Old Fashion Red Velvet Cake

I love to bake layer cakes.

The taller the better.

Lots of layers of cake.

Not sure exactly why, but I am pretty sure it has to do with all the icing in between each layer.

It has to be the icing!

Icing makes me happy!

But cake makes me happy too.

Ok…so maybe it is cake and icing that makes me happy.

One thing I know for sure is that this cake makes my happy. : )

When my baby girl, who will be getting married in a few short months, was trying to pick out flavors of cake to taste test for her wedding cake, Red Velvet Cake was on the list. It is a classic flavor and the red color looks so delish with the white icing. When we got to taste of the cake and the flavor was somewhat lacking( and even the cake decorated said she was not a fan of her red velvet cake)  All of her other cakes were great and we did choose this decorator for the her wedding cake, but it got me thinking about the Red Velvet Cakes I was used to eating years ago.

Moist, slightly chocolate flavored, icing not too sweet, four layers, deep red color…..these are some of the mandatory things I was looking for in a recipe.

I looked around in several of my cookbooks, my cut out newspaper recipes and finally found a couple of recipes that seems to most resemble the one I was looking for.

I ended up using two different recipes. One for the cake and another for the icing.

The icing has flour in it but not cooked in a paste like other cooked flour icings. I loved it! My son, liked the icing and loved the cake but would like a traditional cream cheese icing.

I love cream cheese icing too!

Anywho, pick your favorite type of icing, but make this cake.

It will make you (and me) happy!

Here is what you will need to make this perfect Red Velvet Cake.

You will need cake flour, sugar, buttermilk, salt, baking powder, eggs, cocoa powder, baking soda, vinegar, vanilla, red food coloring (I used some red velvet cake food coloring I found at a Amish store and vegetable shortening.

First thing you need to do is dissolve the baking soda in the vinegar.

It will look like a little volcano of bubbles for a bit.

Now on to the stand mixer. In a mixer cream together the sugar.

Here is a picture of me adding the sugar. Cream the shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy.

Now, add in the eggs, one at a time, beating after each one.

In a small bowl add in the cocoa powder.

Add in half the amount of red food coloring.

Mix the two together to remove all the lumps.

Add the cocoa mixture to the creamed sugar mixture.

Now add in the rest of the red food color and mix all together.

Alternately add in the flour, salt and baking powder with the buttermilk.

Here is a picture of me adding the buttermilk.

Now it is time to add in the vanilla.

Lastly, add in the baking soda and vinegar mixture and mix in.

Look at the beautiful red batter.

Pour the batter, in equals amount into prepared 8 inch cake pans. I ALWAYS line my cake pans with parchment paper before pouring in the batter. Place the cake pans in the oven and bake for around 30 minutes at 350 degrees. When done take the cakes out and cool for 10 minutes then put on a cooling rack. When cool, cut the cakes in half horizontally to make four layers.

Now, onto the icing!

For the icing you will need vegetable shortening, butter, flour, sugar and vanilla.

Measure out the butter, vegetable shortening and the sugar.

With a mixer, cream together the sugar, butter and vegetable shortening.

Cream until light and fluffy. Add in the flour, one tablespoon at a time.

Add in the milk. Keep mixing to incorporate the milk in. The icing will start to get real creamy.

Add in the vanilla.

There you go! Look how pretty the icing is!

Here is a picture of the cakes cut in half horizontally. I saved all the crumbs from cutting the cake to decorate the top of the cake.

Spread 1/4 of the icing on top of the bottom layer. Continue to add another layer of cake and ice the top of the layer until you get to the top.

Here is the finished cake topped with all the extra crumbs.

Are you ready to make cake???


Here is the recipe:

Adapted from Iowa State Fair Prize Winning Cook Book

Red Velvet Cake


1/2 cup shortening

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 ounces red food coloring (I used red velvet food coloring I bought at the Amish store, it worked great)

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoons cocoa

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

2 1/2 cup cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vinegar


Mix the vinegar and soda together in a small bowl. Let stand. Cream the shortening and sugar together till light and fluffy. Add in the eggs. Make a paste of the cocoa and a small amount of the red food coloring. Add the cocoa paste to the cramed mixture. Add the remainder of the food coloring. Alternately, add in the buttermilk, salt, baking powder and flour. Add in the vanilla and the vinegar/soda mixture.. Mix all ingredients together and pour into 2 – 8 inch pan. (I lined mine with parchment paper).

Bake for around 30 minutes at 350 degree.

Cool. Split layers in half, making 4 layers. Spread the frosting between layers and top of cake only.

Keep in the refrigerator.

Frosting Recipe:


3/4 cup margarine (I used butter)

3/4 cup shortening

1 1/2 cup sugar

4 1/2 tablespoons flour

1 cup milk plus 3 tablespoons (room temperature)

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (I have also used vanilla paste)


Cream margarine, shortening and sugar together till light and fluffy. Add in the flour, one tablespoon at a time. Add in the milk and vanilla. Beat the frosting well. On my stand mixer I let it mix for several minutes until the frosting got real creamy.

Here is just a little close up picture of all the yummy layers!



Here is a few other post you may enjoy!

Strawberry Cake

Oven BBQ Brisket