Hello again! I hope everyone’s summer is going well and that you are all taking it easy and relaxing a little more than usual. Unfortunately, today’s review is not a happy one.
For the 4th of July this year I wanted to make a red velvet cake. I was craving it and I thought it would be so festive. However, I didn’t want just any red velvet cake. I specifically wanted to mimic the red velvet cake layers that are used in the Cheesecake Factory’s red velvet cheesecake. I had this cheesecake for my birthday this year and it was so incredibly flavorful, dense, moist, and rich that I have been craving it ever since.
I came across this recipe. I viewed a few but the picture in this one looked the most like the Cheesecake Factory version so that is why I chose it.
I followed the recipe down to going out and buying the buttermilk (which I rarely do!) and mixed up my batter.
Now, right of the bat, I was concerned. Does that batter look red to you? 1 tbsp. of food coloring definitely didn’t seem like enough to me – I’ve made red velvet things before and have always used more. (I kind of have a thing for red velvet as apparent from “Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies with White Chocolate Icing,” “Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Brownie Bars,” and “Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies.”)
I wanted my cake to look as festive as possible so I iced it with the cream cheese icing from this recipe. I didn’t use the Cheesecake Factory version since it seemed like it was probably at least three times worse for you than the simpler one. I am one of those rare people that really don’t enjoy icing that much but I have to say this icing was really good and, sadly, the best part of the cake.
I also decorated my cake with a red and blue firework and yellow stars using gel food coloring. I also added some chocolate sprinkles around the edges just for fun!
I liked my decorations and, like I said, the icing, but I hated the cake itself. The person that wrote this recipe clearly has never actually had the red velvet cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory. The cake was dry and crumbly and lacked flavor. It also wasn’t red – more like brown with a pinkish cast. The cake also took forever to set up in the oven – the center was still liquid after the initial baking time. I even took it out before I thought it was done while it was still very jiggly in the middle hoping once it cooled it would set into that moist texture I was looking for but that didn’t happen. I even split the cake and put some of the extra icing between the two layers with the hope that would moisten it but that didn’t even work.
I was so disappointed in this cake and definitely will not be making it again. It seemed like the only “copycat” portion of this recipe was telling you how to get the cheesecake layers into the red velvet cake. I don’t think leaving the cheesecake out was the culprit for the texture as no amount of cheesecake added in there was going to turn this into what I was after.
If anyone has had the Cheesecake Factory red velvet cheesecake and has some ideas as to how I can achieve the same dense, rich texture and flavor please let me know!