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Vertical red velvet cake

vertical red velvet cake

Ingredients 15
Servings 8-10
Time 15 mins


  • For the cake:
  • 8
    large eggs - separated
  • 160
  • 20
    lemon juice
  • pinch
    of salt
  • 70
  • 30
    cocoa powder
  • 50
    beetroot powder
  • For the cream cheese icing:
  • 300
    smooth cream cheese - softened
  • 150
    butter - softened
  • 5
    vanilla extract
  • 750
    icing sugar
  • extra icing sugar - for dusting
  • edible flowers - to decorate


1 hour

Preheat the oven to 200°C. 

Grease and line a large baking tray (30 x 40cm) with greaseproof paper.

Using a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer, beat the egg yolks, 140g of the sugar and the lemon juice together until pale and thick, around 3-4  mins.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. 

Gradually add in the  remaining 20g sugar and continue whisking until just forming stiff peaks.

Sift the flour, cocoa and beetroot powder into a bowl, then gently fold into the egg yolk mixture in 2 batches.

Lightly stir in a third of the meringue mixture to loosen the batter, then gently fold in the rest.

Carefully spread the mixture into the prepared tin and lightly smooth the surface.

Bake for 15 mins.

Meanwhile place a clean tea towel on your counter and dust liberally with icing sugar.

Leave the cake to cool in the pan for 5 minutes (not longer), then carefully flip out onto the tea towel. 

Peel the greaseproof paper off the back, then trim the edges with a sharp knife to neaten.

Immediately roll up the cake from the short side (with the tea towel) until you have a Swiss roll shape. 

Leave to stand for 20 mins (or until cool) to set the shape.

Meanwhile make the cream cheese icing.

Beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. 

Both should be well softened to avoid lumps. Mix in the vanilla.

Gradually sift in the icing sugar and beat well after each addition until you have a gorgeously glossy and smooth icing.

Now unroll the cake, and with the short end closest to you, measure and cut three equal strips parallel to the long edge, each about 10cm wide.

Spread each of the strips of sponge with a layer of icing, using just less than half of the icing.

Now for the fun bit! Take one strip of sponge cake and, starting with the short end, roll it up. 

Once this strip is rolled, position the exposed end at the beginning of the next strip and keep rolling. Repeat with the last strip. 

Turn the cake onto it’s flat side so that it stands upright.

Refrigerate for about 30 mins so that the icing can firm up.

Cover the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of icing – this is the crumb coat and seals in any loose crumbs. 

Refrigerate for a further 30 mins.

Use the remaining icing to cover the cake completely. 

Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Just before serving, decorate with edible flowers or a sprinkle of beetroot powder.

Reprinted with the permission of The Sweet Rebellion. Click here for more recipes.


You won't believe what the trick is to get cake layers to come out perfectly flat

(images: Katelyn Allegra) ALSO READ: Do different types of sugar really make a difference in baking? I want to be upfront here, I have nothing against cakes with domed tops. The top of the cake can be easily trimmed off which leaves you with a flat cake - and a treat!


Read more on: beetroot  |  cake  |  baking


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