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Thursday, November 22, 2007

We Interupt This Garden Blog For A Very Important Cake!

Red Velvet Cake! A Southern Classic and about the most fattening thing in my kitchen at this very moment. That's not easy, I've got tons of delish artery clogging stuff in there but, at the risk of sounding ultra nerdy - this takes the......oh I just can't do it. This cake is probably the best thing I'm able to bake. I make it from scratch using a recipe passed on to me by a dear friend in Memphis. For years she'd tell me how easy it was to make but as soon as she'd start talking about sifting I'd say FORGET IT! IT'S TOO MUCH TROUBLE! Once I tried and and it came out fabulous the first time, I've made it about once per year. It's a big hit with Mr. W's family so I make sure to have this ready every Thanksgiving when they join us for dinner. I was curious about where this cake actually came from so I google'd it and here's what I found.

"Although the details are sketchy at best, red velvet cake is not as Southern as many like to think. The story, which began circulating some time in the 1940s, claimed that Manhattan's elegant Waldorf-Astoria granted a diner's request for the recipe, then a short time later sent her a bill in the amount of $100. The angry woman, apparently with revenge in mind, then began circulating the recipe along with the story. Another "baked" legend with the same storyline is the $250 Chocolate Chip Cookie, also known as the Neiman-Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe.
Home cooks do seem to love cakes with an unusual story or a "secret ingredient." Wacky cake, tomato soup cake and mayonnaise cake are just a few of the unusual cakes we all have in our recipe files, so it's no wonder Southern cooks embraced the delicious and colorful red velvet cake. "

Last night while making my own Red Velvet Cake all I could think about was my very dear friend E. She loves RVC and I promised to make her one before she moved away - a promise I did not keep. E is now living in North Carolina where I bet there is not nearly the shortage of homemade RVC that there is in Chicago, but still, a promise is a promise. I FEEL BAD ABOUT IT, E!! REALLY, I DO!!

Since I didn't deliver on my promise I thought the least I could do is post the recipe in case E wants to try it herself. She's quite the cook and since they recently bought their first house I bet she'll be hosting some party sometime soon.

Glenna's Red Velvet Cake
2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1 cup Oil
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup Buttermilk
1 oz Red Food Color
2 tablespoons Cocoa
2 Eggs

All ingredients should be at room temperature before starting.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix oil and sugar. Add Red Food Color and mix. Add Cocoa and Mix. Add Vanilla and mix. In separate bowl, mix Flour, Salt, Baking Soda. Alternate sifting dry mixture into the oil/sugar mixture then Buttermilk a little at a time mixing well between each addition.

Grease and lightly flour 3 round cake pans. Pour equal parts of cake mix into each pan and bake for 30 minutes or until knife inserted into cake comes out clean. This is very dependant on the oven and since moisture is critical with this cake, I normally set the timer to 25 minutes then start watching it closely every 5 minutes. The sides will begin to separate from the edges when the cake is done.

Remove from oven and cool COMPLETELY before frosting.

Butter Cream Frosting
1 package of Cream Cheese
1 box Powdered Sugar
1 stick Butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla

All ingredients should be at room temp before starting.

Cream butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar and mix until fluffy. Add vanilla.

That's that!

Who's going shopping tomorrow? I don't think I'll brave the crowds but I may sneak out and buy some dirt. Nobody gets dirt for xmas so I should be okay.


  1. Yep, if I went to my local mulch store tomorrow to buy some dirt, I'd pretty much have the place to myself, no waiting!

    The cake looks delicious!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  2. lol. did you know that chocolate was banned in switzerland for many years. read this

  3. I wish I had a huge chunk of that cake right now! YUM!

  4. carol - it wasnt as empty as you'd think!

    sjsimon - thanks for visiting my blog and thanks for the chocolate information. Very interesting!

    randy and jamie - thanks for stopping by!

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