Red Velvet Cake

Mark has been searching for the definitive Red Velvet Cake (not shaped like an armadillo, though). Here are two from Calling All Cooks, the cookbook of the Alabama Telephone Pioneers. (If you don’t have this book, you need it. It is one of the best.)

I can already tell you I would not like the first one because it contains Dream Whip. I don’t do Dream Whip. Anyway, here it is, from Marie P. Williams of the Mobile Council (I have edited this somewhat for clarity’s sake):

Red Velvet Cake I

1 box white cake mix
1 envelope Dream Whip
3 eggs
3 Tbsp. cocoa
2 large bottles red food coloring
sweet milk

In large mixing bowl mix dry ingredients (cake mix, cocoa, and Dream Whip). Pour food coloring into a 2-cup measuring cup; add enough milk to make 1 1/3 cups liquid. Add liquid to dry mixture. Add eggs and beat 4 minutes with hand mixer. Divide batter evenly among four greased and floured 8-inch cake pans. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool.

Frosting:
3 cups sweet milk
4 Tbsp. cornstarch

Cook in double boiler until mixure thickens to the consistency of pudding. Set in refrigerator to cool. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, cream together:

1 cup Crisco
1 cup margarine

Gradually add:

2 cups confectioner’s sugar

Beat until mixture looks like whipped cream. Add cooled milk mixture and mix well. This cake needs to be kept cool. Serves 12.

Here’s the other one in Calling All Cooks, which sounds a bit more normal. This one is from Jewel Edney of the Riverchase Council.

Red Velvet Cake II

2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. instant chocolate mix (such as Nestlé Quik)
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 1-oz. bottles red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. baking soda

Sift together flour, salt and instant chocolate mix. Set aside. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar. When well creamed, beat in whole eggs, one at a time. Blend well and add food coloring and vanilla. In a third bowl, mix buttermilk, vinegar, and baking soda; add buttermilk mixture alternately with the dry mixture to the creamed mixture. Blend at low speed with electric mixer between each addition. Grease and line two 9-inch cake pans. They must be 1 1/2 inches deep as cake rises high. Pour in batter and bake in preheated 350° oven about 30 minutes or until done; don’t overbake. Remove from oven and cool on racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans and continue cooling on racks before frosting. Frost with Mystery Icing.

Mystery Icing:

4 Tbsp. flour
1 cup sweet milk
1 cup granulated sugar
1 stick margarine
1/2 cup Crisco
3 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt

Blend flour and milk. Cook until mixture thickens to consistency of cream; cool, but don’t chill. Cream sugar, margarine, and Crisco, adding salt and vanilla. Add the slightly cooked flour mixture and continue beating until fluffy. Spread generously between layers and over all the cake. This makes a large gorgeous red cake with icing that never hardens. Sure to be a conversation piece.

Conversation piece, indeed. No doubt it’s the “Mystery Icing”. Still, I was almost sure every Red Velvet Cake I’d ever seen had cream cheese icing. Then I found this one, in the cookbook produced by our oldest daughter’s school back in Mississippi. It does call for cream cheese icing (although I think I’d leave off the pecans):

Red Velvet Cake III

1/2 cup oleo softened (now you know it’s going to be good if it calls for “oleo”)
1 oz. red food coloring
3 Tbsp. cocoa
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Cream oleo and sugar. Add eggs and mix well. Mix cocoa and food coloring together in a separate bowl. Add this to the oleo and sugar mixture. Sift salt and cake flour together. Add to oleo and sugar mixture, alternating with buttermilk. Mix well. Add vanilla. In another bowl, mix the vinegar and soda. Add to mix and beat well. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes in two cake pans.

Frosting for Red Velvet Cake:

1 stick oleo, softened
1 box powdered sugar
1 8-oz pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Beat all ingredients together and frost cake.

There you go! Take your pick, or mix and match cakes and icings. If you find an armadillo-shaped pan somewhere, let me know.

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About revjatb

I am a father of six who is trying to do his best! My interests are varied. I have one blog, KnowTea, that is primarily focused on liturgy and worship and another one, Bengtsson's Baking, that is about, well, baking! I hope you enjoy both of them, and if you have any questions, please contact me!
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2 Responses to Red Velvet Cake

  1. PaulB says:

    It seems Donna T was famous for one of these cakes. Was this her recipe?

  2. RevJATB says:

    You know, I didn’t think about that. I’ll check and see if I can find Donna T.’s recipe. Since two of the three I posted and the one Mark posted were so sim-you-lar (with only a thin margarine of difference amongst them), I suspect Donna T.’s will follow suit, but we’ll see.

    I wonder if Donna uses “Mystery Icing.”

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