This Chocolate Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is a spin on red velvet cake and can be served TWO ways! Fresh from the oven for a molten chocolate interior, or allowed to cool on the counter for a moist, slice-able cake. Decadent, delicious and made in a skillet, this cake is perfect for Valentine's Day, or just because dessert is always a good option!Recipe can be scaled up or down by using the slider if you hover your mouse over the number of Servings.
Keyword: cake, chocolate, cream cheese, frosting, red velvet, skillet, velvet
2 2/3CupsCake Flour- spooned & leveled (SEE NOTES)
3TBSNatural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
½CupUnsalted Butter- at room temperature
1 ¾CupGranulated Sugar
2LargeEggs- at room temperature
1tspDistilled White Vinegar
Optional: 1 – 2 ½ TBS Red Food Coloring- or more if you want your cake red
1CupButtermilk- at room temperature
8ouncesCream Cheese, softened to room temperature
¼CupUnsalted Butter, at room temperature
2CupsConfectioner’s Sugar(powdered sugar)
Splash of milk(optional)
Optional for Serving: Powdered Sugar, Red Sprinkles, Fresh Raspberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or lightly butter a 10’’ oven safe skillet. Set aside.
Prepare the dry ingredients: Sift the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt together in a bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside.
Prepare the wet ingredients: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until well combined, about 3-4 minutes.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating in between to combine. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary while making the batter.
Add the vegetable oil and vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until combined. Beat in the vinegar and food coloring until desired color is achieved.
Add in the dry ingredients & buttermilk: With the mixer on low add the dry ingredients and buttermilk, alternating in batches, starting with the dry, then the buttermilk, and repeat, ending with the dry ingredients (dry-buttermilk-dry-buttermilk-dry). Mix until JUST combined – some small lumps are okay, do NOT overmix.
Bake: Pour the batter into the prepared skillet and spread into an even layer (do not stir). Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the edges are set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean*. Let cool for 5 minutes for a molten center, or an hour for a sliceable cake, before icing, dusting with powdered sugar or sprinkles and serving.
Meanwhile, prepare the frosting: Beat together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla for 2-3 minutes, or until creamy and smooth. Add the confectioner’s sugar and continue to beat for 2 minutes or until frosting is light and airy. Add a splash or two of milk if needed to thin the frosting out.
The recipe calls for cake flour, and I highly recommend you use cake flour. Cake flour has less protein, so it forms less gluten, which means your cake will be light and airy. If you don’t have cake flour and you simply don’t want to buy it, you can approximate cake flour by adding 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to a scant cup of all-purpose flour. Here’s the mathematical equation-
1 Cup AP Flour – 2 TBS AP Flour (= your scant cup) + 2 TBS Cornstarch = 1 Cup Cake Flour.
It’s really important you measure your flour correctly. Make sure you SPOON the flour into your measuring cup, and then LEVEL it off. Don’t just dip your measuring cup into your container of flour! If you do this your flour ends up more compact, AKA you end up with more flour than 1 cup, and that’s a no-no.
The recipe calls for the butter, eggs and buttermilk to be at room temperature. This isn’t a suggestion!
Using red food coloring in the recipe is completely optional. I used about 1 tablespoon, but if you want a RED cake, I suggest using 3 or more tablespoons.
I used a 10’’ cast iron skillet, but you can certainly use a 12’’ cast iron if that is what you have. Your cake just won’t be as thick.
There are two ways you can go when baking this skillet cake. A) Slightly crisp edges with a molten, gooey center, which is what I highly recommend. To achieve this, simply bake the cake for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges of set and a toothpick inserted comes out almost clean. Let it cool for 5-10 minutes before frosting and digging in. B) A slice-able cake. If you are looking for a cake that you can slice, serve and eat like a dignified human being, these instructions are for you. Bake the cake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out almost clean. Let the cake cool for at least 1 hour before frosting and digging in.
The cake will concave in the center as it starts to cool. Don’t be alarmed. It is completely normal.
Nutritional information is an approximation based upon 12 servings.