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Our Red Velvet Cake Obsession - A Recipe

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Our group of friends are rather obsessed with Hummingbird bakery's red velvet cake. You will understand why. The Hummingbird is an American-style bakery filled with pretty little cupcakes and huge tall layer cakes. Our first encounter with the Hummingbird was its original store at Portobello road. Just look at the queue!


Hummingbird Bakery Red Velvet Cake 01

The wild boar got a bit impatient and so we left for their branch at South Kensington. Better, but we still had to queue.


Hummingbird Bakery Red Velvet Cake 02


Hummingbird Bakery Red Velvet Cake 03


Hummingbird Bakery Red Velvet Cake 04

We got ourselves some red velvet, carrot cake and nuttella cupcakes. I am normally not a cupcake person because of its overly sweet frosting, but these were good. The cakes were very light and moist and the frosting has just the right amount of sweetness. They were all really good.


Hummingbird Bakery Red Velvet Cake 05


Hummingbird Bakery Red Velvet Cake 06


Hummingbird Bakery Red Velvet Cake 07

Rocky road. I think it's just a bunch of random chocolate bars and marshmallows fused together.


Hummingbird Bakery Red Velvet Cake 09

A chocolate devil's food cake. ooo so chocolatey!


Hummingbird Bakery Red Velvet Cake 08

Our favourite is still the red velvet cake and we only go back for the red velvet ever since. I think it's the deep red colour that makes it so unique and so...irresistable. Our red velvet cake obsession continues...cupcakes for a friend's birthday.


Hummingbird Bakery Red Velvet Cake 10

A 10" red velvet layer cake for our barbecue session. We all agreed that the layer cake is better than the cupcakes. I personally like the layers and they normally come in HUGE slices. Yea..call me greedy! And then there were other random occasions...long story short, we love the red velvet cake!


Hummingbird Bakery Red Velvet Cake 11
oops..destroyed on the way...


Hummingbird Bakery Red Velvet Cake 12

I decided to try baking one myself. It turned out surprisingly good, despite the fact that I suck at frosting! The frosting turned out runny, but it was more manageable after I chucked it into the fridge for about an hour. The instructions for making the cream cheese was a bit odd as it involves beating the icing sugar and butter first before adding cream cheese. Other cream cheese frosting methods however requires you to beat the butter and cream cheese before adding sugar. Not sure if there's a difference. Will find out the next time!


The Hummingbird's Red Velvet Cake Recipe:


Hummingbird Bakery Red Velvet Cake 19


Red Velvet Cake

Printable recipe
Adapted from recipe taken from the Hummingbird bakery website.
By Pig Pig's Corner

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 65 mins
Yield: Makes a 6" cake, 2 tiers. I halved the recipe and made a 3rd tier. The original recipe yields 12 cupcakes.


Ingredients:

For the cake:
  • 60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 10g cocoa powder
  • 20ml red food colouring (preferably Dr. Oetker brand)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 120ml buttermilk
  • 150g plain flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1½ tsp white wine vinegar
For cream cheese frosting: enough to cover the whole 3-tier cake

  • 300g icing sugar, sifted (I used 200g)
  • 50g unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used 40g)
  • 125g cream cheese, cold (I used 200g)

Directions:
For the cake

  • Preheat the oven to 170°C.
  • Beat butter and the sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy and well mixed.
  • Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extra ct to make a very thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured (scrape any unmixed ingredients
  • from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula).
  • Turn the mixer up to slow speed, slowly pour in half the buttermilk.
  • Beat until well mixed, then add half the flour and beat until everything is well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added. Scrape down the side of the bowl again.
  • Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until you have a smooth, even mixture.
  • Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.
  • Pour into a lightly greased 6" cake tin.
  • Bake for about 40 mins or until done. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in t he middle, should come out clean if done.
  • Leave to cool slightly in the tin before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Frost with cream cheese frosting.
For cream cheese frosting:

  • Beat the icing sugar and butter together on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes to gether and is well mixed. Mine formed crumbs instead.
  • Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated.
  • Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy (at least five minutes). Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.


Hummingbird Bakery Red Velvet Cake 13


Hummingbird Bakery Red Velvet Cake 15


Hummingbird Bakery Red Velvet Cake 16

Comments:
  • For the 3rd tier, just half the recipe and bake for about 25 mins.
  • The cream cheese frosting I made was a bit runny. I put it in the fridge for about 1 hr before spreading (a great tip from a fellow twitter!). The runniness might also be due to using less than suggested amount of icing sugar and more cheese.
  • The bicarbonate of soda reacts with the acidic ingredients and release carbon dioxide gas (for leavening), so it's best to bake the batter immediately. That's the reason why I mixed the batter and baked the 3rd tier after baking the 1st 2 tiers. My cake tin was also not tall enough and I only have 1 6" cake tin.


Hummingbird Bakery Red Velvet Cake 17

The Hummingbird Bakery
47 Old Brompton Rd
South Kensington,
SW7 3JP
London
Tel: +44(0)20 7584 0055
Official website

Hummingbird Bakery on Urbanspoon

81 oink oinks...:

The Purple Foodie said...

Yor cake looks really good. Excellent attempt at making the ginormous cake! I've wanted to try making red velvet cupcakes since the time I had them at Magnolia bakery in NYC. This is a very good reminder of things I'm missing out on. I'm also going to put the Hummingbirnd bakery in my list of places to visit when I go to London sometime next year.

Angie's Recipes said...

Fantastic! The pictures all look amazing, really made me want to grab them...
Well done!
Angie's Recipes

Helene said...

That bakery is so busy. I've never seen that. I have to say that I love red velvet cake. I do have to bake one. Yours looks so yummy.

Kerstin said...

Wow, your pictures are making my mouth water! Looks like the perfect Red Velvet cake :)

Elra said...

Miammmm!
I never had, tasted, and made this before. I heard so much good thing about it. Maybe I should give it a try.

Your layers look perfect!

Tangled Noodle said...

Your red velvet cakes looks marvelous! Actually, there's something very appetizing about frosting that just oozes all over the cake, as if it's saying, "Hurry up and eat me!" 8-D

Jenn said...

Mmmm...I love red velvet cupcake and cakes. Whenever it's an option at a bakery or restaurant I always make sure I get one. Delish!!

Jenn said...

Mmmm...I love red velvet cupcake and cakes. Whenever it's an option at a bakery or restaurant I always make sure I get one. Delish!!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That place is awesome! What a lovely cake and ecipe, yummy!

Cheers,

Rosa

Maris said...

I want to come to London SPECIFICALLY for that cake and I'm not even a big red velvet person. Looks amazing!

Hummingbird Appetite said...

the red velvet cake looks unbelievably good! I am so jealous!

Nags said...

i have seen this being made mostly for V-day :) awesome!

doggybloggy said...

Killer - thats all I've got - Killer!

Kim McDougal, Ordinary Recipes Made Gourmet said...

Oh where is my piece of red velvet cake, dang...I'll take the cupcake! I love red velvet !! :D

ttfn300 said...

that is one good-looking cake!!

The Little Teochew said...

Oh, gorgeous! Your cake looks perfect!

Sonia said...

This is my first time know this red velvet cake, but am very impressed with your work, the cake look really beautiful and I bet it must tasted wonderful. Thanks for sharing the recipe, I will try it out in one day.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I love red velvet cake too! We had it for our wedding cake as I love it so much. I've even made it for a living but I keep the recipe a secret for that ;)

Selba said...

Finally, I can open your blog again by using IE. FYI, I still can not open your blog using mozilla firework.

The red velvet looks so delicious! Thanks for the recipe :)

Donna-FFW said...

My goodness, I want to try one of everything you pictured. It all looks unbelievable. The red velvet cake would be devoured here!!

jess said...

oh dear. is this place new? i must have missed it when i was in london :(

but i do love how "american" bakeries/cupcakeries are making their way to the uk!

by the way, you should submit some of these pictures to www.donteatthatyet.com!

♥peachkins♥ said...

I wish I could try some cake from that bakery and your red velvet cake looks so moist and delicious!

lisaiscooking said...

Your cake looks great! Red velvet is one of my favorites.

Janet @Gourmet Traveller 88 said...

I passed by this place but have not tried that day when I was in Notting Hill, no room, save for next time. Perhaps I can try to make one with their recipe. yours looks excellent and the same already.

Jackie at Phamfatale.com said...

I'm surprised that the bakery would give away their recipe. The cake looks fantastic! You should reduce the amount of butter if it's too runny. Check my version of cream cheese frosting at http://www.phamfatale.com/cat_1444/tag_cream-cheese-frosting/

Marta said...

Frosting red velvet cake is likely one of the most challenging cake situations! Those silly crumbs always work their way into the frosting! Looks delicious, though! And that devil's food cake... yummy!

Bob said...

Wow. Seriously.

Swee San said...

oh yum.. looks really good. I like the red velvet cake too :)

Bunny said...

You're cake looks absolutely wonderful! I've never made a Red Velvet Cake, thanks for giving us the recipe and website!!

My Asian Kitchen said...

I heard about this bakery in many website,must be really great!! Thanks for sharing the recipe:)

Pam said...

I have still never had this kind of cake - you make me want to try it.

Monkey4Sale said...

If you use vinegar and cocoa powder, there shouldn't be any need for the red food colouring.

The Caked Crusader said...

You had me at "huge slices".....

Big Boys Oven said...

this is awesome, your red velvet is amazing, just perfect.... let us try doing it here in kayel! :)

Robin Sue said...

I think you did a great job with the frosting. I am a huge fan of red velvet and try to get it any time I can.

5 Star Foodie said...

This bakery sounds great and your red velvet cake looks excellent! Gorgeous!

Cathy said...

Your red velvet cake is gorgeous, as pretty as the bakery version. That chocolate slice looks pretty darn delicious too.

Sam said...

I've never tried red velvet cake before but it looks amazing, I love the colour.

Vrinda said...

Fabulous pictures..i lov red velvet cake,vinegar plays an important role in this recipe,with cream cheese topping,would taste heavenly...

Grace said...

although for some reason red velvet cake doesn't really tickle my fancy, i always love the color, especially contrasting with creamy white icing. your texture looks great too, and thank goodness the cake wasn't destroyed completely!

noble pig said...

It's beautiful...even destroyed!!!

Olga said...

I want a piece of that chocolate cake right now! :)

Soma said...

All I can say is OH! MY GOODNESS!:-)

Love it ! want it!;-)

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Who'd have thought that the humble red velvet cake would find a following on your side of the pond. Yours looks fantastic!

nora@ffr said...

vat a lovely pictures. m already craving!! and that chocolate cake is driving me crazy.. yummm!!!

nyonya pendek melaka said...

All the pictures look fantastic and the cakes are to die for! Lovely presentation.

Katie said...

Wow all the cakes look divine! I haven't been to hummingbird bakery yet, but I'm longing to now. Your red velvet cake look wonderful

Dhanggit said...

OMG, staring at these sweet creations just made me gain weight! love all of them! yum

Katherine Aucoin said...

I love a good red velvet cake but haven't attempted to make one myself. Yours came out so beautiful! I guess I'd wait in line too if I was craving red velvet cake.

katie said...

melt my precious heart - this looks like I want to fall in it!

A tip for the injured cake: If you have an 8 inch round cake, buy an 8 inch AND a 10 inch round AND a 10 inch round cake box. Tape the smaller one on top of the other so the centers are aligned.

Hence, when you take it on trips the cake will not be able to slide around in the box and will not touch the sides.

I did this for wedding cake transport. Works every time!

Summer said...

Red velvet cake is one of my favorite foods. It's traditionally an American food, specifically the south, and is red because the recipes used to call for beet juice. It's difficult to get a really great red velvet, oftentimes it's too dry. It's become quite a trend now, though. I've tried several recipes (at least 5 or 6) and until my grandmother died and passed her recipe along, I hadn't found one that could compete with hers. Now my friends always ask for red velvet cake for their birthdays.

A great movie scene with red velvet cake can be seen in Steel Magnolias - one woman makes an armadillo cake that is red velvet, so when you cut into the armadillo, it looks like blood. lol! Oh, and let your cake cool COMPLETELY before frosting. I usually make the frosting while the cake is cooking, and stick it directly in the freezer. When I pull out the cake, I put the frosting in the fridge. By the time the cake is cooled, the frosting is perfect.

pigpigscorner said...

Summer: I came across a few recipes that use beet juice instead of red colouringm would love to try one of those recipes soon! Using beet is definitely much healthier than using red colouring. I left the cake to cool completely before frosting, i think I overbeat the frosting =(

Sarah (Fruits, Roots and Shoots) said...

Fantastic - I had never heard of red velvet cake until watching Jamie's American Road Trip just now! Thanks for this recipe, and the review of the Hummingbird bakery. I have gazed through the window of the South Kensington branch but was put off by it being full. Instead I went to the Italian ice-cream parlour down a side street nearby, which was a memorable experience.

Anonymous said...

Well i have used your recipe to make muffins but used a vanilla buttercream icing and it has gone down a treat! ive even had friends and family ask me to make them some. its now official my fave cake flavour it red velvet! thanks xx

Anonymous said...

What did i do wrong? After recently trying red velvet cake at a wedding fair,i fell in love with it and was so excited when i found this page with your photos and recipe!
i have just spent the afternoon in the kitchen following the recipe word for word but it doesn't look like yours AT ALL!(boo hoo)! the sponge didn't rise..much, my frosting went runny and when i finally took a bite...the taste was terrible..nothing like those gorgeous little cup cakes i tried! I'm so disapointed...Any tips anyone? I'm dying to taste that gorgeous taste again!
Thanks. A bride to be. x

pigpigscorner said...

The cake was terrible or the frosting? What did it taste like?

Did yo check the expiry date of your bicarbonate of soda? Try adding a few drops of vinegar to some bicarbonate of soda, if you don't get much fizz means it's no good for baking.

About the frosting, did you follow my recipe or the original Hummingbird recipe? I would suggest using the original recipe (with more sugar) as the sugar helps it hold its shape. Use full fat cream cheese. and overbeating breaks down cream cheese making it runny. Monitor at all times and stop when you get the right consistency.

Anonymous said...

hello! thankyou for replying! and giving me those helpful tips!!
my sponge tasted quite floury, and although the frosting tasted good in its self. i think i did overbeat it!! but i however am not beaten and am going to try again this weekend!
Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Hi there! I just wanted to know how you got the red colour perfect? I followed the recipe word for word but my cupcakes turned out brown. What cocoa powder did you use and how much colouring?

pigpigscorner said...

What type of colouring did you use? According to the book, they suggest using "Dr Oetker Red Colouring, NOT the ‘Natural Red’ or ‘Scarlett’ as those will make the cake come out a brownish colour. Dr Oetker can be found at Sainsbury’s and online."

Anonymous said...

Thanks for responding! I did use the Dr. Oetker brand, this is why I thought it might be the cocoa powder I used :( Do you know which cocoa you used?

pigpigscorner said...

I used Fairtrade African Cocoa, that's the only cocoa powder I could find at my local Sains. Out of curiosity, what cocoa powder did you use?

Anonymous said...

i used the same one you did, it's a red can isn't it? It was the one next to the food colouring in Sainsbury's. I guess maybe I added too much cocoa powder then. When you were mixing the cocoa and the colouring did the paste look more red or brown?

pigpigscorner said...

Yes, the one in red packaging. The paste was dark red, it even stained my plastic bowl red!

Anonymous said...

Hi,


I've made the red velvet cupcakes for my
work colleagues and they went down a storm!
Just wondering if anyone knows what they use to decorate the top of the cup cakes with after the frosting? Is it crumbs of some of the cake?

Thanks!

Jo.

pigpigscorner said...

Hi Jo,

Glad they liked it! Hummingbird's red velvet cakes are the best =) As far as I know, it's the crumbs.

Anonymous said...

how did you do the red sprinkles on top? im going to try this for mothers day :)

pigpigscorner said...

The decor is actually the crumbs. You'll get a lot from cutting the cake into half. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that looks great! What did you use to sprinkle on the top? It looks like a red powder (icing sugar) or is it just sprinkles of some sort?

shelbybaby said...

lovely lovely lovely! oooh hummingbird... would love to get a cupcake off there ;) looking around for someone to bake red velvets for my wedding... they don't do it enough in kl, shame. wish we got you here..

Anonymous said...

I followed the receipe word for word, the cakes looked amazing.....but tasted of food colouring! HELP!

pigpigscorner said...

err what does does colouring tastes like?

Anonymous said...

I make wedding cakes in Mauritius and have been asked to do a 4 tier cake using red velvet cakes ! had to go on the net to see what a red velvet cake is ! has anyone had a wedding cake made from it as I think it is too soft to pile up 4 tiers ? Can anyone give me some tips ideas ?

pigpigscorner said...

Yes, there are red velvet wedding cakes around. I was thinking of getting one for my own wedding at first. The cake is actually soft but dense, so I'm sure it's doable.

Big BOys Oven said...

just awesome! I just got both of their books just now! lol! awesme!

Huda said...

GORGEOUS CAKE!! I plan to bake this soon and was wondering if I could substitute the white wine vinegar with another kind of non-wine containing vinegar..rice vinegar perhaps?

lorena sabrina said...

How delicious are your products! Nice blog, congratulations!
www.thetripteller.com

Tracy said...

I've had exactly the same problem....followed the recipe from their recipe book but my cakes are brown not red, booo. Sort of makes them NOT red velvet cakes, d'oh

Sarah said...

I'm such a huge fan of Humming bird's Red Velvets and have honestly never been so obsessed about something before! So you could imagine how happy I am to go over your blog! :D Well done with your baking!

I'm going to try baking but I have a question though! Do you know what I could substitute the white wine vinegar with?

Reese@SeasonwithSpice said...

Hi Ann or Pig Pig - just discovered your blog and love all the recipes you have posted. This velvet cake caught my eyes right away. Really beautiful! Pleased to know that you're a Malaysian too.

Anonymous said...

Wow this looks gorgeous! I am hoping to make a 10" round cake - what would the quantities be for this please?

pigpigscorner said...

According to this site: http://www.joyofbaking.com/PanSizes.html

the approximate volume for a 6"x2" round pan is about 4 cups while for a 10"x2" pan is about 11 cups. You could times the original amount by 2.75 for a 10" cake.

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