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The dessert that will steal the show.

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Credit: Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones

Recipe Summary

bake:
25 mins
cool:
55 mins
chill:
30 mins
total:
2 hrs 40 mins
active:
50 mins
Servings:
11
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It's always the season for fun frostings. When we've got a whole holiday meal or dinner party to worry about, the last thing we want to be fussing over is dessert. We'd love to pull off an elegant layer cake for every occasion, big or small, but sometimes, we need a little extra help.

Here at Southern Living, we believe that there is absolutely no shame in baking from a boxed mix. In fact, we've devised a few ways to upgrade your boxed cake mix to make a truly special dessert. But in this recipe for Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting, the focus is really on the frosting.

This classic Southern cake calls for a rich cream cheese frosting, and our recipe delivers with extra sweetness from white chocolate. Even if you skip the ruffled design, our Test Kitchen says this dessert will steal the show. Keep the frosting cool because it can soften and melt.

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare red velvet cake mix according to package directions. Divide batter evenly among 3 (9-inch) round cake pans coated with baking spray.

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  • Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in centers of cakes comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto wire racks; cool completely, about 45 minutes.

  • Beat softened butter and cream cheese with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. With mixer on low speed, gradually add powdered sugar, white chocolate, and vanilla. Increase speed to medium-high; beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. (You will have about 10 cups frosting.)

  • Place a cake plate on a lazy Susan or stand. Put 1 cake layer on plate; spread top with 1¼ cups frosting. Repeat with remaining 2 cake layers and 2½ cups of the frosting. Using a large offset spatula, spread a thin layer of frosting (about 1 cup) over sides of entire cake. Using an offset spatula or the back of a teaspoon, gently press into outer edge of frosting on top cake layer. Spin cake to create a spiral pattern in frosting, moving to center of cake. Remove cake plate with cake from lazy Susan, and chill until frosting is firm and set, about 30 minutes.

  • Place remaining frosting (about 5¼ cups) in a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 104 petal tip; set aside.

  • Return cake plate with cake to lazy Susan. Hold piping bag with pointed (thin) end of the tip facing straight up. Starting at the top of 1 side of the cake, turn it while piping a ring around it, gently moving the piping bag up and down slightly to create a ruffled effect. Pipe another ruffled ring a bit lower on cake, overlapping first ring slightly. Repeat process around cake, making each ring a little lower and overlapping slightly, until you reach the bottom.

How To Frost a Ruffle Cake

1. Using an offset spatula, spread a thin, smooth layer of frosting over the entire cake. Starting with the outer edge of the top layer, press spatula down while spinning cake, making a spiral. Remove cake plate with cake, and chill until frosting is firm and set, about 30 minutes.

2. Place remaining frosting in a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 104 petal tip. Hold the bag with the pointed end of the tip facing up. Starting at the top of 1 side of the cake, turn cake while piping a ring, gently moving the piping bag up and down slightly to create a ruffled effect.

3. Repeat process a bit lower on cake, overlapping each previous ring slightly until you reach the bottom of the cake.

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