FOR THE RED VELVET CAKE:
- 5 2/3 oz all-purpose flour (1 1/4 cups)
- 5 1/4 oz granulated sugar (3/4 cup)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 fl oz vegetable oil (1/2 cup)
- 6 fl oz buttermilk (3/4 cup)
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp red gel food coloring
- 1/2 tsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
FOR THE STRAWBERRY ROSE CREAM CHEESE:
- 3/4 oz freeze-dried strawberries (1 1/2 cups)
- 24 oz cream cheese at room temperature (do not use light variety)
- 4 oz unsalted butter at room temperature
- 8 oz powdered sugar (2 cups)
- 1 tsp rose water optional
- Pinch salt
TO MAKE THE CAKE:
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line an 11×17-inch rimmed baking sheet with foil, extending up and over the sides of the sheet. Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.
- In the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the vegetable oil, buttermilk, egg, red gel food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla extract. Mix on medium-low speed until well-combined.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until combined. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the pan with a spatula, then mix on medium speed until the cake batter is smooth and all the lumps of flour have disappeared.
- Pour the cake batter into the sheet pan and spread it into an even layer. (It will be a very thin layer of cake.) Bake the cake at 350 F for 10 minutes, until it pulls away from the sides and springs back when lightly pressed with your fingertips. Cool completely before using. The cake can be baked several days in advance. If making in advance, wrap the cooled cake in cling wrap and freeze until ready to use. You do not need to defrost the cake before assembling the jars.
TO MAKE THE FROSTING:
- Place the freeze-dried strawberries in the bowl of a food processor and process until they are ground into a powder.
- Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat them together on medium speed until light and fluffy and free of lumps.
- Add the powdered sugar, strawberry powder, rose water, and salt to the bowl, and beat on low speed until combined. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl, then beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Taste the frosting, and add additional sugar to taste. If the frosting seems too stiff, add a spoonful of milk or cream until it reaches your desired texture.
- The frosting can be made in advance and kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. When you’re ready to use it, let it sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before piping it into the jars. You can also re-whip it in the mixer to loosen it up a bit if it is too stiff to pipe after being refrigerated.
- Fit a piping bag with a large star tip, and fill the bag with some cream cheese frosting. Use a circle cookie cutter the same size as your jars, and cut circles out of the cake. (For my 2-oz jars, I used two 1 1/2″ circles for each, and for my 4-oz jars, I used three 2″ circles for each.)
- Place a circle of cake in the bottom of a jar, and top it with a swirl of frosting. Keep layering cake and frosting until you reach the top of the jar. Once you put the lid on the jar, you can decorate them with ribbons, stickers, gift tags, or anything else you can dream up! Continue until all of the jars are assembled. Red Velvet Cake in a Jar can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, and for the best taste and texture, can be brought to room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving.