Red Velvet Cake

I'm not a huge fan of cake, unless it's of the Red Velvet variety. But even among this delicious and colorful flavor, few versions even compare to my Red Velvet Cake.

Okay, maybe it's actually Paula Dean's grandmother's recipe but it is the only one worth bothering with. The first time I made this cake, I would find any occasion to bake another one. At family gatherings for every holiday or event, I would bake a Red Velvet Cake (though sometimes I'd change the color to be seasonally appropriate - a layer of blue for the Fourth of July, a layer of green at Christmas-time, school colors for graduations, etc.) until my mom told me that she and everyone else in my family was sick of Red Velvet.

Maybe one day I'll be ambitious enough to try this one:

I hope you try this recipe, and try it again and again until you have eaten so much delicious Red Velvet Cake, courtesy of Paula Dean, that you grow sick of it too! There's no reason to mess around with any other kind of cake once you've tried this!

For the Cake:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 ounces red food coloring
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
For the Icing:
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cup melted marshmallows
  • 1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

For the Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter, beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition. 
3. Mix cocoa and food coloring together and then add to sugar mixture; mix well. 
4. Sift together flour and salt. Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Blend in vanilla. 
5. In a small bowl, combine baking soda and vinegar and add to mixture. 
6. Pour batter into 3 (8-inch) round greased and floured pans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from heat and cool completely before frosting.
For the Icing:
1. Blend cream cheese and butter together in a mixing bowl. Add marshmallows and sugar and blend. 
2. Fold in coconut and nuts. Spread between layers and on top and sides of cooled cake.

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