I started off with all the best intentions of making a delicious and beautiful red velvet cake for Christmas dinner. And then, I realized I didn't have buttermilk.
Ten minutes of phone calls and some internet searching reveals I can 1) add vinegar to sweet milk or 2) drive to my grandmother's for some buttermilk. So I drive to my grandmother's.
I get home, start pulling out other ingredients and... I don't have vegetable oil. I can 1) drive back to my grandmother's house for vegetable oil or 2) find a substitute.
Twenty minutes of phone calls to grandparents later, I'm using butter instead of vegetable oil. I think it's a perfectly good substitute. (And it ends up making the cake absolutely delicious!)
Finally, we're making a cake.
Preparations go well. Cake mixes well. Cake bakes well. Cake even comes out of the pans relatively well.
Making the cream cheese icing goes well, minus the powdered sugar that made a nice layer of sweet white dust all over the counter and near-by appliances. Icing the cake goes well. And then I have left-over icing...
So what's a girl to do? Green icing of course! Because green icing is perfect for the red velvet cake with white cream cheese frosting.
I added half a bottle of green food color to the left-over icing, and then I spread it out in thin strips on the top of the cake. I ran across the top of the icing with a toothpick in multiple directions to make the marble look (well, at least try).
My brother's exact words: "What is that on top?! I'm not eating it!"
And then he ate it... and loved every bite of it. :)
Just goes to show you -- you shouldn't judge a cake by its icing.
She Loves Red Velvet Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick softened butter
1 one-ounce bottle of red food coloring
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees F. Make sure racks are in the middle of the oven, and spray three eight-inch round cake pans or two nine-inch pans. Flour cake pans and shake out any excess.
SIFT flour. Measure two cups after flour is sifted. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa in small bowl. Set aside for later.
CREAM sugar and butter, adding sugar gradually to butter. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Add red food coloring and mix.
COMBINE buttermilk and soda in a two-cup liquid measuring cup. Stir well. (Combination will expand, so it's important to use a larger cup to prevent overflow.)
ADD buttermilk/soda mixture alternately with dry ingredients. Mix well. Add vinegar and vanilla to cake batter and mix gently.
DIVIDE batter evenly among the pans. Place cake in oven. Be sure pans to do not touch. Air needs to circulate around the pans for even baking.
BAKE for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn cooled cake onto wire racks. (I put parchment paper down on wire racks to prevent the cake from sticking.) Allow cake to cool completely and then frost.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 eight-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 pound (one box) confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
PLACE stick of butter in small bowl on mixer and beat gently.
DIVIDE cream cheese into three parts, and gradually add to butter. Mix well, but do not over beat.
ADD sugar to the butter/cream cheese mixture gradually. Add vanilla frosting. Mix gently.
What kind of cutting job is that? I have no idea... It was just that good.