As an alternative to vanilla frosting you can use cream cheese icing. For an impressive result, finish the cake with a dusting of fine red velvet cake crumbs.
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
¾ cup vegetable oil
1½ cups buttermilk
1⅓ cups caster sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp red food colouring
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
1 cup raspberry jam
red velvet cake crumbs
½ cup all-purpose flour
1¾ cups caster sugar
1 tbsp natural vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
450g unsalted butter, softened
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 23cm spring-form cake tin with baking paper.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk together oil, buttermilk, sugar, eggs, food colouring, vinegar and vanilla.
Gently mix through sifted dry ingredients until well incorporated. Do not overmix as this develops gluten, which leads to a tough cake. Spoon mixture into prepared tin. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To make vanilla frosting, in a medium saucepan whisk flour and milk together until smooth. Place over medium heat and continue to whisk until milk and flour thickens to a paste-like consistency. Let it cool, stirring occasionally.
Add sugar, vanilla and salt and transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat in the butter, a little at a time until it is fully incorporated.
The mixture will look split but keep beating on high until the icing becomes homogenous.
To assemble, using a serrated knife, slice the cake into three even layers. Spread the bottom two layers with raspberry jam and vanilla frosting.
Top with the last layer and ice with the remaining frosting, covering the sides as well. Cover with a dusting of red velvet cake crumbs, if using.
Smart Tip + The cake base can be made 2-3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container or frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost before using. The vanilla frosting will keep in the fridge for up to one week.