GIVE ME RED … Red Velvet Cake Roll with Strawberries & Ricotta

“Lots of bright colors like lime, orange and red this year.”
 Barbara Henderson
The sight of the brilliant RED in the RVC takes my breath away each time I see a picture. Does that happen to you too? I have always wanted to make a red velvet cake (RVC) for as long as I can remember. So much talk about it, so many pictures calling my name, but I never quite had the courage to try making something so red which often involved a whole bottle of red food colouring.  It scared me! Almost every recipe I came across had about that amount of colour to lend the cake its characteristic RED!
Then while on The Monsorovs one day, browsing recipe after recipe in sheer amazement, I luckily found it – a RVC roulade. A quick look at the recipe and I knew I’d be making it soon. Just 1 tbsp of colour was more within my mental boundaries. I didn’t need much persuasion to jot it down.  A few days later the daughter insisted that I make something red on Valentines Day. I am not cheesy about V Day, and would have been fine to sit back and treat  it as any ordinary day, but the temptation to bake the RVC proved too strong.

A Red velvet cake is a rich, moist, sweet cake with a dark red, bright red or red-brown color. It is usually prepared as a layer cake somewhere between chocolate and vanilla in flavor, topped with a creamy white icing. Common ingredients are buttermilk, butter, flour, cocoa, and either beets or red food coloring. The amount of cocoa used varies in different recipes. A typical frosting is a butter roux (also known as a cooked flour frosting). Cream cheese or buttercream frostings are also used.

While foods were rationed during World War II, bakers used boiled beets to enhance the color of their cakes. Boiled grated beets or beet baby food are found in some red velvet cake recipes, where they also serve to retain moisture.

A red velvet cake was a signature dessert at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City during the 1920s. According to a common urban legend a woman once asked for the recipe for the cake, and was billed a large amount. Indignant, she spread the recipe in a chain letter.
Sure enough I was in the kitchen the next day making the cake. It’s a simple straight forward recipe, and I made just a few changes. Used buttermilk instead of milk. Also used a mixture of ricotta and cream instead of cream cheese and white chocolate. Was a hearty good cake to make, and visually very dramatic! I have a few ideas for the next time that I make it. I will probably make a fatless sponge for the roll using the recipe as a base, and the inside would be my favourite cream – mascarpone. Also getting ideas from the 4 Red Velveteers Twitterazi (Aparna, Allesio, Pamela, and Asha inspired by Davina), will try and find a natural red substitute, maybe beets, strawberry reduction etc … all this shall happen one day when my next bout of inspiration strikes!!!
I love the way food can generate so much interest and excitement on Twitter. Food with visual appeal and colour is a constant source of fascination for me. Sharing my RVC on Twitter had a flood of response. I caught a bit of it for you here…
Gorgeous! I want to gorge on it! RT @sugarbardiva: RT @vindee: Wrapped up the last of the Red Velvet Cake Roll – Great idea RT
@vindee: Wrapped up the last of the Red Velvet Cake Roll… with ricotta & strawberries
@vindee gorgeous, look at that color! WOW!
@vindee @sugarbardiva I’ve always LOVED Red Velvet! it’s a very (U.S.) southern thing. Bake mine in either rose-shaped or heart-shaped pans.
@RJFlamingo & bcos the only frosting i truly like is cream cheese frosting. The big V is spot on 😀 (@vindee)

Red Velvet Cake roll … with strawberries and ricotta
 Adapted from this recipe at The Mansurovs
 Yield: 15-inch rolled cake, 12 to 14 servings
 For the cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cultured buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup vanilla sugar (or granulated sugar)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon liquid red food coloring
For the ricotta-cream filling
1 quantity ricotta made from here, drained well, or a 250gms tub
100ml cream
2-3 tbsps powdered sugar
200gms strawberries (reserve some for serving on the side)
Powdered sugar for sifting on top

Make the cake

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 190°C. Coat a small area in the center of a 15 1/2-by-10 1/2-by-1-inch pan (jelly-roll pan) with nonstick spray. Line the pan with aluminum foil, pressing the foil into the contours of the pan and leaving a 2-inch overhang at each short end (the spray anchors the foil in place to make buttering easier). Butter the foil, then flour it, tapping out the excess flour. Have all of the ingredients at room temperature.
Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-low speed until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and add the granulated sugar in a steady stream. Continue to beat until light in color and fluffy in texture, about 2 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
With the mixer on medium speed, add the egg slowly, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated and stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. On the lowest speed, add the flour mixture in two or three additions alternately with the buttermilk in one or two additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and mixing after each addition only until incorporated smoothly. Stop the mixer after each addition and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Maintaining the same speed, add the food coloring and mix well to color the batter evenly. Without delay, spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly with a rubber spatula.
Bake the cake until it is set on top and springs back when lightly pressed in the center, about 10 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack. If necessary, run a thin knife blade around the perimeter of the pan to loosen the cake sides. Then pull up on the foil overhang and carefully transfer the cake to a wire rack. Without delay, place a sheet of foil over the cake and manipulate the foil to make a shallow tent (a tent holds in the moisture as the cake cools, but prevents the foil from sticking to the cake). Let cool for about 45 minutes, then proceed to assemble the dessert.
Whiz the ricotta, cream and sugar in blender till smooth. Adjust sugar if required and blend again till nice and creamy.
Clean, hull and chop strawberries for filling.

Assemble the cake

Remove the foil from the top of the cake. Transfer the cake on its bottom sheet of foil to a work surface, placing it so that one of its long sides is parallel to the edge of the surface closest to you. Place another long sheet of aluminum foil on the work surface nearby.
Using an offset spatula, spread the filling evenly over the cake, leaving a 1/2-inch border uncovered on the long side farthest from you. (The leftover filling, along with a few berries, makes a good kitchen snack for the baker.) Place the strawberries, if using, randomly on the filling along the length of the cake.
Begin rolling the cake by flipping the edge nearest you over onto itself. Then, with the aid of the foil that extends beyond the short sides, roll up the cake lengthwise until you reach the far long side. As you work, wrap the foil around the roll to assist in rounding the shape (otherwise the cake will stick to your hands). To insure the roll is uniform, place the roll in its foil across the bottom third of a 24-inch-long piece of parchment paper, bring the top edge of the paper toward you, and drape it over the cake roll, allowing a 2-inch overhang.
Place the edge of a rimless baking sheet at a 45-degree angle to the roll and your work surface. Apply pressure against the roll, trapping the 2-inch overhang, and push while simultaneously pulling the bottom portion of paper toward you. This push-pull motion creates a resistance that results in compressing the log into a uniform shape. If any cracks appeared as you rolled the cake, they are consolidated in this compression and disappear from view.
Carefully lift the roll in the aluminum foil and set it, seam side down, on the fresh sheet of foil. Wrap the cake securely in the foil. Transfer the foil-wrapped roll to the baking sheet or shallow tray and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to help set the filling.

To serve

Remove the cake from the refrigerator and peel off and discard the foil. Carefully lift the roll onto a serving plate with the aid of a long, wide spatula or a rimless baking sheet. (If not serving right away, cover loosely with plastic wrap to keep the cake’s surface from drying out and return to the refrigerator to serve the same day.) Dust the cake with powdered sugar. Using a serrated knife and a sawing motion, cut the roll into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Center each portion on a dessert plate. Accompany with the strawberries.
♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥
This cake is headed for Nina at Confessions of a Bake-a-holic who is calling for Valentine day Cakes for her event Bake–a–Cake

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  • Rosa's Yummy Yums
    7 years ago

    It is gorgeous and so are your shots! That filling is really delightful!



  • hayatcemresi
    7 years ago

    your cake's very delicious.

  • nicole
    7 years ago

    Whoa, that's a beautiful cake! I love the idea of using ricotta in the filling instead of white chocolate. Nice job!

  • nicole
    7 years ago

    Whoa, that's a beautiful cake! I love the idea of using ricotta in the filling instead of white chocolate. Nice job!

  • Natashya KitchenPuppies
    7 years ago

    So beautiful! You are the master, darlin!

  • Swathi
    7 years ago


    Cake looks gorgeous.

  • Laurie
    7 years ago

    Your desserts never disappoint when it comes to being impressed. Lovely Deeba!

  • AdukalaVishesham
    7 years ago

    its super.. very impressive pics… your each post out shines the other….

  • Asha @ FSK
    7 years ago

    What a brilliant color!!! Beautiful.. love the little hearts you made on top 🙂

  • Ed Schenk
    7 years ago

    Nice take on a red velvet cake. Great Job!

  • Mowielicious
    7 years ago

    Loving the colour of that roll! Wow. And that ricotta cream filling sounds divine. Gorgeous honey xxx

  • Nina
    7 years ago

    Oh Deeba…it looks marvelous.Loved the lil hearts on top.I have had red velvet cake…but not this kind…look beautiful.Thanks for sending it to my event:)

  • Bellini Valli
    7 years ago

    You made the perfect choice here Deeba. I just love the colour red and especially this month since it is heart and stroke month.

  • Gloria
    7 years ago

    absolutely beauty and georgeous!! Love berries you know!! gloria xoxoxoxox

  • Manggy
    7 years ago

    Red velvet and a cheesy filling is a great combination, always. I hope you wore an apron!

  • Mags
    7 years ago

    There are no words except…ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!

  • El
    7 years ago

    This looks amazing. I'm so glad to finally know the history of this cake. Thank you!

  • Megan
    7 years ago

    Wow, that's a work of art. Just beautiful Deeba. Perfect for valentines day. I'll have to bookmark this and make it for the hubby soon! Thumbs up! 🙂

  • Sari
    7 years ago

    Gosh, this looks gorgeous! And the ricotta filling… You are killing me! 😉 I'd love to taste at least a little bit of it right now! I like the little hearts you made on top. What a clever idea! 🙂

  • Amanda
    7 years ago

    Absolutely stunning Deeba! I love it!

  • Amanda
    7 years ago

    Absolutely stunning Deeba! I love it!

  • Rachel
    7 years ago

    Beautifully presented Deeba!

  • shaz
    7 years ago

    What a gorgeous red roll Deeba! I too love the thought of RV cake but the idea of a whole bottle of colour scares me. Tried to use beets once but the cake turned brown (reaction between the raw beets and the baking soda) – maybe cooked beets might be different? Looking forward to seeing your next red cake:)

  • Barbara Bakes
    7 years ago

    I was so surprised it wasn't filled with mascarpone! It really does look lovely! I'll look forward to the beet version. I've always been scared of so much food coloring too1

  • Spice
    7 years ago

    Love it…it's so beautiful….I'm also hesitating to make RVC b'coz of quantity of food color in it…..but your bake is inspiring me now….

  • Federica
    7 years ago

    questo rotolo è golosissimo!! ciao!

  • Sarah, Maison Cupcake
    7 years ago

    It looks wonderful – great to see a variation on RVC that isn't cupcakes or a layer cake.

  • MaryMoh
    7 years ago

    Wow….that looks romantic, sexy and delicious!

  • Suma
    7 years ago

    Utterly gorgeous!! As always with all your cakes…

  • sunita
    7 years ago

    That looks stunning Deeba.

  • vickys
    7 years ago

    I love how the red velvet is made extra festive in roulade form, and with the extra strawberries! And it's also very befitting for the Lunar New Year!

  • ABowlOfMush
    7 years ago

    This is absolutely gorgeous!!
    You've really made me crave strawberries lately!
    Looks really beautiful 🙂

  • lisaiscooking
    7 years ago

    This is so pretty, and the filling sounds delicious! I've never tried a red velvet with beets or beet juice, but I've been wanting to attempt it. Can't wait to see your future versions of red velvet too!

  • Alessio Fangano
    7 years ago

    Really a gorgeous roulade! Love the Red color 🙂 I was quite scared as you when I realized the amount of coloring it usually requires, hence the use of raspberries in mine. Was thinking of tomato too though lol

    Yummy summery roll! Can I have a slice with a glass or prosecco please??

  • Nicisme
    7 years ago

    Cool cake, hope you weren't all bouncing around too much after, lol!

  • The MuffinTin Post
    7 years ago

    Thank you! Your photos are also incredible. I'm drooling at the strawberries – I haven't had a good one in quite a while.

  • Maunika
    7 years ago

    Looks amazing Deeba. Prefer roulades to regular cakes just coz the filling on the inside makes them really moist. But its refreshing to see a Red velvet roulade. Bet it was lush to eat!

  • Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten Free
    7 years ago

    I love cake rolls – they are always stunning to serve. Thanks for a great post – I gave you a Stumble.

  • bonnie
    7 years ago

    stunning- I love it!! great pics!!


  • Julia @Mélanger
    7 years ago

    Deeba, I'm with you re: needing an entire bottle of food colouring just for one cake. I even get nervous putting a few drops into batters. But this version, and the limited red food colouring required, looks perfect. You can see the bright red flavour so easily. I do love a roulade. Should be more of them!

  • Dinners and Dreams
    7 years ago

    What a gorgeous Valentine dessert!


  • Carolyn Jung
    7 years ago

    Awesome looking. Now, THIS is a Valentine's treat that really makes a person feel special. Did you save me a slice? 😉

  • Sharon
    7 years ago

    such an amazing and stunning dessert!

  • Arlette
    7 years ago

    What an amazing color .
    Beautiful cake, gorgeous photos, lovely flavours…

    Never baked a red velvet cake yet!!!

  • Rambling Tart
    7 years ago

    Oh Deeba, I think this is the most gorgeous roll I've ever seen! Absolutely LOVE it! 🙂 I'm so glad you stopped by my site today. I've seen your name and wondered who you were – now I know! I'm so happy I found you. 🙂

  • pigpigscorner
    7 years ago

    Gorgeous! Love RVC with cream cheese frosting/

  • Su-yin
    7 years ago

    Oh wow, this is definitely a good way to start off your RVC journey! I love how you modified it to make it your own – and those hearts on the top are so pretty!

  • nipitinthebud
    7 years ago

    jaw dropping photography and such detailed descriptions. I've no doubt recipes tried from your blog would taste as good as they look :o)

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    @#$#@ the diet! im making this 😀
    ps: the copyright thingy was right at the bottom of the page…not sure about the updating bit, sorry 🙁


  • Sophie
    7 years ago

    What a gorgeous cake roll! Red velvet is one of my personal favorites, I had to make some this past Valentine's too. I love the idea of a roll, that is so unique. Gorgeous photos!

  • Peter M
    7 years ago

    Woohoo, I want rolled red velvet cake! You have to make a Bouche Noel like this, just awesome!

  • Divina Pe
    7 years ago

    The color is so vibrant. And they're Swiss roll type which makes it different. Beautiful photos.

  • SKM
    7 years ago

    Just gorgeous, Deeba. Hugs!

  • Emma @CakeMistress
    7 years ago

    WOW! This cake makes me want to lick my computer screen. Such gorgeous colours.

  • Katrina
    7 years ago

    That is beautiful, as always and looks delicious!

  • Megan
    7 years ago

    What a beautiful presentation! This sounds and looks so delicious 🙂

  • Angie Marion
    7 years ago

    OMG this looks soooo good! I'm now officially hungry!

  • MommyToTwoBoys
    7 years ago

    That looks amazing! And probably tastes delicious too.

    I am stopping by from UPrinting. Congrats on Blogger of the Week.

  • thepassionatecook
    7 years ago

    that looks amazing… you have such a gift for photography! i would love to try this recipe, i've grown up with swiss rolls, but they were always the incredibly boring type with whipped cream… this is so much nicer!

  • Payal
    6 years ago

    Hi This looks sooo delicious. Can you please tell me what food coloring can be used? I dont find the paste/gel food coloring anywhere in India..will the powdered food coloring work? Also does the powdered food coloring work for buttercream frosting as well?
    Would really appreciate if you can recommend any brand available in india.

  • shiny
    2 years ago

    I tried this and turned out very well. I add an extra egg yolk and its wonderful. Thanks Deeba for sharing this wonderful recipe.

    • 2 years ago

      Thank you for taking the time to write back Shiny! Glad you liked it.

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