Date night at home is made easy and enjoyable for everyone this Valentine’s Day with bolognese pasta, red velvet sheet cake and a glass or two of Pinot.
Valentine’s Day is almost here friends and now that we’re parents we can’t go out anymore….hahaha not, I’m a cool mom. Ok but for real, sometimes it is nice (and much easier) to just stay home. So this v-day if you’re looking for the perfect date night in with your lover, I have just plan for you!
My v-day date night includes an easy bolognese pasta recipe and the ultimate Valentine’s Day dessert, red velvet cake. Better yet, easy and quick red velvet sheet cake topped with cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut chips.
What to know for Valentine’s Day date night in
Honestly, as ugly as we may be while we’re eating, there is still something romantic about sharing a meal together. & in my opinion, cooking that meal together is even more romantic. Add dessert and a glass (or two) of vino and you’re golden.
You may be tempted to just cook dinner yourself and have it ready but you don’t have to because this easy bolognese pasta comes together in like half an hour so cooking it together will be quick. Alls you have to do is make sure you have all the ingredients ready to go.
You should, however, have the red velvet sheet cake done ahead of time. It would be optimal to bake it the night before and then frost it any time the next day.
Where to begin with at home date night?
Ok, let’s make this simple and just put these in order by steps.
- Day before:
- grocery shopping
- bake red velvet sheet cake
- Day of:
- frost red velvet sheet cake
- Night of:
- make sure all lingering children are asleep
- open bottle of wine
- cook bolognese pasta together
- set table together
- enjoy dinner and dessert
- clean up TOGETHER
How to make red velvet sheet cake
There’s a reason I chose red velvet sheet cake. Red makes it look romantic, still has some of the Valentine’s Day chocolate feels, it’s easy and quick…and who wouldn’t like it?!
You don’t want to spend your date night baking cake so bake the cake the day before. As easy as whisking together dry ingredients and combining them with the wet. Bake in a 9×13″ sheet cake pan, let it cool and store it covered at room temperature overnight.
What kind of frosting to use for red velvet cake
I like to use cream cheese frosting for red velvet cakes. However, traditionally (like old not modern tradition lol) red velvet cake was served with Ermine buttercream. If you’re interested in more frosting recipes, make sure to grab a copy of my book, Frosted!
You don’t NEED the coconut chips but they certainly are pretty. All you do is place them in a shallow pan over low-medium heat and toast them for 1-2 minutes until they begin to brown. They burn quickly so remove them from the pan immediately after browning.
How to make cream cheese frosting for red velvet cake
This cream cheese frosting recipe is like the easiest ever! Make sure to cream the butter and cream cheese together well before adding in the powdered sugar. After you add the powdered sugar, let the mixer run on low-medium speed for a few minutes to make sure the sugar is fully dissolved and the frosting is light and fluffy.
Choosing wine for Valentine’s Day Date Night In
I’m not too great with wine pairing so I had to do my research for this. You’re definitely going to want a red wine…because it’s Valentine’s Day, obviously. Also I read somewhere that red wine pairs well with red meat.
I wanted something lighter, maybe a little sweeter and not too bold. You want this to kind of match the meal. Bolognese pasta and the red velvet cake are both pretty simple recipes, not very bold/intense in flavor but both somewhat on the sweeter side. So to match that, I went with a Pinot Noir.
If you’re not into reds, a sweet wine would also probably pair very well with both the pasta and the cake. However, in my opinion, you can never go wrong with Prosecco *winky-face*.
& that does it friends. I hope you guys enjoyed this post and are inspired to make your own romantic date night at home. If you’re ambitious you can even turn this red velvet cake into a layer cake!
Make sure to tag me @baranbakery on instagram if you make this cake or date night at home. As always, have a blessed day and happy baking!
Red Velvet Cake
- 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 2 Tbsp (10g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 1/4 (250g) cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (118mL) canola or vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, room temperature and separated
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp distilled white vinegar
- liquid or gel red food coloring*
- 2/3 cup (160mL) buttermilk, room temperature
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 2 cups (240g) powdered sugar, spooned and leveled
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- toasted coconuts, for decorating
Red Velvet Sheet Cake
- Begin by preheating the oven to 325F (163C) and grease and line a 9x13" pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar.
- Add in the oil and continue beating until everything is evenly distributed.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until the mixture is smooth.
- Mix in the vanilla extract, vinegar and gel red food coloring.
- Alternate adding in the flour mixture and buttermilk in 2-3 rounds. Beat just until completely combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes, until the cake springs back when poked or a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Let the cake rest for about 20 minutes before removing from the pan. Allow the cake to cool to room temperature before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese until they’re smooth.
- Add in the powdered sugar and beat on low-medium speed for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the vanilla extract and salt and increase the speed to medium-high, beat for 5-10 minutes, until sugar feels fully dissolved and the frosting is light and fluffy.
- Spread the frosting evenly on top of the cake.
- For toasted coconuts, place them in a shallow sauce pan and cook over low-medium heat, just until they begin to brown.
- Remove them immediately so they don't burn, let them cool completely and use them to decorate the cake.
*You will probably need a generous amount of red food coloring, I just added a little more at the end if I wanted it darker.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 142mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 0gSugar: 20gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.