I really am in love with Stokes purple sweet potatoes. I’ve used them to make sweet potato latkes. And this week I made mashed purple sweet potatoes and banana. There was one baked sweet potato leftover from that night, so I used it for this …
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When life gives a Jewish girl purple sweet potatoes, what does she do? She makes purple sweet potato pancakes and homemade applesauce.Continue reading Purple sweet potato pancakes (aka purple sweet potato latkes)
This recipe for baked purple sweet potato loaded with white beans, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and rosemary is for a loyal reader who asked for “more vegetables.” I think it’s been about 15 years, since a bicycle trip to Argentina and Chile, that I gave up …
This recipe for cast iron baked chicken breast with roasted purple potatoes and cauliflower comes with no story. It’s just a simple meal, prepared with fresh ingredients, without much fuss. It uses my favorite, most reliable way to cook chicken breasts. And it’s partially purple. …
This purple velvet cake with white chocolate cream cheese frosting (in purple) is adapted from an Epicurious red velvet cake. I clearly remember the first time I made the red version. I brought it to a friend’s house for a potluck, and someone asked me to make the cake for their wedding. Talk about instilling fear in a new cake baker.
This cake is the third of my favorite birthday cakes for my 50th birthday cake-a-palooza in May. Cake #1 was the tiramisu cake (all the goodness of tiramisu without raw egg). Cake #2 was the fudgy triple layer chocolate cake with chocolate ganache icing. I promise, if you are a chocolate lover, that is the cake for you.
This cocoa-flavored purple velvet cake was also created for the reddit 52 weeks of baking challenge, week 15: Decoration Challenge: Monochrome. I was originally going to make the traditional red velvet cake and turn my white chocolate cream cheese frosting red, but I seem to have a purple thing going. I’m running with it.
Red velvet cake was reported developed around the end of the 19th century. It is traditionally made with just a hint of cocoa, using a only a tablespoon or two for the cocoa’s anthocyanin which produces a red color when combined with buttermilk and vinegar. That red isn’t particularly vibrant, so many recipes now include food coloring in one shape or form.
I’ve adapted the original recipe in a few ways. When I make chocolate cakes, I always dust my greased cake pans with cocoa powder instead of flour to avoid any possibility of having noticeable white powder on the outside of my cakes. I’ve also tripled the amount of cocoa in order to give the cake more chocolate flavor. It makes it harder to get a rich purple color, but I’ll take that challenge in order to have a cake taste like chocolate, eh?
And I made it a purple velvet cake. I have been using the Wilton concentrated food coloring, and the cake layers took 46 drops of pink, 8 drops of blue, and 1 drop of red. It still doesn’t achieve a deep purple color, but it’s clearly purple. For the frosting, I frosted the inside of the cake and a thin layer of the outside using 5 drops of pink, 2 blue, and 1 red, and then did a second layer after adding 3 more drops of pink and 1 of blue. If you are using a different food coloring, play around with it until you get your desired color. The frosting will be more forgiving than the cake with extra beating.
In looking at the monochrome challenge, I wish I had thought to make it a purple ombre. Next time.
FAQs about this purple velvet cake
It tastes just like red velvet cake – it has a mild chocolate flavor with a soft, velvety texture (thus the name). If you are looking for a more chocolatey cake, check out my fudgy triple layer chocolate cake (linked above and below).
Vinegar is added to this cake in order to provide leavening as part of a chemical reaction with the baking soda.
Do you have to do anything? No. But there is so much variation in how people measure that you are much more likely to get a reliable result if you weigh your ingredients
Absolutely, especially if you decorate the cake simply like I do. After the cake has been in the refrigerator overnight, I cut the cake into family sized portions. I double-wrap each piece in plastic wrap and then place it in a plastic bag with as much air removed as possible. When you want to eat a piece, remove it from the refrigerator, unwrap it and put it on a plate, and let it come to room temperature before serving.
If you’re like me and you like only a thin layer of frosting on the cake, you might end up with extra icing. You can freeze frostings and have a variety for a batch of cupcakes. Or use extra frosting for cake balls or cake pops the next time you have a cake failure. Because they happen to all of us.
Yes, though given those anthocyanins in the cake, orange would probably be easier.
Purple velvet cake with white chocolate cream cheese frosting
- Two 9" round cake pans
- 2 cups (240g) cake flour
- 6 tbsp (36g) unsweetened cocoa not Dutch processed, if possible. Plus more for dusting the cake pans
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 8 tbsp (4oz) unsalted butter, softened plus more for greasing the cake pans
- 1 ½ cup (300g) granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup buttermilk use a 2cup measuring cup for convenience
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- food coloring, if desired (see notes)
White chocolate cream cheese frosting
- 4 oz white chocolate
- 12 oz cream cheese, softened
- 6 oz unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla
- food coloring, if desired (see notes)
Purple velvet cake layers
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Grease and line two 9" round cake pans with parchment paper, and then grease the parchment paper and dust with cocoa powder.
- Sift dry ingredients for the cake layers (flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) into a medium bowl.
- In the bowl of stand mixer (or in a large mixing bowl if using a hand mixer), beat the butter for 3-5 minutes until soft and light, scraping the bowl intermittently.
- Add the sugar and cream until light and fluffy, another 1-2 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat for one minute after each one.
- Scrape the bowl, add the vanilla, and beat for an additional minute.
- Measure out the buttermilk into a 2 cup measuring cup, and then add the vinegar and food coloring (see notes).
- Adding the dry ingredients in three parts and alternate with the buttermilk mixture (in two parts), starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix only as long as needed to incorporate the addition, and scrape down the bowl as needed.
- Pour the batter into the prepared bans, even the batter out in the pan, and give it one or two gentle thwacks (i.e. careful drops) onto the kitchen counter to remove any air bubbles.
- Bake on a middle rack of the oven for about 25 minutes until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean. I start checking for doneness at about 18-20 minutes.
- Cool in the pans for about 10 minutes and then turn out onto cooling racks. Cool completely.
White chocolate cream cheese frosting
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, being careful not to overheat the white chocolate. Let cool.
- In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese until soft.
- Add the vanilla and cooled white chocolate and blend.
- Add food coloring, if using, to achieve desired color.
If you make this purple velvet cake, or just want to see me make more purple baked goods (go Ephs!), please comment and/or share a pic!
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Week 1: New Year new recipe – blueberry galette
Week 2: seasonal – Smitten Kitchen’s grapefruit pound cake
Week 3: Great British Bake Off – Kate’s sticky toffee apple caramel cake
Week 4: Australia – sausage rolls
Week 5: bite sized – cookies
Week 6: Chinese New Year – mushroom bao
Week 7: new tool – baguette baker
Week 8: chocolate – chocolate peanut butter bonbons
Week 9: timed bake – under 1 hour! chocolate chip scones
Week 10: allergy/diet restriction – macarons
Week 11: quick breads – kale and cheese quick bread
Week 12: signature bake – purple cow bread
Week 13: enriched breads
Week 14: childhood favorite – chocolate cake
Next week: crispy crunchy
It needed to be done. I had been meaning to make a Japanese (Hokkaido) milk bread for some time. And then thenerdiebaker posted this cow-patterned milk bread on Instagram. As a graduate of Williams College (in Williamstown, Massachusetts), where our mascot was the purple cow, …
This rose syrup French 75 recipe is the perfect cocktail to use some of that rose syrup that you were gifted for the holidays. It’s a well-balanced Empress gin cocktail that’s festive and floral but not too sweet.Continue reading Rose Syrup French 75: an Empress Gin Cocktail
This easy chocolate chip loaf cake recipe was created for the reddit 52 weeks of baking (Week 41: Pantry Challenge). The challenge: to bake something out of things you already have at home.
It’s a given that I’m always ready to bake a chocolate chip pound cake. You can be sure you’d find butter, sugar, eggs, flour, and chocolate chips in my house. But I might have cheated a bit with that orange zest.Continue reading Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake Recipe
This recipe for mini banana muffins with coconut was created for the reddit 52 weeks of baking challenge (Week 40: West Indies). For those of you who don’t remember your geography, the West Indies refers to a group of islands in the Caribbean including Jamaica, …
These challah buns and challah rolls were last week’s bake for the reddit 52 weeks of baking challenge (Week 39: Buns or biscuits). They’re an adaptation of my orange raisin challah recipe (itself an adaptation from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice). They’re great for …
These oatmeal blackberry muffins are soft and moist, with big chunks of fresh blackberries and a cupful of cooked oatmeal that make them seem almost, well, healthy. Enjoy them for breakfast or a snack with only the tiniest bit of guilt.Continue reading Oatmeal Blackberry Muffins
This sweet corn soup recipe is an ode to the end of summer. A time to revel in the bounty of the harvest and enjoy the last few warm days and nights. This corn soup is for those nights.Continue reading A Sweet Corn Soup Recipe with Bacon and Potatoes
Warning: while there may be a recipe for a juniper lime drizzle cake included with this post, I can’t recommend that you make it. You see, I created this loaf cake with dried juniper berries for the reddit 52 week baking challenge (Week 31: unusual ingredients). But it has provided me more with lessons about why cakes fall in the oven than with a delicious cake for you to make.
Although I will admit I’ve happily eaten a piece of one of the three cake variations for breakfast for most of the last couple of weeks.
The fourth cake I gave away.Continue reading Juniper Lime Drizzle Cake (aka Why Did My Cake Fall?)
I finally have an Ooni pizza dough recipe that is both reliably easy to work with and tasty. And I think we may also have the Ooni pizza oven figured out.