Red Velvet Cake

Originally uploaded by ted_major

Say what you will, the Red Velvet Cake is the cake of all cakes: it’s chocolate, it’s red, it has white fluffy icing, and it even has it’s own urban legend. Before there was the Nieman Marcus Cookie, there was the Waldorf-Astoria Red Velvet Cake (The perils of linking to wikipedia: the Wikipedians have decreed that henceforth, the Waldorf-Astoria red velvet cake urban legend is no linger noteworthy. *sigh* At least Snopes still mentions it as the ancestor of the Nieman-Marcus cookie recipe).  I have taken some liberty in substituting a boiled frosting for the original milk and flour-based frosting, but here is “the” Waldorf-Astoria Red Velvet Cake:

  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tbs. vinegar (mixed with)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 oz. (2 Tbs.) red food coloring
  • 4 Tbs. cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 c. buttermilk

Cream sugar and butter, then add eggs one at a time, beating well. Add food coloring and vanilla; beat well.

Sift together flour, cocoa, and salt. Add alternately with buttermilk and vinegar-soda mix. Always add some flour last.

Bake 30minutes at 350F in 2 8″ cake pans. Cool and split layers. Frost–I like boiled frosting, original frosting recipe follows.

Boiled Frosting:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs white corn syrup
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 2 egg whites, stiffly beaten
  • a few grains salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Boil together sugar, corn syrup, and water until it reaches 240F. Beat the egg whites with salt until stiff. Pour the hot syrup slowly over them beating constantly until all the syrup is used. Add vanilla and beat until mixed.

Waldorf-Astoria Frosting

  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/s c. shortening
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Cook milk and flour together in a double boiler until thick. While hot, add pinch of salt. Set aside and cool.

In mixer, beat vanilla,sugar, butter, and shortening at high speed until fluffy. Add milk and flour mixture, beat until fluffy, and spread.