Red velvet was not enough.
White chocolate cheesecake was not enough.
Simple brownies certainly weren’t going to be enough for T’s birthday cake. Given her constant birthday baking for others, her cake had to be OVER THE TOP.
So we made all three.
Red velvet white chocolate cheesecake brownie cake.
This is the kind of cake where you have to forget that calories exist when you eat it. But it is so incredifreaking delicious.
It doesn’t need to be served in anything more than slivers; even a finger-thin slice yields a intricately layered vertical wall of luscious cake, creamily decadent cheesecake, crunchy oreo crumbs, and chewy brownie crust to be excavated…
…by your taste buds. Get at it.
As usual, there were many alterations to the original recipes due to limited kitchen supplies among other factors. The basis of this recipe came from Playing House’s Red Velvet White Chocolate Cheesecake, but the red velvet version we made combined some techniques from Apple A Day’s version, as discussed in the Crumbly Cookie’s red velvet cake comparison. Crumbly Cookie suggests using 1 cup of oil instead of 1.5 cups, which was a great suggestion since the cake was definitely sufficiently moist.
Red Velvet Cake
Adapted from Playing House
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 T red food coloring
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk*
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp lemon juice
*I used 1 scant cup of skim milk + 1 T lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.
2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Mix in food coloring and vanilla.
3. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisk well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam), add mixture to the batter and mix on medium speed for 10 seconds.
4. Line one 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper or spray generously with nonstick baking spray. Pour half the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Transfer pans to a wire rack. Allow to cool before removing the cake from the pan. Cool completely before assembling cake.
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
1. Pour other half of batter into greased whoopie pie pans or, in my case, dollop circles of batter onto a greased cookie sheet to approximate whoopie pie shapes. Bake for 12-15 minutes until firm. Transfer “whoopie pies” to a wire rack to cool.
2. Assemble whoopie pies by spreading 1 T of frosting on one cookie, then top with additional cookie. Cut 4-5 pies into sixths or eights, depending on the size of whoopie-pie-triangle garnish you want. Reserve the mini whoopie pie triangles for decoration.
White Chocolate Cheesecake
Adapted from Playing House
4 oz white chocolate, chopped
2 8-oz bricks of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
1 T flour
2 eggs at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the white chocolate and set aside to cool slightly.
2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed until creamy. Add the sugar and mix slowly until smooth. On low speed, mix in the flour. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl and beater with a rubber spatula. Add one egg at a time and mix until smooth. Scrape down again. Mix in the vanilla and cream until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the melted white chocolate until incorporated.
3. Pour the batter into a parchment paper-lined (or generously sprayed with nonstick baking spray) 9-inch springform pan. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the center is set when you shake the pan slightly. Allow to cool before removing from the pan. Allow to cool completely before assembling with the red velvet cake.
1 package brownie mix + other stuff (approximately 2-3 eggs, 1/3 cup oil, ½ cup water depending on your mix)
Prepare brownies according to directions.
~20 crushed oreo wafers, insides scraped and reserved
½ cup chocolate chips, melted
¼ cup cream cheese (can be lowfat or nonfat)
Mix all ingredients together into a thick, barely spreadable paste.
White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting**
Taken from Piece of Cake
1 8-oz brick cream cheese, chilled (do not use reduced fat cream cheese)
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted if lumpy
4 ounces white chocolate, divided
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
**We halved the recipe which yielded the perfect amount of frosting for the approximately 9” cake.
1. Melt white chocolate. While it cools, beat the very cold cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar at low speed just to get the ingredients blending, then beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
2. Add 2 ounces of the melted white chocolate and the vanilla and beat on medium speed just to blend–don’t overbeat at this point, or the heat of the mixer will start to break down the cream cheese.
Place brownie layer on serving plate. Spread half of the oreo glue over the top of the brownie layer. “Glue” may be extremely thick, but push around until spread as evenly as possible. Place cheesecake layer on top of brownie layer; spread the remainder of the “glue” over the top. Place red velvet layer on top. Trim the sides and brush the crumbs away (this is one of my favorite pages for tips on assembling and frosting layer cakes).
Frost with cream cheese frosting and use remaining 2 ounces of white chocolate to drizzle over the cake with a spoon.
Dollop tiny globs of white chocolate at regular intervals around the edge of the cake and place a whoopie pie triangle in each glob before it hardens.