Freaky finger red velvet cake

Freaky finger red velvet cake

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(9 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 25 mins plus chilling

More effort

Serves 12 - 16

Terrify and delight this Halloween with a dramatic chocolate red velvet cake, sandwiched with an easy cream cheese frosting

Nutrition and extra info

  • un-iced

Nutrition: per serving (16)

  • kcal487
  • fat31g
  • saturates19g
  • carbs45g
  • sugars30g
  • fibre1g
  • protein6g
  • salt1g
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    For the red velvet cake

    • 175g soft butter, plus extra for greasing



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 225g white caster sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 3 large eggs, at room temperature



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

    • 1 tbsp red food colouring paste (we used Christmas red from Sugarflair)
    • 200g plain flour
    • 50g cocoa powder (we used Green & Black's)
    • 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

    • ½ tsp baking powder
      Baking powder

      Baking powder

      bay-king pow-dah

      Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

    • ¼ tsp salt
    • 150g pot low-fat plain yogurt, loosened with 2 tbsp milk



      Yogurt is made by adding a number of types of harmless bacteria to milk, causing it to ferment.…

    For the fingers and frosting

    • about 3 x 114g boxes white chocolate fingers (we found them in Tesco)
    • 140g icing sugar
    • 2 tsp milk



      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

    • small blob of red food colouring paste
    • 100g soft butter



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 300g full-fat cream cheese, fridge cold (we used Philadelphia as it has the firmest texture)
    • zest 1 orange (optional)



      One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…


    1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. For the cake, grease 2 x 20cm sandwich tins and line the bases with baking parchment. Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg, until fluffy and light. Beat in the colouring.

    2. Mix the dry ingredients for the cake, and sift half onto the creamed mix. Fold 
in with a spatula, followed by half of the thinned yogurt. Repeat, then spoon the smooth batter into the tins and level.
 Bake for 25 mins or until risen and springy when pressed lightly in the centre. Cool for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

    3. For the fingers, line a baking tray with parchment. Cut one end from each chocolate finger. Mix 50g icing sugar, the milk and a small blob of colouring to make a thick, red icing. The icing needs to be thick to stay put; add a little more sugar if you need to. Dip the severed biscuit ends into the icing, let the excess drip off, then paint a red fingernail on the other end, using a small paintbrush. Leave to dry on the parchment.

    4. For the frosting, use an electric mixer to beat the butter well until very smooth, then beat in the cream cheese and the zest (if using) until even. Sift in the remaining icing sugar, then fold it into the cheese mixture using a spatula until smooth. Don’t overbeat. Chill until needed.

    5. Sandwich and cover the top and sides
 of the cake with the frosting – you will only need a thin layer on the sides of the cake to stick on the chocolate fingers. Stand the severed fingers around the cake in a neat collar, pressing them lightly into the frosting. You’ll have a few left over to put on the top. Keep the cake in the fridge but enjoy it at room temperature.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    8th Mar, 2020
    Icing liquid, had to put half packet of cornflour in to firm up (did taste good though, with orange zest). And sponge dark brown colour (like chocolate cake), not red at all- too much cocoa powder?
    6th Sep, 2018
    Cream cheese frosting was not good. Far too much cream cheese- should have realised from other recipes I have followed but I followed it exactly & it ended up so sloppy! Equal amounts of butter beaten with icing sugar and a little corn flower then cream cheese folded in works much better.
    12th Feb, 2015
    Excellent recipe, really moist and yummy! And remained so till the next day! Now that's what's known as a taste and come back for more kind of cake.
    10th Nov, 2014
    Made this for Halloween. Just a the writer below said, it was one of the best red velvet cakes I've ever made or eaten. Very easy to make and looks amazing.
    dingledingleydell's picture
    1st Nov, 2014
    Really yummy cake, one of the best red velvet cakes I've had and the frosting was delicious, not too sweet. Easy to make the cake and frosting but the fingers took ages - make sure the icing is really thick (I only used 1tsp of milk) and I used a cocktail stick to apply it. Used the extra fingers to make a skeleton hand to decorate the top.
    14th Aug, 2017
    Hi, can I use buttermilk instead of the yogurt?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    17th Aug, 2017
    Thanks for your question. We haven't tested this recipe with buttermilk so cannot guarantee results and always recommend sticking to our tried and tested recipes. However yogurt and buttermilk have similar properties and can often be interchanged. It can affect the rise when using baking powder but in this instance mostly bicarb is used. If you decide to give it a go, we suggest substituting the same volume of yogurt for buttermilk and let us know how you get on!
    19th Feb, 2017
    Can the sponges be made ahead and frozen with this recipe? Thank you
    goodfoodteam's picture
    28th Feb, 2017
    Thank you for your question. Yes, you can freeze the sponges. Wrap them well separately and freeze for up to one month.
    30th Oct, 2014
    This was easy to make, but make sure to really thicken the icing for the 'blood'. I had to thicken it at least twice as much as the recipe states otherwise it just slid straight off of the chocolate fingers.
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