Thursday, January 21, 2010

Red Velvet

“There is something in the red of a raspberry pie that looks as good to a man as the red in a sheep looks to a wolf.”
E. W. Howe

Red velvet cake also known as the $100 dollar cake,$200 dollar cake, and is traditionally known as Southern specialty. Mostly, related to a Grooms wedding cake. (See -Steel Magnolias).

A little known fact about Red Velvet Cake is, in the 1920's, the prestigious Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York put this much sought-after taste treat on its menu. Legend has it, the cake actually originated in the hotel's kitchen. There have since emerged many variations to the recipe.

James Beard outlines in his American Cookery that there is really 3 varieties of red velvet cake,recipes being different in the use of butter,vegetable shortening crisco )and oil.Most all call for cake flour and buttermilk, baking soda and vinegar for the leaving process.

The redness of the cake comes from red food color despite the chemical reaction of baking soda, vinegar, buttermilk and cocoa which cause a reddish brown color, not red in the cake.

This cake is moist and red with a velvety texture and the flavor non distinctive as is most red velvet cakes.Red Velvet cake is also cultural as recipes differ in community cookbooks across America even as to the type of frosting for the cake. The moistest cake is one made with oil and cake flour.The amount of food color is up to you. Start with 2 teaspoons as a base.

Here are example recipes ..........

Cream-Cheese Red Velvet


  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup whole buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 (1-ounce) bottles red food coloring
  • 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Garnish: fresh mint sprigs


Stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar; press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

Beat 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar at medium-low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute. Add eggs and next 6 ingredients, mixing on low speed just until fully combined. Pour batter into prepared crust.

Bake at 325° for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 300°, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center is firm. Run knife along outer edge of cheesecake. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Cover and chill 8 hours.

Beat 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese and 1/4 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth; gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth. Spread evenly over top of cheesecake. Remove sides of springform pan. Garnish, if desired.

Rhonda Y. Coker, Columbia, South Carolina, Southern Living, DECEMBER 2004

Waldorf-Astoria Red Velvet Cak

* 1/2 cup shortening
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 2 eggs
* 2 ounces red food coloring
* 2 tablespoons cocoa (heaping)
* 1 cup buttermilk
* 2 1/4 cups cake flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon vinegar
* ****
* 3 tablespoons flour
* 1 cup milk
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1 cup butter (must be butter!)


1. For Cake:
2. Cream shortening, sugar and eggs.
3. Make a paste of food coloring and cocoa. Add to creamed mixture.
4. Add buttermilk alternating with flour and salt.
5. Add vanilla.
6. Add soda to vinegar (it foams!), and blend into cake batter.
7. Pour into 3 or 4 greased and floured 8" cake pans.
8. Bake at 350 F. for 24-30 minutes.
9. Frost with the following frosting.
10. ****
11. For Frosting:
12. Add milk to flour slowly, avoiding lumps.
13. Cook flour and milk until very thick, stirring constantly.
15. Cream sugar, butter and vanilla until fluffy. Add to cooked mixture.
16. Beat, high speed, until very fluffy. Looks and tastes like whipped cream.
17. Enjoy. =)

Southern Red Velvet Cake

* 2 ½ cups plain flour
* 1 ½ cups sugar
* 1 tsp. cocoa baking powder
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1 cup buttermilk
* 1 ½ cup vegetable oil
* 1 tsp white vinegar
* 1 tsp vanilla flavoring
* 1 tsp almond flavoring
* 2 eggs (medium or large)
* 1 bottle red food coloring (1 oz size)


1. Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda and cocoa powder into a big bowl that you’ll use to mix the cake.
2. Using a hand or table mixer, put in the milk. Mix.
3. Add oil and mix.
4. Add vinegar, vanilla and almond flavoring. Mix.
5. Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl. Add and mix.
6. Add the food coloring. Mix until the batter is even in color.
7. Grease and flour 3 cake pans – size 8 inches.
8. Evenly pour the batter into the three pans.
9. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until the center tests done with a toothpick.
10. Let the cake cool and then frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

* ½ cup margarine (softened)
* 8 oz. cream cheese
* ½ tsp vanilla flavoring
* 1 box of confectioners sugar (1 pound)
* 1 cup pecans (may also want some extras to sprinkle on top)


1. Beat the margarine and cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl until light and creamy.
2. Add vanilla and confectioners sugar and beat well.
3. Hand stir in pecans.
4. Spread cream cheese icing between layers of the Red Velvet cake, up the sides and on top.
5. If you have lots of pecans, then sprinkle some pieces on top.
6. The pecans are especially good toasted



  2. Thanks Missy! I just saw your post!..toot bad we do not live closer..we could have fun baking!