I must say, I've baked 100's or even 1000's of cake recipes. Really. That many. I love to bake and I can't resist a new recipe.
This Waldorf Astoria Red Velvet Cake is my all time favorite, number one, bestest of the best cake recipe. The cake, the frosting, it is my favorite as well as my family, my parents and my sister and her family.
Valentine Day means 'Red Cake', Christmas means 'Red Cake', a birthday or two a year = a 'Red Cake'. This year I baked if for our office Christmas party. It was a hit.
I've tried different variations of my recipe. I put together this tripled recipe in 1993 (it says so on the recipe card) and I have stayed true to it. I like FULL 10" round cake pans. I don't like a skimpy small cake. I like 4 or 6 layers. If I'm doing a tall cake I'll bake in 3 pans. If I'm baking a shorter cake (which is tall for most) I will use 2 pans, cutting into 4 layers.
Tonight I put this together for Christmas Eve. I have a bit of a problem. I no longer eat this stuff. I still want it, however. Tonight I baked it right after I ate 3 cups of sauteed broccoli, onion and garlic; 6 ounces of cod. I was too stuffed to even be tempted to lick my fingers!
I have an addiction to sugar. The only way I can keep sane is to stay off of it completely. Kind of like tequila, gin and beer. My old favorites. Sugar is now one of those.
Here is the recipe. Try it! You'll love it!
1 c shortening
3 c sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
4 1/2 c cake flour
2 c buttermilk
1 t salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 bottle red food color
1 T cocoa
Add to creamed mixture
2 t soda + 1 t vinegar
will bubble; fold into mixture
Be SURE to line your cake pans with oil AND wax paper. Cake will stick to pans and that will be a travesty! Wax paper is the key!!
Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. DON'T OVER BAKE. It will become dry. Believe me; I know. I've made this 1000 times and have screwed it up. Now I know the way to complete the cake correctly!
Let cake cool 5 minutes; cover pan with plate, flip cake onto plate and pull off wax paper. Let cool 30 minutes. Wrap each cake in saran wrap until cool. The steam makes the cakes moist. A good thing.
I usually make the cake one night, the frosting the next.
9 Tbs flour
3 c milk
Cook on medium until thick. Real thick. Stir constantly and cool all of the way through. If this is even a bit warm, it will melt your frosting. Believe me. I know. Let it be cold!
3 c sugar (granulated-not powder!) yeah, been there, done that.
3 c butter (not margarine. butter)
3 t vanilla
Beat until fluffy-I beat 10 minutes. Add COLD flour mixture and beat beat beat. A kitchen aid works best. I beat another 5 minutes.
Unwrap cakes. Pull a piece of dental floss in the middle of each layer, halving the layer. This works better than a knife. Yup, I know.
You'll have 4 (or 6 if you did 3 pans) layers. Fill each layer FULL. No skimpy cakes here, fill it full. A couple of cups into each layer. You'll have enough frosting. Frost the top and then sides last. Refrigerate or sit in the garage during the winter; it firms up quickly!
Wonderful. Beautiful. Fantastic Cake! Let them eat and be merry :)