Berries velvet cake

'Red is the colour of passion and love! It’s the perfect cake to gift to your loved one – or cook it together!' Nickola D'souza is pastry chef for Cakes by Heidi, Steigenberger Hotel, Business Bay, Dubai. This Valentine's week Friday asked some of Dubai’s top chefs to create dishes that will feature on their Valentine’s menu

Prep 0 h : 30 m
Cook 0 h : 20 m


  • For the cake:

    170g unsalted butter, at room temperature

    1½ cups granulated sugar

    2 eggs

    7 tsp red food colouring

    2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa

    1 tsp salt

    1 tsp vanilla extract

    1 cup buttermilk

    2¼ cups all-purpose flour (for every one cup of all-purpose flour, remove 2 tbsp and replace with corn flour)

    1 tbsp white vinegar

    1¼ tsp baking soda


    350g cheese, at room temperature

    200g unsalted butter, at room temperature

    680g powdered sugar

    1½ tsp vanilla essence


  • To prepare the cake, preheat oven to 180°C.

    Grease and flour three cake tins, each 6 inches in diameter.

    Set aside.

    Cream together butter, sugar in a food processor until light and fluffy.

    Add eggs, one at a time, mixing just until they mix.

    In a small bowl, whisk together the red food colouring, cocoa, salt and vanilla until blended.

    Add the cocoa mixture to the creamed butter and sugar mixture.

    Blend on medium-low until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

    Add 1/3 of the buttermilk and blend on low until incorporated. Next add 1/3 of the flour and mix on low.

    Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

    Repeat by adding ½ of the remaining buttermilk and then ½ of the remaining flour, taking care not to over-beat after each addition.

    Blend on low just until incorporated.

    Repeat until all the buttermilk and flour are incorporated.

    In a small cup stir together vinegar and baking soda.

    Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the vinegar mixture into the cake batter.

    Do not use a whisk.

    Divide the batter equally into the three cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 20 mins.

    To prepare the icing: Combine the cheese and butter; beat until blended. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. And the vanilla and mix on low until smooth and creamy. Spoon it in a piping bag.

    Stack the cakes, piping the frosting between the cakes.

    Decorate with berries and serve.