This red velvet pound cake is the IDEAL pound cake. It’s dense and buttery but also tender with a tight crumb. The batter is made in a very specific way to yield the best consistency, and it’s then divided to create a red velvet batch. These two batters are swirled together to create the most gorgeous slices of red velvet pound cake!
What makes this red velvet pound cake so good?
Pound cake is heavier than traditional cake because it uses much more butter. But this heaviness does not yield a chewy or tough texture. In fact, it’s the exact opposite! Here’s what goes in to making this red velvet pound cake both buttery AND tender:
- Danish Creamery Butter – Since butter plays a major role in any good pound cake recipe, it’s important to use a good quality and flavorful butter. Danish Creamery butter is made with high quality cream and slow churned to creamy perfection, so you can imagine just how good it is in this pound cake! It’s also lightly salted which prevents the cake from turning too sweet.
- Reverse Creaming – The reason why this cake is so tender is because of how the ingredients are combined. It feels a bit backwards, but all of the dry ingredients (including the sugar) are mixed with the Danish Creamery butter BEFORE adding any liquid ingredients. The butter essentially coats the flour in a layer of fat, providing a protective barrier that slows down gluten formation. The lack of strong gluten strands = a soft and tender texture.
- Dutch Process Cocoa – After the entire batch is made, it’s split into two. Two thirds of the batter is scooped out, so the remaining one third is ready to transform into red velvet. Dutch process cocoa is used to flavor the red velvet, giving it a super smooth and light chocolate flavor. I prefer dutch process here because it’s not as acidic as regular cocoa, and it has a deep color that allows the red velvet swirl to really stand out.
- Tapping – Once the pan is filled, tap it against the counter before baking. This not only levels out the batter, but it also knocks out any air bubbles so the crumb of this cake can be incredibly smooth.
How to swirl red velvet pound cake batter
Once the batter is split in two and prepped accordingly, it’s time to fill the pan! Here’s how to swirl two batters together:
- Scoop – Use a spoon to scoop globs of each batter into the bottom of the loaf pan. Place enough globs to cover the bottom and make sure to alternate the colors. This step should use up half of each batter.
- Swirl – Use a butter knife to gently swirl the globs together. Don’t over do it, just make one pass through to break up the color blocks.
- Repeat – Do this all over again in one more layer on top. When swirling the top layer, only dig the knife in about half way. Do not try to swirl the bottom of the pan as that has already been done.
Once the pan is tapped and the batter is smoothed out, it’s ready to bake!
What is the best pan to use for a loaf pound cake?
Since pound cake has a dense crumb, it loves to grow nice and tall. Because of this, a more narrow loaf pan is perfect for pound cake. This recipe calls for a 1 pound loaf pan which is about 8.5 x 4.5 inches.
I also recommend using an alloy steel pan (a medium aluminum color). This material heats up and cools down fast, which allows the center of the cake to bake much more even.
That being said, a standard 9×5 loaf pan can be used in any material. But for the best results, I always suggest alloy steel!
How to make chocolate ganache
Since red velvet has a very faint chocolate flavor, a drizzle of chocolate ganache on top of this cake is the perfect pairing.
Ganache is VERY easy to make and only requires two ingredients – chocolate and cream. For best results use a bar of semisweet chocolate and chop into small pieces. I stay away from chocolate chips when making ganache, mainly because chips have a coating that allows them to hold their shape when baked. This can sometimes change the consistency of the ganache.
Add the chopped chocolate to a bowl, and the heavy cream to a measuring glass. Microwave the measuring glass until the cream is steaming hot. Pour the cream over the chocolate and shake the bowl a bit to ensure every single piece of chocolate is submerged.
Wait about 1 minute to allow the hot cream to melt the chocolate, then whisk the two together until it’s rich and glossy!
Can this red velvet pound cake be made gluten free?
I have not tested it, but I do assume that this recipe would work well with a good quality gluten free baking flour. Just make sure it has xanthan gum in the mix and weigh it rather than measure by cups.
How to store red velvet pound cake
Store the cake in an air tight container either at room temperature or in the refrigerator. It will keep at room temp for a couple days, but for any longer it will need to stay in the refrigerator. The freshness lasts for a max of about 5 days.
For more red velvet recipes, check out my:
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram and comment below if you make this red velvet pound cake. To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!Print