Monday, October 25, 2010

Red Velvet Cake

I don't remember where we got this recipe but we've been making it for a long time now.  I know we've tweaked it a bit over time to get the results we wanted.  After trial and error with several (failed) recipes this one came along and was exactly what we were wanting. A dense, moist cake with a deep red color and that tasted like Red Velvet should taste.

It seems that you can pass off any red colored pastry or cake as Red Velvet these days.  Just whip up a chocolate cake and dump in some red food coloring and voila! Red Velvet this or that.  Not so fast...  Red Velvet is not a chocolate cake or cookie. There is very little cocoa in fact.  What sets it apart is buttermilk and vinegar.  Each of these gives the cake a taste and aroma that is a little different but very appealing, or is that addicting?

Frosting for Red Velvet usually one of two choices...Butter Cream or Cream Cheese.  Honestly, I prefer the butter cream on this cake. I'm not that fond of the cream cheese flavor mixed with the buttermilk/vinegar flavor.  I feel that you need the sweetness of the butter cream to balance it all out. But to each his own. Feel free to explore other options as well. It's only food and if you don't like the results, start over.


2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 large bottle Adams Red Food Coloring (1.5oz)
1/2 cup Crisco
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.

Combine the flour and salt.

In a small bowl, mix the cocoa and food coloring together until smooth.

Cream together the shortening and sugar until fluffy. You should cream this for at least 5 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, making sure each one is incorporated before adding the next.

Add the flour to the creamed sugar & eggs alternately with the buttermilk and vanilla, scraping
down the sides of the bowl as you go. Add the cocoa/food coloring mixture, mixing until color
of batter is uniform. Do not over beat or else the cake will be tough.

In a small bowl, mix the vinegar with the baking soda and add it to the cake batter. Fold it in
to incorporate well but do not beat.

Pour the batter into the cake pans.

Bake in a 350°F oven for 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Let the cakes cool for 15 minutes then cover the pans with plastic wrap and allow
them to cool 30 more minutes on a rack before turning out. This step has shown to produce
a much more moist cake.

Let cakes cool completely before frosting.

***  Substitute vegetable oil for the Shortening in the cake batter for a more moist cake.

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