The Red Velvet Cake
- CAKE LAYERS:
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons red liquid food coloring
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose soft-wheat flour (such as White Lily)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- STRAWBERRY GLAZE:
- 3/4 cup strawberry preserves
- 1/4 cup almond liqueur
- STRAWBERRY FROSTING:
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 3/4 cups diced fresh strawberries, divided
How to Make It
Prepare Cake Layers: Preheat oven to 350°. Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add red food coloring and vanilla, beating at low speed just until blended.
Stir together sour cream and 1/2 cup water until blended. Sift together flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Spoon batter into 3 greased (with shortening) and floured 9-inch round shiny cake pans (about 2 1/2 cups batter in each pan).
Bake at 350° for 20 to 24 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 30 minutes).
Prepare Glaze: Pulse strawberry preserves in a food processor until smooth; transfer to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave strawberry preserves at HIGH 30 to 45 seconds or until melted; stir in almond liqueur. Brush 1/4 cup warm glaze over top of each cooled cake layer. Reserve remaining 1/4 cup glaze.
Prepare Frosting: Beat 3/4 cup softened butter at medium speed 20 seconds or until fluffy. Gradually add 5 cups powdered sugar and 1/2 cup diced strawberries, beating at low speed until creamy. Add 1/4 cup diced strawberries, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating until frosting reaches desired consistency. Reserve remaining 1 cup diced strawberries.
Place 1 cake layer, glazed side up, on serving platter. Spread one-third of frosting over cake layer; sprinkle with 1/2 cup reserved diced strawberries. Repeat procedure with second cake layer. Top with remaining cake layer; spread with remaining frosting. Drizzle remaining 1/4 cup strawberry glaze over cake.
If your berries are juicy, you may not need the entire amount in the frosting.