Recipe by Eleanor Johnson
"A family favorite--great for the Christmas holiday."
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1 1/2 cups
red food coloring
2 1/2 cups
sifted all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons
distilled white vinegar
butter, room temperature
Without question, the negative reviews for this recipe can be explained by people not being familiar with the techniques that are used. I subtracted a star because this *is* a more complicated project than a box cake mix, and additional instructions would probably have been helpful. Things that are important to know about this recipe: 1) the vinegar-baking soda mixture is what makes it rise. This is a delicate leavening method because it does not last long. Get the vinegar mixture into the batter quickly and gently and get it in the oven FAST, or you will have a heavy cake. 2) Cakes from scratch have to be timed carefully in the oven because they're not "failproof" like box mixes. Start checking it with a toothpick 10 minutes before the given time and after that every 3 to 5 minutes until the toothpick comes out mostly clean. 3) The flour paste for the frosting must be cooked until it forms a mound that stays in the middle of the pan, and it must be cooled to room temperature but never chilled. The butter and sugar must be beaten for at least 10 minutes before adding the flour paste, to eliminate sugar grit. 4) You must frost a COMPLETELY cool cake; beating warm frosting or frosting a warm cake will produce a runny, oily frosting. Follow these instructions and the recipe *will* turn out. It is a good recipe with no errors.
This Red Velvet cake was definitely not what I expected. It could be that I have no experience with Red Velvet cake, but with this recipe the cake was much to heavy. The Icing was bland and honestly tasted like flour. Overall the cake was nothing special. However, I am willing to try it again just to make sure it was not my own fault.
When making this cake, substitute shortening for 1 cup of oil and double the cocoa for a perfect cake. The cake was dry. Icing was creamy and buttery without being too sweet. The icing perfect. My 87 year old mother was here and said it was very close to the original red velvet cake recipe. Be sure to let the milk and flour cool completely before mixing with the sugar mixture for the icing. It also needs to be mixed for about 15 minutes to be perfect.
My grandmother used to make red velvet cake, and after she passed, I've made probably 5 different recipes to replicate her cake. This came the absolute closest. It's delicious, and wows the crowds every time I make it for class (I'm in college) and even the teachers are impressed. It CAN BE DRY. So make sure you check it in the oven before it's done. Pull it out right when you think it's not quite ready. Then, LET IT SIT!! It will continue cooking as it cools, just like cookies. Do not cut it or frost it before it's done cooling. You'll thank yourself when you have an amazing, moist, incredible cake. Marriage proposals from this one!
I bake ALL the time, and this has got to be the BEST cake I have ever baked in my life. It's better than the one my husband buys at the gourmet bakery downtown. The cake is delicious, and the icing is heavenly. I took this cake and two pies to Christmas dinner, and 7 people devoured the entire cake within 2 hours.
I am puzzled by the negative reviews for this recipe. I have made this cake at least six times, all with good results. I even made it in a 9X13 pan (I had to increase the baking time of course) and made it into a "spaceship" cake for my 5 year old son who loves this cake. I have found that this cake tastes better after refrigeration for some reason. And, I have found it very important to chill the milk and flour combination for the icing - if the butter melts then the icing consistancy becomes runny. The only "modification" I make to this recipe is that I use Dutch Process Cocoa instead of the regular cocoa, it has a stronger flavor. I think this cake is better than any I've had in a restaurant.
I also have this recipe, which is our all-time family favorite. It is absolutely the best cake I've ever eaten. At family reunions, everyone knows to get their piece of this cake as they go through the dinner line, or there won't be any left at dessert time! One thing I do differently is cutting the layers with a string or very sharp knife, making 4 layers. When you frost in between the layers, and leave the sides unfrosted, it is such a festive looking dessert. This is definately a "must have" recipe.
This cake turned out so good! I baked it in 2 8 inch heart shaped pans and had just a little bit of batter left. I recommend using paste food color (find at a hobby shop) bc liquid affects the flavor. Also, to those complaining about grainy frosting, mix it a little longer (I use a kitchenaid). The directions are so precise (does anyone else feel they're being scolded when reading this?) but not about how long to whip the frosting in the last step. It takes a little while. Keep beating until the frosting gets smooth. It will. Excellent flavor, loved it!
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Red Velvet Cake
Serving Size: 1/12 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 12
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat: 231
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