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Semi Naked Red Velvet Cake

by Lorena

I turned 30! That means it’s that time of year when I share with you guys my birthday cake. Last year I made a carrot cake and this year it’s a red velvet cake which you voted for on my Instagram stories :). Red velvet cakes have cacao powder and also vinegar which gives it a lovely taste and texture. We’re filling it up with a cream cheese buttercream and we’re giving it a semi naked look as well.

The filling is the same recipe that I used for the carrot cake but to be honest it’s my favourite one and also the one that goes best with red velvet in my opinion.

This cake is called “semi naked” because you can see the cake and filling layers through the buttercream. If you want to do a naked cake then don’t add any buttercream to the sides but only in between the layers and on the top. If you want to cover the sides completely then follow the procedure shown in the carrot cake recipe.

This is also the last recipe that I’ll post on 2018 so I want to take a chancee to wish you an incredibly happy 2019 full of love, joy and achievements. I hope you’re always surrounded by the people you love.

Red Velvet Cake

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Course: Dessert, Tea Time
Cuisine: Medium
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 10 people, 18cm diameter mould. Double recipe for a 25cm diameter mould.
Author: Lorena Salinas from Cravings Journal


For the red velvet cake

  • 370 g sugar
  • 300 g all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4.5 tsp baking powder
  • 400 ml milk or vegetable milk of your choice
  • 1 tbsp apple vinegar / cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 140 ml vegetable oil or canola + more to grease the moulds
  • 4 tbsp unsweetened cacao powder ideally 100% cacao
  • 1 tbsp liquid red food colouring

For the cream cheese buttercream

  • 250 g unsalted butter if you want your buttercream to be extra white then use a butter with higher fat content (usually french brands)
  • 210 g cream cheese
  • 150 g icing sugar


For the red velvet cake

  • Mix all the ingredients for the cake until you get a homogeneous mix. If you’re using a stand mixer stop halfway through to scrape the sides and base of the bowl with a spatula because it’s in those places where dry ingredients accumulate and don’t mix in.
  • Cut baking paper to the size of the base of two 18cm diameter moulds (double the recipe if using a 25cm diameter mould). Stick the paper discs to the base of the moulds using vegetable oil and spreading it with a bit of kitchen paper.
  • Spread more oil on the paper at the base and also on the sides of the mould.
  • Place about a tablespoon of flour on each mould and turn it so it sticks to the oil. Finally turn the moulds upside down and tap on them to release the excess flour.
  • Fill the moulds with the mix and take them to a preheated oven at 180C for 45min-1hour or until you can insert a thin knife at the center and it comes out clean.
  • Let them cool down completely before unmoulding and cutting.
  • Run a thin knife around the mould and turn them around to unmould. Don’t remove the paper from the base yet.
  • Use a ruler to decide the height at which you will remove the dome from the top of the cake. Both cakes should have the same height. To cut them evenly make small cuts at thee desired cut all around the cake without going all the way through. On the last one go all the way through and you’ll see how those small cuts help guide the knife.**
  • Repeat the same process to divide both cakes in two.

For the cream cheese butter cream

  • If it’s hot where you live or if your kitchen is too hot, don’t let the butter or cream cheese soften at room temperature before making the buttercream. However if it’s cold then leave them outside of the fridge for a couple of hours before starting.
  • Mix the butter using the mixer attachment in your stand mixer for 5 minutes from the moment it goes soft. Remember to stop halfway through to scrape down the sides and bottom.
  • Add the cream cheese and repeat thee process.
  • Add the sugar using a sieve and mix until everything is incorporated.
  • Place the top half of one of the cakes on the base where you’re serving later.
  • Place a bit of buttercream on top and spread it out. Try to use the same amount of filling for each layer. For this purpose I used a cookie scoop, adding 4 scoops per layer. You could also use 1/4 cup.
  • Put the base of the cake upside down on top of the buttercream; with the paper on top. Remove the paper and spread more buttercream on top.
  • Repeat the process with the other cake.
  • Spread buttercream on top and to this point you have a naked cake.
  • For the semi naked look spread buttercream around the cake and then scrape off the excess trying not to break the cake.
  • Place the cake in the fridge for a couple of hours before cutting so it doesn’t fall apart.


**The dome tops that we don’t use for this recipe can be used to make cake pops. Process them with leftover buttercream and form balls using your hands. Place a stick in them and cover them in melted white chocolate. Let them solidify in the fridge.
Tried this recipe?Mention @CravingsJournal or tag #RecipeCJ!


Anonymous January 11, 2019 - 1:44 am

I don’t see any eggs in the recipe? Is this correct

Lorena January 11, 2019 - 7:48 am

Hi! Yes, that’s correct 🙂


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