This strawberry-glazed Pink Velvet Cake tastes like the BEST wedding cake, delicately sweet, with a soft, tender crumb and a fabulous silky almond buttercream (optional). Plus it's pretty as a (pink) picture! What's not to love?
If you've never tried Pink Velvet Cake, you're missing out on something WONDERFUL!
What is Pink Velvet Cake?
You might say that Pink Velvet Cake is a kissing cousin to Red Velvet Cake and you'd be partially correct. Red Velvet Cake is known for its soft, tender texture and its deep cocoa-red color. In addition to the traditional cake ingredients of flour, sugar, eggs and butter, most Red Velvet recipes call for buttermilk, a splash of vinegar, cocoa powder and lots of red food coloring, oftentimes a whole bottle.
Pink Velvet Cake boasts the same soft, tender crumb and the recipe usually includes buttermilk but there's no cocoa involved and just a few drops of pink food color.
A unique rendition
While this recipe has similarities to other Pink Velvet Cake recipes, it has several unique components. To seal in moisture and add a hint of strawberry flavor, there's a simple strawberry glaze that's brushed on the cake after it's turned out of the pan. The glaze consists of a few chopped fresh strawberries, a spoonful of granulated sugar (to draw out the strawberry juices) and is finished off with a scoop of powdered sugar and a good stir. The glaze dries quickly, keeps the cake moist and tender and adds another layer of fabulous flavor.
You can stop right there, if you'd like, and have an amazing, simple dessert that will bring rave reviews and little gasps of delight when it's cut open and the pink interior is revealed.
BUT, if you want to be fancy and a little indulgent, there's also a FABULOUS, super easy, one bowl, no mixer vanilla buttercream with a delicious hint of almond. Paired with the tender cake and strawberry glaze it's a bit of culinary nirvana!
What is cake flour?
This Pink Velvet Cake recipe calls for cake flour. Cake flour is a low-protein flour (7-9% protein vs. all-purpose flour, which has 10-12% protein. According to Food 52, "it's made by milling soft wheat that’s low in gluten (not gluten-free) and sifting it until extra fine in texture". Because of its super fine texture, using cake flour instead of all-purpose yields deliciously tender baked goods with a super soft, super tender crumb."
Cake flour is available at most larger groceries in the same area as the other flour. Probably the most popular and widely available cake flour in the U.S. is Swans Down. Like all-purpose flour, if kept in an airtight container, cake flour is good for up to one year. If you store it in the fridge or freezer, it's good indefinitely!
I recommend using cake flour for this Pink Velvet Cake but if you can't find cake flour or don't want to purchase it, there is a substitution. To lower the protein content of all-purpose flour, a small amount corn starch replaces an equal amount of flour. To make one cup of cake flour, add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to a 1-cup measuring cup then spoon in all-purpose flour to mound over the top. Level any excess flour off with a flat bladed knife and you've got yourself a cup of DIY cake flour!
A WOW interior!
I know you're ready to see the beautiful pink-hued interior, right? Okay, no more suspense, check it out:
See what I mean when I say it's pretty as a (pink) picture? Like the name implies the cake interior has a soft velvety texture. I wish we could share a piece together and "ooh", "ahh" and "mmmm" with each other over a cup of coffee or a tall glass of ice cold milk.
But since that's not possible right now - maybe one day we'll have the pleasure of breaking
bread cake together - but for now, be sure to put this Pink Velvet Cake on your MUST-MAKE-AS-SOON-AS-POSSIBLE list! ENJOY!
P.S. This cake is PERFECT for spring celebrations, bridal or baby showers, Mother's Day, Easter, Valentine's Day, Christmas...
Café Tips for making this Pink Velvet Cake
- You'll need a 9-inch cake pan with (at least) 2-inch tall sides. Most cake pans that are made these days have nice tall sides. If your pan has sides that are less than 2 inches tall, just fill the pan ¾ full and use a small loaf pan for the rest. There's a little bonus as you can freeze the small one or give it away!
- If you're in the market for a new cake pan, I LOVE these OXO Good Grip Cake Pans. I've had mine for several years, use them all the time, put them in the dishwasher and they still look like new.
- To ensure easy removal from the pan, be sure to spray your cake pan generously with baking spray then rub it with a paper towel to coat the pan.
- I also like to line the pan with a circle of parchment paper and spray that lightly with baking spray. This may seem like overkill but, you'll be super happy when you flip it out of the pan and the cake is perfectly intact and beautiful!
- I love these pre-cut parchment paper circles. They're reasonably priced, come in a pack of 100, last forever and save lots of time!
- Before baking this Pink Velvet Cake, the last step is to add the egg whites to the batter, one at a time and whisk for 30 seconds after each addition. This is super important for a soft, tender cake texture. I set a timer with my Alexa so I don't cheat.
- A good whisk is an essential kitchen tool, especially when making cakes, cookies, etc. that don't require a mixer, like this Pink Velvet Cake. I love this whisk - it's a three-in-one and stores nice and flat.
- The buttercream recipe for this cake calls for half and half. For those of you living outside of the U.S., half and half is an American convenience product often used as a creamer for coffee. Half and half is half milk and half heavy cream.
- I use clear vanilla for this recipe. Clear vanilla is not pure vanilla extract but this one tastes good and has great reviews.It isn't necessary although it keeps the pink color nice and pure.
Thought for the day:
Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
they are ever praising You.
Blessed are those whose strength is in You.
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoy this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations, and ideas for variations.
- ½ cup very soft butter
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla I used clear vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cups buttermilk
- 2 cups cake flour
- 3 egg whites from large eggs
- 4-8 drops pink food color I use Wilton Pink Rose but any pink food color will work.
- ½ cup diced fresh strawberries 5-6 medium-size strawberries
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter ½ stick
- 2 tablespoons half and half or cream maybe a bit more
- 2 cups powdered sugar maybe a bit more
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract I use clear vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- nonpareils for garnish, if desired
Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a 9-inch cake pan (with sides that are at least 2 inches tall with baking spray. Line the pan with a circle of parchment paper.
Whisk the butter until light and creamy. Add the sugar, vanilla and almond extract, then whisk until well combined. (It will not be smooth and creamy at this point but rather a bit sandy.)
Add the baking soda, baking powder and salt and stir to combine.
Add approximately ⅓ (doesn’t have to be exact) of the buttermilk and stir to combine. Then add approximately ⅓ of the flour and stir again. Repeat x 2 until all of the buttermilk and flour have been added.
Add egg whites, one at a time and whisk vigorously for 30 seconds after each addition. Add pink food coloring, stirring after each drop until the desired shade of pink is reached. (I used 5-6 drops.)
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top to an even layer with an offset knife or spatula. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean OR (best way to determine doneness) until an instant thermometer inserted into the center of the cake registers 200-210˚F.
Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then invert the cake onto a cooling rack. (The flat bottom of the cake now becomes the top.)
Slowly brush the cake on the top and sides with the strawberry glaze (recipe below - make it while the cake is baking). Some will drip off but most of it will be absorbed. Allow the cake to cool completely before adding the optional buttercream.
If you decide to go with the buttercream, scrape it out onto the center of the cake then spread with an offset spatula or knife. Swirl the buttercream decoratively with the back of a spoon, if desired. Sprinkle with nonpareils, if desired.
While the cake is baking, prepare the glaze. Combine diced strawberries with the 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar in a medium-size microwave-safe bowl or cup (not too small as the mixture will bubble up in the microwave). Stir to combine. Microwave on high power for 1 minute. Stir then microwave for 1 more minute.
Pour the strawberry mixture into a fine-mesh strainer that’s been set over a bowl and allow the strawberry juice to drain into the bowl. Stir the mixture every now and then and press on the solids with the back of a spoon to push out all of the juice.
You should end up with about ¼ cup of strawberry juice. If you have a bit more, discard †he excess. If it’s not quite a ¼ cup, add a bit of water to equal ¼ cup.
Add the powdered sugar to the strawberry juice and stir well until lump free. If it is difficult to dissolve the lumps you can microwave the mixture for 20-30 seconds then stir well again.
Place the butter in a medium-size microwave-safe bowl and cook on high power for 1 minute or until melted. Remove from the microwave and add the half and half or cream, the vanilla and almond extracts and the powdered sugar.
Whisk until smooth and creamy. It should be a nice spreadable consistency. If it’s a little thin you can add a bit more powdered sugar. If it seems a little thick, add a bit more half-and-half or cream.
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips to ensure success.
If you prefer to use Metric measurements there is a button in each of our recipes, right above the word “Instructions”. Just click that button to toggle to grams, milliliters, etc. If you ever come across one of our recipes that doesn't have the Metric conversion (some of the older recipes may not), feel free to leave a comment and I will add it.
Nutritional information is with just the strawberry glaze.