Red Velvet Celebration

Ever since those little red cupcakes made an appearance on Sex and the City they became the must have cupcake. Everywhere you go they sell red velvet cupcakes or cakes! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good red velvet cupcake, the moist red cake and the sweet creamy frosting… mmm… I am making myself hungry just thinking about them, oops! But what makes this red cake so interesting to people? I believe it is the combination of chocolate and the dramatic effect you get of bright red against white when you peel back the cake paper!

It is this dramatic and show stopping effect that you need for celebration cakes, namely the birthday cake. When you slice into the cake and pull the slice out the eye-popping colour will make everyone remember that birthday, and for this reason I whipped up a special red velvet cake for my sister’s birthday. Not just a red velvet cake, but a red velvet chocolate marble cake, oh yes, covered in thick vanilla frosting!

The recipe is based on one I found in the Sainsbury’s magazine!

The cake itself is easy to make, it works best if you make it in a springform tin, but you could make it as a sandwich cake if you wanted.


225g Soft butter

225g caster sugar

4 medium eggs

225g self raising flour

3 tbsp milk

2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted

2tsp red food colouring ( although I added a touch more as I wanted the cake a bit darker)

1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Icing

200g soft butter

200g icing sugar, sifted

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/ fan 160/ gas 4 and line the base and side of a 20cm springform tin with non stick baking paper. Cream together the butter and sugar in an electric mixer, or electric hand whisk until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating each one ( if it looks curdled then add a spoonful of flour and bear vigorously). Fold in the flour and add the milk.

mixing the ingredients

Split the mixture into 2 bowls, add the cocoa powder to one and the red food colouring and vanilla extract to the other ( you want a good deep red, think pillar box red!). It will darken a bit in the oven.

the two mixes

Put a dollop of the cocoa mixture in the tin, then a dollop of the red. Keep alternating until there is none left ( you don’t need to level the top out). Bake for 45-50 min or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for 5 mins then transfer the cake from the tin to the cooling rack.

going in the oven

Once the cake is cooled, cover it with frosting!

out of the oven

Put the butter in an electric mixer/ electric hand whisk and beat on maximum speed for 3 minutes until pale and creamy. On a low gradual speed, add the icing sugar. Then add the vanilla extract. Beat at maximum speed for 3 minutes until the mixture has increased in volume and is light and fluffy. Ice the top and sides of the cake.

frosted cake

The quantities mentioned above make enough to cover the top and sides of the cake, and the frosting is pretty thick, if you don’t want thick frosting then I would make half or two-thirds. You can leave the cake as it is, or decorate the top, for extra birthday pow! I added pink sprinkles 🙂

the cake

This cake is super moist and will keep for a good few days ( if it stays around that long!). You could of course adapt the recipe to cupcakes if you wanted, but I think there is something lovely about cutting into a marble cake and seeing the ripples!



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