Having grown up in the Midwest, I have no memories of having red velvet cake. Since the southern classic is a must for all bakers, last week I hit it with my best shot. (The lyrics take over sometimes, sorry.) The moist cake is most popular for it’s bright rosy hue, and in my book, aside from cream cheese icing, there’s not much more to love. This cake is good, but I like my flavors like I like my man: strong and breathtaking. Red velvet is a softer, less in-your-face cake with a subtle hint of cocoa. Therefore, in an effort to fall in love with the cake, I added more chocolate in the form of semi-sweet chips, which really made this cake sing in that slow southern style. This classic recipe is taken from Gale Gand and nearly identical to most other red velvets..meaning you can’t go wrong. Instead of baking the cake as directed, I baked 12 cupcakes and 1 small loaf.
**Taking me by complete surprise, my friends gobbled down this cake with rave reviews when I brought it to a bowling party. I suppose I’m just a
n oddball tough critic.
Red Velvet Cake
Adapted from Gale Gand
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 packet natural red coloring
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 cup chocolate chips
Cream Cheese frosting, recipe follows
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the shortening, eggs and sugar. In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa and food coloring. Add the paste to the shortening mixture. Sift the flour and salt together over parchment. Add to the batter alternately with the buttermilk in 3 additions. Add the vanilla extract. Fold in the baking soda and vinegar. Pour the batter into 2 greased 9-inch cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until an inserted cake tester comes out clean. Let cool on a cooling rack. Invert the cakes from the pans.
Cream Cheese Frosting
*Gand’s white frosting can be found here
2 c. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick butter, at room temperature
2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 t. milk, to achieve consistency
Cream all the ingredients together until smooth. Refrigerate briefly, if necessary, to stiffen before frosting.
Frost the top of the first layer with frosting and set the second layer on top. Frost the entire cake with remaining frosting.