My mother was way ahead of the times. She started baking red velvet cake when I was a little girl years ago. At family parties, it commanded many ooos and ahs, and disappeared instantaneously. As we grew, she stopped making as many desserts as she used to and red velvet cake became a distant taste. Red velvet, in the meantime, has made quite a name for itself these days. Sprinkles in Beverly Hills started it all with their amazing, infamous Red Velvet Cupcakes! Well, since my brother and I inhaled many a cupcake from Sprinkles and other cupcake cuties, we asked her to resurrect the recipe this past Christmas so that we could taste and discover just how well our mother’s recipe held up against today’s contenders. The verdict? Hands down – my mother’s is more moist and light. Trust me, my bro and I are both critical and if our own mother’s food was not as flavorful than the famous facsimiles, we would stand and say. If you are at all able in the kitchen, this is worth the labor . . . especially during the Christmas or Valentine season. I will still frequent Sprinkles and cherish every bite; but, this is one recipe that illustrates there’s no food like homemade.
Red Velvet Cake
(2 round 8 ” cakes)
~ 4 1/2 oz bottles of red food coloring
~ 1/2 cup shortening, softened and creamed
~ 2 tbs. cocoa (sweetened)
~ 1 1/2 cup sugar
~ 2 eggs
~ 1 cup buttermilk
~ 2 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted 3 times
~ 1 tsp. vanilla
~ 1 tbs. vinegar
~ 1 tsp. baking soda
~ 1 tsp. salt
Preheat oven at 350°. Mix the food coloring with the cocoa, creamed shortening and sugar. Add the eggs. Blend in the buttermilk, the sifted cake flour, and the salt. Once this is blended well, add the vanilla. Next, add the vinegar and baking soda. Bake in two well greased and floured 8″ round cake pans for 30-35 minutes.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
(makes 3 cups)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until smooth and thoroughly blended, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing.
Add the powdered sugar, mixing until smooth, about 1 minute, then beat on medium speed for 1 minute to lighten the frosting further. The frosting is ready to use, or for flavor additions.
Once the cakes are cool, frost the top of one and place the second one on top of that. Now, frost away on the rest of the cake! The more frosting the better!!!!