Waldorf Astoria Red Cake Recipe - Allrecipes.com
Waldorf Astoria Red Cake Recipe

Waldorf Astoria Red Cake

Recipe by  

"My mom used to make this when I was little. It is a very rich and elegant cake. The frosting is very unusual tasting in that it is almost like a custard."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 2 - 8 inch round cake Change Servings


  1. Cream together the shortening, sugar, and eggs.
  2. Make a paste with food coloring and cocoa. Add to shortening mixture.
  3. Add salt and buttermilk to mixture.
  4. Next add flour, vanilla, vinegar, and baking soda in that order. Mix.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) in two 8 inch round greased and floured cake pans. Let cool.
  6. To Make Frosting: Cook 5 tablespoons flour and 1 cup milk until thick, and then cool.
  7. Cream together 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 1 cup butter or margarine and 1 teaspoon vanilla 'til fluffy. Add to flour mixture.
  8. Cut layers of cake in half lengthwise. Spread frosting on each half layer. Stack and frost over all.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Dec 29, 2009

This is a very special recipe I've made for years. I have a hint to offer...I only use 1 ounce of red food coloring, then I fill the bottle with water and add that to the mixture for the additional ounce of liquid. The color of the cake does not change and I save about $2.50 each time I omit one bottle of red food coloring.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Feb 14, 2008

The reason some reviewers are coming up short with a single batch of frosting is because the recipe, as originally developed, called for frosting between the cake layers only, NOT the sides. The classic way to frost this cake is to leave the sides unfrosted and a thick spread of frosting between each layer. I'm also surprised at the amount of cocoa and vinegar in some of these recipes. My grandmother's recipe (consistant blue ribbon winner at fairs) calls for only 1 tsp of vinegar and 2 1/2 tsps cocoa. Too much cocoa ruins the bright red color of the cake, it comes out too brown, plus that might be what caused a "heavy, floury taste" that one reviewer complained about.


52 Ratings

Mar 19, 2007

This is nearly word for word the recipe I got from my grandma. She used to make this for our birthdays. It is one of my favorites. It is sooooo hard to find one withOUT the cream cheese frosting, that stuff is good on carrot cake, but horrible on red cake. The frosting here (although my grandma made it with 2T cornstarch instead of 5T flour, she also used 'oleo' instead of butter) is much closer to the real thing. Red Cake is only good with the right frosting.

May 07, 2003

My mother also makes this cake. We called it Red Velvet Cake. It is to die for. Remember the grooms cake from Steel Magnolias? Same cake. You can make it into an Armadello or not. :) Pure heaven... and sin. The frosting can be a little tricky, but worth it. (Think cream cheese frosting for carrot cake, it just isn't good without it.) Make this cake once and you will HAVE to make it again. Save it for special occasions so you only have to go through all of that food coloring once or twice a year or so. Great for Birthday cakes and Valentine's Day.

Feb 16, 2008

This is such a great recipe. I love the frosting. It's much better if it sits overnight in the fridge and served the next day.

Jan 12, 2004

I made 2 8 inch layers and frosted between the two layers instead of cutting the cake into four layers. I also increased the cooking time to 35 minutes. It came out moist and delicious. I can't say enough good things about the icing. It tastes like custard and it's very hard not to eat it all before frosting the cake. Since my icing was soft I didn't ice the outside until I got the cake to work. It was a big hit and I'd definitely make it again and use the frosting on other cakes too.

Feb 15, 2007

Just made this for my sweetie for Valentine's Day. It turned out perfectly, but I decided I'm more of a fan of regular, sweeter cake. As for the frosting, I followed other reviewer's advice to double the frosting, and I ended up with enough frosting for two cakes (funny how that works, huh?). Although, I simply stacked one cake on top of the other, so there were only two layers, not 4, so maybe that's why I had so much frosting left over! Good quality recipe, though!

Mar 30, 2011

I have a copy of a Waldorf Astoria's recipe for Red Velvet cake and I've made it often (just last week was the lates) Do yourself a favor sub the shortening with canola oil. You'll be amazed at the difference in moistness. In a bind (if you don't have buttermilk) add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to enough milk to make one cup and let sit atleast 5 minutes. Although many Southerners would faint, switch to a cream cheese frosting. The tang of the cream cheese frosting complements this cake very well.


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  • Calories
  • 287 kcal
  • 14%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 34.7 g
  • 11%
  • Cholesterol
  • 47 mg
  • 16%
  • Fat
  • 15.4 g
  • 24%
  • Fiber
  • 0.6 g
  • 2%
  • Protein
  • 3.3 g
  • 7%
  • Sodium
  • 325 mg
  • 13%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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