My lovely sister-in-law is in town for the summer which means we were able to celebrate her birthday with her. Yay! Two of her favorite cakes are hummingbird and red velvet. While I would have gladly made both, it is summer and we do have waistlines to consider. So, we went with red velvet for her birthday cake.

After a little research, I decided to stick with my first choice, the red velvet cake recipe from The Joy of Baking. While I considered a few other recipes, I ultimately went with this one because it seemed like a classic. For one thing, it calls for cake flour while many of the other recipes I reviewed used all-purpose. Although this recipe by Bobby Flay was a close second, the use of red wine vinegar made me question it.

The cake received rave reviews, but the frosting left a little to be desired (at least in my opinion). It just wasn’t what I’ve come to expect from a cream cheese icing. For one thing, the texture was off. I’m not sure if that was due to the mascarpone cheese or the amount of whipped cream in the icing or maybe a combination of the two. Secondly, it wasn’t as sweet as other cream cheese icings I’ve had and when I have cake, I want it to be sweet! Not hurt your teeth sweet, but just a step or two below that. This cream cheese icing recipe sounds more like it, well, minus the fruit and nuts. Lastly, the tanginess from the cream cheese was way too mild for my taste. I realize I’m sounding overly critical, but it’s all in the name of finding the perfect red velvet cake/cream cheese icing combo.

My niece and nephew sure seemed to think it was yummy. Smiles and red cake covered their faces and that makes me happy. 😀 So glad we were able to share such a special day with Kelly and the kids!