Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Red Velvet Cake

By now everyone has heard of red velvet cake, especially if you have seen the movie Steel Magnolias. Who could forget the bleeding armadillo cake? Well crazy Aunt Fern is not the only person who can make a delicious red velvet cake...mine's just not in the shape of an animal.

Red velvet cake was a staple dessert in our household growing up. It is my oldest brother's favorite cake therefore my mom and I would make it each year for his birthday. I don't have any crazy memories regarding this cake; just that it was always darn good. The debate now comes on whether you prefer a cream cheese frosting, or the true red velvet cake frosting. I am partial to the "special" frosting (I don't know the name for it) but will admit it does take more time and effort. You can be the judge for yourself.

My most recent use of this recipe was for a batch of cupcakes I made for a friend's wedding shower (above picture). For these, I took the effort to make them look like Georgetown Cupcake's version with cream cheese frosting, as those are her favorite. Only in DC would people pay $3 for a cupcake!

Red Velvet Cake

1 stick butter
1 ½ c sugar
2 eggs
2 T heaping cocoa
2 oz red food coloring
1 c buttermilk
2 ½ c flour (sift before measuring, then sift again with salt into cake)
½ t salt
1 t vanilla
1 t soda
1 T white vinegar

1. Cream butter with sugar until fluffy; add eggs and mix
2. Make a past of the food coloring and cocoa; add to batter in mixing bowl and mix
3. Add buttermilk alternately with sifted flour and salt
4. Add vanilla
5. Add soda to vinegar in a cup to make a foam; blend into batter
6. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes in 2 round cake pans (or cupcakes)
7. Cool well before frosting

2 T flour
1 c milk
1 c sugar
2 sticks butter
1 t vanilla

1. Cook flour and milk together in microwave until very thick, stirring frequently – will be like a gummy paste
2. Cool the flour and milk – must be cold before adding to remaining ingredients
3. Cream sugar, butter, and vanilla together until really fluffy
4. Add in the flour/milk and mix until it is the texture of whipped cream

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
½ stick butter (room temperature)
1 t vanilla
1 box powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese and butter well
Add sugar in stages and continue to mix
Add vanilla


  1. I prefer the orignal frosting. My favoite "treat" is a cup of tea and red velvet cake

  2. On the topic of desserts, you should do a posting on the Oreo Ice Cream Cake that we always had in the summer.

    When I eventually come visit I fully expect to try a tasting menu of all of your posts, so be ready to cook.