How to Convert Boxed Devil's Food Cake to Red Velvet Cake

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Prepare red velvet cake in square or round cake pans.
Prepare red velvet cake in square or round cake pans. (Image: christmas cake image by Elke Dennis from Fotolia.com)

Red velvet cake is a pretty dessert that is popular around holidays. It is a red-tinted cake with fluffy or creamy white frosting, usually made with cream cheese. You can convert a box of devil's food cake mix into a red velvet cake using any brand of devil's food cake. While it is also possible to use chocolate cake mix, the devil's food cake mix adds an extra richness to the final product.

Things You'll Need

  • Devil's food cake mix
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 oz. red food coloring
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz. of Mascarpone cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of confectioner's sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • Electric mixer
  • 2 9-inch round cake pans
  • Parchment paper
  • Oven
  • Wire rack
  • Measuring cup
  • Serrated knife
  • Serving plate
  • Optional: Chopped nuts or shredded coconut
  • Optional: Red fruit such as strawberries or raspberries

Make the Cake

Prepare the cake mix according to the instructions on the box. Mix ingredients in a mixing bowl. Prepare the cake up until the step before pouring it into a cake pan.

Mix cocoa powder and food coloring together to form a paste. This will provide the red coloring for the cake.

Mix the paste with the rest of the cake mix. Stir thoroughly.

Line the two cake pans with parchment paper. You can also grease the pan instead. The cake mix may come with instructions for preparing the pan. If so, follow those instructions.

Pour half of the batter into each cake pan. This will create each half of the cake and allow you to frost between each half.

Bake the cakes according to the instructions on the cake mix. Check the cakes a few minutes before the box says they will be done because dividing the cake into two halves may speed the baking time.

Allow the cake to cool before separating and frosting. You may wish to wait to start making the frosting until after the cake is out of the oven.

Make the Frosting

Mix all frosting ingredients except the cream in an electric mixer. Ingredients include cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, vanilla and confectioner's sugar. You can also use a hand mixer in a mixing bowl.

Add the heavy cream gradually. Use either the whisk attachment on your electric mixer or switch to a hand whisk. Mix until it is thick enough to spread.

Refrigerate frosting if the cake has not fully cooled or if you need to set it aside before frosting the cake.

Assemble the Cake

Cut each cake in half lengthwise, or horizontally, so that you have four round pieces of cake. If you prefer a cake with less frosting, you can skip this step and simply put the frosting on more thickly between the two pieces. Use a serrated knife for best results.

Put one piece of the cake, top side down, onto your serving platter.

Cover the top and sides of the cake piece with the frosting using your knife or a frosting spreader. Then stack the next piece of cake on top and continue frosting it until all four pieces are assembled.

Frost the top and sides of the cake. Smooth the remaining frosting around the side and on the top. If you'd like, you can use a frosting pipe to make decorations along the edge.

Garnish the cake. If you like, you can garnish the cake using cut slices of strawberries, raspberries, shredded coconut or chopped nuts. Place fruit in designs on top of the cake or along the sides. Sprinkle the sides or top with the coconut or chopped nuts to make a design.

Red fruit makes an excellent direction for red velvet cake.
Red fruit makes an excellent direction for red velvet cake. (Image: strawberry-cake image by hans slegers from Fotolia.com)

Tips & Warnings

  • Some people will substitute beet juice for red food coloring.

References

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