I have a little boy who turned four today. He is an adorable, sweet, potty talking, sensitive, sister teasing little scamp with boundless energy and an intense love of two things (besides his big sister:) Chocolate and the color “dark blue.”
Every morning while we pick out his clothes, he asks me, in his little Boston sounding accent, about everything from his underwear to his socks, to his shirt, “But is it dark blue?” And if, God forbid, I pick out an orange shirt, or a pair of beige pants, that lower lip comes out and he wants to know why.
We have been reduced to tears over not getting the blue sippy cup when it was currently dirty or in use. The kid wants me to color his pancakes blue. He wants to frost all the cookies blue. So it was no surprise to me when I asked him what flavor of cake he wanted for his birthday and he responded “dark blue!”
I decided, given his love affair with chocolate, that rather than coloring a vanilla cake blue, I would swap out my great recipe for Red Velvet Cake with blue coloring instead. The result was a deep, delicious blue colored cake that is light, airy, and covered in a delicious Ermine icing (a frosting that is cooked over low on the stove and then beaten to a fluff) that is as light and fluffy as whipped cream but has considerably more depth of flavor.
Had I been making this cake for anybody other than Charlie, I would have left the frosting white. I think that would be really beautiful. But, I had to give the birthday boy what he wanted!
I think the birthday boy was happy.
You could really make this cake just about any dark color.You could make Green Velvet Cake or Purple Velvet. The deep, beautiful color is so striking, the flavor so lovely, the cake itself so moist and fudgy.
So, the next time you need a blue cake for a baby shower, or a birthday for a kid who just loves blue, try this recipe. You will love it.
* 1/2 cup shortening
* 1 1/2 cups white sugar
* 2 eggs
* 2 tablespoons cocoa
* 4 tablespoons blue food coloring + 1 teaspoon purple/violet neon food coloring
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cup buttermilk
* 2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
* 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 cup milk
* 1 cup white sugar (yes, that is GRANULATED sugar)
* 1 cup butter
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Grease two 9 inch round pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Cream shortening and 1 1/2 cups sugar WELL. Add eggs and beat well.
3. Make a paste of cocoa and red food coloring. Add to creamed mixture. Mix salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla and buttermilk together. Add alternately the flour with the milk mixture to the creamed mixture. Mix soda and vinegar and FOLD INTO CAKE BATTER. DON’T BEAT OR STIR NOW.
4. Pour into prepared (greased and lined on the bottom with parchment paper) cake pans (I used a 7″ pan and made 3 layers. This is enough batter for two 9 inch cakes or 24 cupcakes )Bake for 20-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center just comes out clean.
5. To Make Icing: (I doubled this recipe for a 3 layer cake to have extra for icing the middle) Cook 5 Tablespoons flour and milk over low heat till thick (spoon should leave a trail when dragged thru), stirring constantly. LET COOL THOROUGHLY! While cooling, cream 1 cups sugar, butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat this well till light and fluffy. Add to flour mixture and beat until of a good spreading consistency. DON’T ICE CAKE TILL COOL.