I’m actually not the world’s biggest fan of red velvet cake. Never have really seen the big deal. However, lately I’ve been craving it like crazy! I guess because so may delicious looking red velvet recipes have been popping up all over the blogosphere lately. I guess February is definitely a red velvet kind of month. A year or so ago, I copied down my great-grandmother’s recipe for red velvet cake and have been wanting to try it ever since. I figured now would be as good a time as any, then my friend Kelsey recommended I try her recipe- in fact, her exact words were, “try my recipe- I dare you not to love it.” Well, how can I resist THAT?! And luckily, upon comparing the two recipes, I found that Kelsey’s is almost identical to my great-grandmother’s, with only a couple of very minor differences. Excellent!

I didn’t want to make a traditional cake (which is very unlike me, but I just decided to ride the wave…), and ended up baking the cake in a jelly roll pan. After baking and cooling I found myself looking at it thinking, “well….what the heck do I do now?!” I knew I wanted to somehow do something heart-shaped, for a Valentine’s theme, but beyond that I was lacking inspiration. Lucky for me, my friend Leah suggested Napoleons. Perfect Leah, thanks! Napoleons (or Mille-feuille) are traditionally made with puff pastry and pastry creme, but I thought in honor of Valentine’s Day a cute little red velvet cake Napoleon would be oh-so-fun! The red velvet cake turned out so delicious- especially with the tangy cream cheese frosting! These little guys were so much fun to make and so easy! A perfect little sweet treat for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day!

Red Velvet Cake Napoleons

For the cake:
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons (1 oz.) red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar

For the frosting:
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces butter (2 sticks), softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
squirt of fresh lemon juice

For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper.

Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa, and salt into a medium bowl.

Beat eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely.

When the cake is cooled, flip it onto a large surface and peel the parchment paper off. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out hearts and set aside. Using a serrated knife, slice each heart in half. Set aside while you make the frosting.

For the frosting:
Beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla and lemon juice together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until combined. Add sugar and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes (you’ll end up with some left over).

To assemble:
Place a small amount of frosting on one of the hearts, place another heart on top, pressing down slightly, then more frosting; finally place one last heart on top and a dollop of frosting (that’s 3 hearts total). Top with sprinkles, if desired. Repeat with the remaining hearts. I ended up with 14 Napoleons.

Recipe source: cake and frosting seen on Apple A Day, originally from Saveur.com

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13 Comments »

  1. These are gorgeous!!! And definitely look good enough to eat…many servings of…

    [Reply]

    Comment by Katie — February 10, 2011 @ 7:05 AM

  2. I’m so glad you liked the recipe. What a special surprise that it’s so close to your great grandmother’s. Your spin on red velvet is absolutely gorgeous–so festive, fun, and delicious, I’m sure! Happy Valentine’s Day, friend!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Kelsey — February 10, 2011 @ 9:16 AM

  3. Oh my gosh those turned out so cute! Way better than what I was picturing. What a sweet little cake for Valentine’s Day! Thanks so much for the shout-out. Now I need to go make some red velvet!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Leah — February 10, 2011 @ 9:17 AM

  4. This looks fabulous! I don’t have a jelly roll pan, though. What do you suggest using otherwise?

    [Reply]

    amy Reply:

    Thank you Marie! If you don’t have a jelly roll pan, any cookie sheet with a lip will do- you may just need to use a little less batter since you don’t want it to overflow.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Marie — February 10, 2011 @ 12:32 PM

  5. Perfect for Valentine’s Day! YUM!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Nicole, RD — February 10, 2011 @ 1:34 PM

  6. Super cute! :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by Jessica of My Baking Heart — February 10, 2011 @ 1:44 PM

  7. These are beautiful! What a perfect little dessert. I may have to make these for My Valentine!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Mother — February 10, 2011 @ 10:26 PM

  8. Thanks a lot for the tip, Amy!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Marie — February 13, 2011 @ 10:49 AM

  9. You’re totally on a roll this week! Love all of your V-day treats!! Yum!

    [Reply]

    Comment by The Hidden List — February 13, 2011 @ 6:20 PM

  10. They look super cute and super delicious.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Eliana — February 13, 2011 @ 9:38 PM

  11. What a great idea. I’ve never thought of baking red velvet cake in a jelly roll pan. I am going to try that next time I have to bring dessert for a large crowd. Who doesn’t love red velvet cake?

    [Reply]

    Comment by Jenn@eatcakefordinner — February 13, 2011 @ 10:27 PM

  12. […] Recipe […]

    Pingback by Valentine’s Day « Where The Piggy Toes Go… — February 10, 2012 @ 3:55 PM

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