Blue Velvet Cake

Strictly speaking, decorating this cake was a major disaster.

Protips: don’t roast vegetables in the same room while you’re trying to whip cream cheese frosting. Don’t decorate a cake in that room either. Don’t be too prideful to cut off the tops of your cakes to make them even – people do that for a reason. Namely, so that their cake doesn’t come out totally lopsided.

Not my best effort. I set this cake goal hoping I’d learn something about baking and decorating cakes, and I think after lots of near-disasters, I have learned a few things. Basically, I have learned how to problem-solve in the face of panic.

This cake is “blue velvet” because the white frosting was just not working out. I was running back and forth between my living room and the fridge to make this cake chill out, and the frosting was pulling up crumbs like it was its day job. So the white icing was looking decidedly sloppy, to say the least. I just decided – heck, let’s dye it! I was out of red food colouring, so I tinted it blue and just dealt with it. I originally piped icing roses onto the top of the cake, and then spent a good ten minutes laughing out loud at how ridiculous it looked. Wanna see?

In retrospect…NEVERMIND I STILL HATE IT. At this point, I was laughing and saying “YOLO” to myself. Life’s short, it’s cake, whatever. Besides, the recipient of this cake is a wonderful person and I know he wouldn’t have minded if it stayed looking exactly as it did in the above photo.

In the end, I just spread that blue icing all around, tried for an ombre effect, and ultimately just tried to make sure the frosting was smooth and not showing crumbs and then called it a day.

This is a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. The cake is from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, because it’s my go-to book for amazing, moist cake that always come out of the pan easily. The recipe for their Crimson Velveteen cupcakes is here – I doubled the recipe to make 2 8-inch cakes. I made the cream cheese icing recipe in Joy the Baker’s cookbook, but I was sad that it didn’t come out. I followed her instructions as closely as possible, leaving the butter and cream cheese out until they were approximately the right temperatures, then doing each of the steps carefully. But my frosting came out runny, not at all like the photo of thick, spreadable frosting in her book. And even after adding more than the recommended amount of icing sugar, it stayed melty and drippy. I was very disappointed, and am still stumped as to why it didn’t work! Her recipes are usually right on. A similar recipe to what I used is here.

Wanna know the best part? It turned out to be, by definition, a blue red-velvet cake. Or, you could call it a  blue velvet cake. The person I made the cake for? Blue Velvet is a movie by one of his favourite directors. I only wish I’d actually planned that..I would have been so fly!

So. It’s not going to win any prizes for looks: it’s lopsided and blue and hilarious in many ways. But it “has character”, and was made with the best intentions and a full heart. So that’s gotta count for something, right? Right?? Plus, it tastes good, if I do say so myself.