Monday, June 15, 2009

Red Velvet Twilight Cake

Have you heard of Cake Man Raven(CMR)? If you watch Throwdown with Bobby Flay, you might have heard of him. CMR has this bakery in Brooklyn where he makes and sells his infamous red velvet cake. This is the only place where my coworker gets red velvet cakes. I’ve tried it…it’s good!

So, Bobby Flay challenges CMR in his red velvet cake throwdown. Unfortunately, CMR didn’t win, but I don’t know why! I haven’t tried Bobby’s recipe, but just looking at CMR’s cake is just impressive.

I’ve seen imitation CMR recipes out there, and of course, I tried to find one. To my surprise, he actually has his recipe on his website, so I didn’t have to look any further! That’s a shock to me, I would think he would want to keep it a secret…but that’s just me.

After I got invited to a “Twilight” party (I use the term loosely because it was all an inside joke). I wanted to take the opportunity to make this red velvet cake. Of course, I made some adaptations to it to suit it for my needs. I searched for inspiration ideas and saw what Ashlee did for her twilight party. I didn’t want to be too hands on for the cake, so I used ganache instead of fondant.

I wanted a dark base for the design, so I made a chocolate cream cheese frosting and layered chocolate ganache over that. I used chocolate chips and candy melts for the design. I think it turned out pretty good for an amateur cake decorator!

red velvet twilight cake

Red Velvet Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting and Chocolate Ganache
cake adapted from: Cake Man Raven
frosting adapted from:
ganache from:

Cake dry ingredients:
2-1/2 cups of cake flour (I used AP flour minus 2 TBSP per cup) I recommend replacing the 5 TBSPs with cornstarch, otherwise the batter will be thin
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of fine salt
1 teaspoon of cocoa powder

Cake wet ingredients:
1 cup of buttermilk (I used buttermilk powder and 1 cup water)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vinegar (white distilled)
1-1/2 cups of vegetable oil
1 oz. of red food coloring
1 tsp. of vanilla extract

Cake Directions:
Sift together all dry ingredients. Add liquid in an electric mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Slowly add dry ingredients to bowl, until all ingredients are combined.

Since I used buttermilk powder, I added the powder in with the dry ingredients and added 1 cup water with the wet ingredients.


Pour evenly into three 9” cake pans (about 1.75c batter per pan). I only had two, so I poured the batter into a measuring cup, and it measured about 5 cups of batter. Bake @ 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Rotate 180 degrees halfway though. I did that because my oven is tilted forward and bakes unevenly.

Remove from pans and allow to cool thoroughly before frosting.


Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure almond extract or pure vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted (I used 2.5 cups)

Place the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until combined, 30 seconds. Add the cocoa powder, extract, blend to combine.

Gradually add the confectioners' sugar and blend with the mixer on low speed until the ingredients are moistened, 30 seconds. Add enough sugar to desired sweetness. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting is fluffy, 2 minutes more.

Frost the cake layers, more in the middle, but a thin layer outside. Refrigerate to allow the frosting to set.

Chocolate Ganache

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Place chocolate chips in a large bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer. Pour the cream into a saucepan, and bring to a boil. As soon as the cream boils up to the top of the pan, quickly remove it from the heat, and pour it over the chips.

Let stand for a minute or two, then stir with a whisk, or use the paddle attachment for the mixer, to mix until smooth. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl occasionally. Stir in the vanilla until well blended. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface, and allow to cool at room temperature, or in the refrigerator.

Place the cake on a cooling rack over a baking sheet and pour the warm ganache slowly over the top middle of the cake. Allow the ganache to flow down the cake naturally. Allow to cool and harden. I did this in the fridge.

Chocolate Design:

semi sweet chocolate chips
white candy melts
red candy melts

I first traced the image from the book cover with tracing paper.

twilight sketch

Then place the image over a white sheet of paper, tape as necessary to avoid movement. Place wax paper over the image (this will be your drawing surface). Tape as necessary. Place everything in a baking sheet.

Melt chocolate chips in a microwave. Place in a decorating bag. Using a writing tip (I used #5), trace the outline of the image. Melt white candy melts in the chocolate and fill the hands with chocolate. Tap the pan on the table to allow the chocolate to spread. Repeat with red candy melts and the apple.

twilight hands

They coloring bled a little into the outline, so re-outline as necessary. Place in fridge to harden.

Before the ganache fully sets, place the image on top, and allow it to melt a little at room temperature for the image to stick.

red velvet twilight cake

This turned out very well. I wasn’t able to get a clear picture of the cut cake, since the restaurant had dim lighting, so this was the best I could do.

red velvet cake


  1. You did such a great job on this!

  2. Fantastic! Love the design. And the red velvet cake is some of the reddest I've seen. :)

  3. Chocolate cream cheese icing~ BRILLIANT!

  4. That looks so cool!! You did a great job!

  5. Your cake is really cool looking - nice job!

  6. WOW!!! thats amazing good job!!!

  7. Can you make another one this weekend? I'd love to try a piece!

  8. Holy cow how cool is that?! I don't know much about the whole Twilight series but I do know that you make a pretty awesome cake!

  9. So cute :) It must have been difficult to do that design, but you managed so well!


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