake cookies immediately after making the dough. In fact, I usually don’t even bake cookies on the same day that I make the dough. I put it in a glass bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a lid, mark it with a “TBB” (To-Be-Baked) date, and put the dough in a refrigerator for anywhere from 8-48 hours. Overnight is my favorite, but if I make cookie dough before the crack of dawn, and if my children give me puppy dog eyes all day, then I’ll begrudgingly bake them off around dinnertime.

When you allow cookie dough to rest, some really good stuff happens:

  • The flour gets fully hydrated without additional mixing. This means fewer gluten bonds and a more chewy cookie!
  • The fat (usually butter) gets a chance to firm back up, which helps the cookies hold their shape and not get completely flat and burnt around the edges when they’re baked. Because yuck.
  • The flavors fully come together, meaning that you’ll be able to really detect the molasses notes that that brown sugar adds to your chocolate chip cookies!

The only downside to resting your cookie dough is…the wait. But it is completely worth it! If you’re truly short on time (shout out to the “Babe, would you mind making cookies for the company potluck this afternoon?” bakers out there), even an hour or two would be better than baking cookie dough fresh from the mixer.

Don’t Crowd the (Light-Colored, Parchment-Covered) Cookie Sheet!

I don’t make huge cookies. Despite that fact, I only put six cookies on a cookie sheet. SIX:

Fewer cookies on the pan means better airflow over each of the cookies. Better airflow over the cookies means more even baking, even if your oven has hot spots!

We do not like the hotspots, Beloved, but they are inevitable in almost any oven. After a while, you’ll think of them affectionately because they’re unique to your oven. More importantly, though, you’ll know how and when to adapt your baking in order to avoid their wrath.

For cookies, I prefer light-colored cookie sheets that are covered in parchment paper. For more about why I prefer light-colored cookie sheets, take a look here!

Fewer cookies on the cookie sheet also gives the cookies a chance to spread out. Because cookies need room to spread into their perfectly imperfect shapes:

Baking fewer cookies on a cookie sheet allows those cookies to spread without blending together into one big, underbaked cookie (unless that’s your thing, of course).

Different bakers have different numbers of cookies that they’re willing to put on a sheet pan. I landed on six and I’m quite comfortable here. As with anything else, practice is key to help you develop your special baking style!

Use the Convection Setting

I love a good turn up.

While I have no idea what that term actually means (what are we supposed to be “turning up”, anyway?), I use it to describe my oven settings for baking. A 350°F oven on the convection setting is my happy place for baking just about any cookie on earth.

Yes, my ovens are set higher than 350°F because my ovens have a very loose relationship with the truth (about temperature) and my cheapie oven thermometer is the ultimate truth teller. And yes, it is 6:13 in the morning. A late start to baking for sure.

Convection baking simply means that a fan blows heated air around the oven cavity during baking. For cookie purposes, this means that you can bake more cookies at one time and those cookies will bake more quickly and evenly. In theory, it also means that you don’t have to turn your cookie sheets and switch their oven racks during baking. I still do that though. #BecauseMyOvens

For new bakers, the thought of using a convection oven can be terrifying, because convection baking can lead to disastrous results if you’re not paying attention or if you’re unfamiliar with your specific oven. I understand that completely. It took me five years to get comfortable with the thought of convection baking. But Family, once I finally understood what convection can do?

If you are nervous about using the convection setting on your oven, no worries! Just reduce the temperature of your oven by 10-15°F and check a minute or two earlier than you normally would. You’ll develop an understanding for your specific oven’s convection settings very quickly with enough practice.

For cookies, I set my ovens to 350°F and put the oven racks on the fourth and sixth levels so that I can bake two pans of cookies at the same time. This photo is a rush job at the 5:00 minute mark, when I was turning the cookie sheets and switching them on their respective oven racks:

{In my Wicked Witch Voice}: They are melllllllting…

Not every baker will need to turn pans and switch racks. Once you know your oven, you’ll know whether the hot spots are going to dictate this step! For these cookies, I baked on the first rack for five minutes, turned both cookie sheets and switched the racks, and baked for four minutes more.

Results and Conclusion

If you hyperlinked to this section, you’re probably looking for proof that all of these tips can work for you. Here it is!

While these finished, cooled cookies take quite a pretty picture, they never look that way immediately out of the oven. Fresh out of the oven, they are very puffy up and look slightly underdone in the center.

They flatten out after about a minute out of the oven, and the color in the center deepens ever so slightly even after coming out of the oven.

That, Friends, is the mythical thing known as the baking “touch”, and that will come to you with practice! The secret is to let them sit for three more minutes on the hot cookie sheet before removing them to a cooling rack. This is totally counterintuitive to watching them bake to a perfect golden brown in the oven, I know. But if they get to that point in the oven, they’ll continue to cook on your countertop and get overdone.

These are my absolute favorite chocolate chip cookies that I developed for my custom bakery. But you can have amazing results with any cookie recipe if you use these techniques. I want to see you be successful with your family recipe or your favorite blogger’s recipe, and these tips universally apply to standard cookie recipes!

Those of you who are searching for cookie recipes can find unbelievable ones here (the world-famous Jacques Torres recipe) or here (on handletheheat.com). But try these techniques with as many recipes as your heart desires!

For those of you who’ve told me before that you can’t bake, I’m here to help you bust every barrier imaginable so that you can. So, today, if I’ve helped you bust any barriers to making decadent, delicious, chewy, perfect cookies, I am grateful that you’ve given me the opportunity to do so.

Keep being great and KEEP PRACTICING! I’m an email away if you have questions, or feel free to leave a comment below.

Until next time!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.