Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet cake is something my family has been making for about 30 years. Traditionally it is served with the whipped frosting that begins by mixing flour and milk on the stove to make a paste. Since cooking and baking isn't done as much nor 'handed down' as much anymore a lot of young cooks have never made homemade frosting, believing it only comes in a can bought at the store. When they do make frosting it's the traditional buttercream or cream cheese frosting (that you find on carrot cake). So the Red Velvet cakes are back in style (everything retro is 'in' again) and it's typically served with a cream cheese frosting now - but I still make it with the old fashioned frosting.

You can make this into beautiful little cupcakes as well. I traditionally make this cake at Christmas because of it's beautiful deep red color.

1/2 c shortening or butter
1½ c sugar
2 eggs
2 oz. red food coloring (1 bottle)
3 T cocoa
2¼ c all-purpose flour
1 t salt
1 t vanilla
1 t baking soda
1 c buttermilk
1 T vinegar

Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans. Preheat oven to 350. Cream shortening, sugar and eggs. Make a paste with the food coloring and cocoa and add to mixture. Add salt and flour alternately with buttermilk and vanilla. Alternately add soda and vinegar, and don't over beat. Divide batter between the two prepared pans. Bake 30 minutes or until done. Remove from oven. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes, then remove cake layers from pan and cool completely.

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