Red Velvet Chocolate Mud Cake Bonanza; Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Super Quick!
I love cake!
Then again, who doesn’t love a tall, creamy, fluffy and decadent piece of heaven? If you’d care to join me, I’ll share with you my latest invention; the Red Velvet Chocolate Mud Cake!
This post contains both a recipe and a review. You can opt to use pre-mixes for this cake, or go all the way and create it from scratch. Your choice!
You see, I have been fortunate enough to receive a care pack from Melinda’s Gluten Free Goodies, and although there are a LOT of tempting products to try, I decided to head straight for the jewel in the crown; the Red Velvet Cake. Simultaneously I’ve been experimenting with various Chocolate Mud cakes recently, and wanted to give Well&Good’s Mud Cake Mix a go. I thought I’d add a little twist to the good old favourites, and team them up into a superbly delicious concoction of red and black delight. I’m very happy that I did, because this newfound and colourful treat was a slamming success!
For the premixed version you will need:
1 Pack of red velvet cake mix;
For Melinda’s you’re required to add 50 g butter, 2 eggs and 160 ml milk, but I prefer mine dairy free so I used Nutellex and Rice milk instead. The directions state that egg replacer can be used as well.
1 pack of chocolate mud cake mix;
For Well&Good you’re required to add 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of oil, but you can add an extra egg in lieu of the oil for a low-fat version. Quite a handy option i think!
Follow the descriptions on the packs you’ve bought as all mixes differ.
I have also put together two options for the frosting.
Dairy-free “cream cheese” frosting:
- 1/4 cup Dairy-free butter substitute (I used Nutellex Light)
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 2 tsp rice milk (or similar)
- 1 tsp citric acid
Mix all ingredients vividly until light and fluffy.
Regular Delicious Cream Cheese Frosting:
100 g unsalted butter, room tempered (Tip: you can grate cold, hard butter to soften it!)
600 g icing sugar, sifted
250 g cold cream cheese (you can use low-fat)
Beat the butter with the icing sugar until fluffy and white. Add cream cheese and keep mixing on medium speed for about 5 more minutes. Don’t beat it for too long or it will be too soft.
If you like a rich helping of frosting, you can definitely add another half to these amounts!
If you want to make your own cakes from scratchh rather than using a premix, you can use these fantastic recipes:
Red Velvet Recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery’s cake book:
Preheat your oven to 170 c or 338 f (less for fan forced; know your own oven)
- 120 g room tempered, unsalted butter
- 300 g sugar
- 2 eggs
- 20 g cocoa powder
- 0,4 dl red food colouring (find out which food colours are safe and good here)
- 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 300 g gluten-free all purpose or cake flour
- 1 tsp bicarb of soda or 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 3 tsp white wine vinegar
- Beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
- Add egg and turn mixer to high speed.
- Mix cocoa, red colouring and vanilla in a separate bowl, and mix until it’s smooth, thick and creamy.
- Pour the cocoa mixture into the butter, and mix until it’s all well blended and even.
- Turn your mixer to low speed, and carefully add half the buttermilk.
- Slowly add half the flour, then mix well.
- Repeat the process for the rest of the buttermilk and flour, then turn the mixer on high to blend everything properly.
- Turn down the speed to low again and add salt, bicarb and vinegar, then turn up the speed and mix for another couple of minutes
- Bake for approximately 45 minutes, or till a skewer comes out clean.
You can choose to cut the cake in two pieces (equalling 4 pieces in total), or bake each cake in two separate tins (equalling 4 tins in total), making it easier to stack afterwards. Both ways work.
Bestrecipes.com.au has a great Chocolate Mud Cake recipe:
Preheat oven to 150 c or 300 f
- 250 g butter
- 200 g dark, dairy free chocolate (I use Lindt’s baking chocolate; it’s dairy-free)
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp instant coffee (I use decaf)
- 1/3 cup regular all-purpose gluten-free flour
- 1/3 cup self-raising gluten-free flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 3 eggs lightly beaten
- In a large saucepan, add the first 5 ingredients
- Melt over low heat until sugar is dissolved and chocolate is melted. Allow to cool for 10 minutes
- Sift flour and cocoa into a large mixing bowl
- Add the cooled liquid and beat gently
- Add the eggs and mix gently
- Pour into pan(s) and bake for 1 3/4 hours. Keep a close eye on it as ovens differ!
Once you have baked your cakes, let them rest in the pan for 5 minutes before you turn them out onto a cooling rack and let them cool down completely.
Tip: After they are entirely cool, use a plate or a bowl as a measurement to cut them all into the same size. Just lay the plate carefully over the cake, and use a sharp knife to cut around the sides. You might also need to level the tops of the cakes. Use a bread knife and be careful not to cut the layers too thin.
Once you have your 4 cake pieces, line a serving plate with some baking paper around the edges and place the “bottom” cake layer on top. Place half the frosting in a separate bowl (to avoid crumbs going into all the frosting), and start layering the cakes with frosting in between each layer. Press down lightly on top of each layer, paying attention to the shape of the cake. Try to make sure the outer edges stack up straight.
Tip: To help you avoid getting crumbs in the frosting on the outside of the cake, ice from the other bowl and don’t put the spatula back into the bowl without cleaning off the crumbed leftovers. Make a thin layer all over the cake, then pop it in the fridge or freezer until the first layer has set before you apply more frosting. This way the crumbs should be sealed into the first layer of frosting, and thus prevented from pulling off and making your second layer look bad.
The finished result looks amazing and tastes even better!
How did the premixes measure up?
I recruited a “tasting panel” of three eager cake lovers to help me evaluate the packaged premixes, in order to get a nice balanced set of opinions. This is the result of the testing:
“Melinda’s Decadent Red Velvet Cake”
I like Melinda’s concept, and she keeps expanding her range in the Australian market much to our appreciation. Melinda is a coeliac, and knows first-hand how much we need and appreciate a good gluten-free treat. She is also a very lovely lady, with a great nose for business and a booming brand. All the best to her! You can visit Melinda’s website to see her full range.
The cake is easy to make, and the descriptions are simple to follow. It has a pleasant taste, and is an alright and easy alternative to making your own red velvet. The colour is rich and quite similar to “the real deal”.
I am very pleased that Melinda has made a Red Velvet option, and especially that she has made an effort to make it Fructose Friendly and with natural ingredients, as well as gluten-free! The recipe also features options for dairy-free and egg-free, and although I haven’t tried the egg-free variety, I do love that it’s an option.
One hungry cake tester pointed out that the “red velvet” taste was more of a late arrival after the cake was well and truly chewed, and an other tester mentioned that it reminds her a bit of sponge cake. All the testers agreed that the flavour was pleasant, and they had no complaints, but it wasn’t perhaps quite the decadence of a red velvet they had expected. They also mentioned that it was a tad bit on the dry side.
Personally I wonder about the baking time. I have made this cake twice now, and I have found it to be ready at about 35-40 minutes rather than 50 as it says on the pack. Obviously ovens do differ, so you need to make allowances for your own. Go with the skewer rather than the timer.
I also find the cake to come out a bit on the dry side, which has happened both times I’ve made it in spite of careful monitoring. I think it might be an idea to replace some of the liquid with a neutral oil, as that might help to retain the moisture a bit better. With a bit more moisture to it, I recon it would get a higher score!
I like that Melinda uses simple and allergy-friendly ingredients. Everything in the cake is natural, but I might mention that it does contain Carmine for the red colouring which is indeed natural and not a problem for most people, but some sensitive individuals must avoid it (read about safe food colouring here).
I also think it’s worth mentioning that although this cake is wonderfully allergen-friendly and easy to make, it does require you to add at least 4 extra ingredients.
All up it’s an alright premix, but I am eager to try her other products too in order to find a favourite. I am sure I will!
“Well & Good’s Chocolate Mud Cake Mix”
I have a favourite mud cake mix that I usually turn to, so I was very curious to see if this one would measure up. You can visit Well & Good’s web page to see their product range.
My test panel gave this mix a plain and simple three thumbs up. They all enjoyed the finished product, and pointed out that it was moist, rich and very chocolatey. There was a lot of “ooh’ing” and “aah’ing” throughout, and no one had anything bad to say.
Having made a fair amount of mud cakes in my time, I quite liked this mix. It is not as moist and dense as a homemade mud cake, and it isn’t probably quite as moist as my other favourite, but it’s still very, very delicious, and it has the added advantage of being really quite allergy-friendly! It is gluten, wheat, dairy, tree nut, soy, GMO, peanut an transfat-free, fructose-friendly and free from maize/corn starch. To top it off you only need to add eggs and oil (optional)! There is actually an option for adding eggs only to make a low-fat version. I do however suspect it to be slightly more moist if you use the oil.
I really liked the fact that you don’t need to add a whole lot of extra ingredients. It makes the cake not only easier to whip up, but also cheaper. In fact, this is the kind of mix you can whip up at a minute’s notice if surprise visitors pop ’round, because you don’t really need to add anything but eggs! A great one for the pantry in other words.