Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Red Velvet Sheet Cake and A Surprise

Tex here, and as promised I'm sharing a recipe for red velvet sheet cake, the delectable treats I plied you all with last week.

This is another one of those recipes I borrowed from the PW, so let's hit it.

For the cake, you're going to need:
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1.5 fluid ounces red food coloring
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large sheet/jelly roll pan with nonstick baking spray. That's the kind with the flour in it.

Now, sift together the flour and salt and set aside. In a separate bowl, stir together the buttermilk, vanilla, baking soda, and eggs. Add the vinegar and stir. Set aside.

In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa and red food coloring. Set aside.

This is the set aside gang on the left.

I want to add here that if you like your red velvet cake with a little more cocoa flavor, go ahead and add more than the recipe calls for.

Now, cream together the shortening and sugar until fluffy.
Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk/egg mixture until all combined.

Pour in the red mixture and beat until combined. Yes, it does look kind of like blood.
Suspense writers oughta love that :-)

Pour your batter into the prepared sheet pan.
You'll want to use something to spread the batter and even out the surface.

Then bake that puppy for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 20 minutes.
Cool cake completely before icing.
Now the recipe says to remove the cake from the pan, but you don't have to. I did because I was cutting mine into squares for a party and I wanted them to be perfect. So, after it was frosted, I trimmed off the edges and then cut nice, somewhat precise squares.
But what about the frosting?
This is a classic red velvet frosting. This is what I had the first time I ever had red velvet cake.
It's light, it's fluffy....
But you gotta make it. So here we go.
Combine 1 cup whole milk and 5 tablespoons all purpose flour in a saucepan over medium heat and whisk constantly until thick.

Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
This step is good to do while your cake is baking.
In a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer--if you have a KitchenAid mixer, you'll want the paddle attachment, not the whisk attachment), cream 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter and 1 cup granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the cooled milk mixture and beat and beat and beat. It may look like it's not working, it may look like it's separating, but that just means you have to keep beating...
Until everything is fully combined.
It should be light and fluffy, similar to whipped cream.
This is before I trimmed those less-than-perfect edges.
You've seen this before, haven't you?
If you were going to a potluck/covered dish gathering, you might want to just frost it in the pan for easy transporting.
And, like I said, this doesn't have the cocoa flavor that some recipes do. As is, it has a light texture with a mild flavor.
By now you've probably scrolled and scrolled wondering what my surprise might be.
I now have a title for my September LI release.
(coming soon to a Walmart near you:-)
Happy Tuesday, everyone!


  1. is cake flour the same as plain flour? Will have to see if we have buttermilk to buy (not sure what it is exactly.)

    never had red velvet cake.

    1. Jenny, cake flour is different from all purpose flour, but I honestly don't know the difference. I know I've substituted all purpose flour in recipes before, using 1 cup of all purpose flour minus two tablespoons. I think the cake flour is just lighter.

    2. I can answer the cake flour question - it's ground finer than all purpose flour, so it's much lighter and softer.

      I always use it when making cakes from scratch - it makes all the difference in the world!

  2. You know, Tex, I think your icing was first made famous at some grand NYC hotel... the Waldorf Astoria, perhaps? It was "Whipped Cream Icing" and I heard it gave way to the ideas for how to make synthetic whipped creams... cool whip, etc.

    Isn't it delicious? And light, and fluffy? My mother-in-law loves that recipe and we use it on Aunt Bea's banana cake that NO ONE makes as well as Aunt Bea even though she shared the recipe.... Is it her oven? Is it a secret ingredient, ala CAKE WARS???? Or (as Aunt Bea says) "I take it out of the oven a little soon to keep it moist."

    It sounds so simple.

    I can't wait to try this. This would make great red velvet bars, very Midwestern!

    Just so you know, I'm freezing here.

    No joke, I think my kitchen is like... COLD.

    It's 8 degrees and windy, windchill of -10 right now and still dropping before it rises.

    I have to stop working to go warm up my hands.


    1. Ruthy, that sounds like baking weather to me. Beef stew and homemade bread weather. Let that oven heat up the kitchen.

      8 degrees? Eeesh. I'm shivering just thinking about it. People in Texas don't know how to dress for that.

      I remember when I lived in South Dakota, we had times where we'd have -20 degree air temps DURING THE DAY, with wind chills like -40. That's just crazy. I think the furnace ran continuously.

      You'll have to cuddle up with all those young 'uns and share some body heat.

    2. Yes, Mindy, our furnace is running today!

      It's days like this that I really wish we had a woodstove....

    3. Well, Jan, now I get to deal 100 degree summers.

      I think I prefer the cold, just not the extremes.

  3. The Doctor's Family Reunion!!!!

    OH, YES!!!!! On the shelves with my "Falling for the Lawman"!!!!!

    I'm so stinkin' psyched! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!

  4. Mindy, those are gorgeous! Especially on that green plate. Perfect for Christmas!

    I really do need to make this. And yes, I would definitely add a good bit of cocoa. :) Also must at least try the icing. My family loves fluffy icing.

    Yay on the title!! Love it!

    1. Missy, actually this picture is from Christmas and I was taking them to a Christmas party. With that pretty red, I just knew they had to go on a green platter.

  5. Excited to hear you have a title! And from Ruthy's comment I gather you will both have books out the same month?! How exciting for readers!!!! I'm on a bit of a Love Inspired Lovefest right now. Just finished Blessing by Deborah Bedford. I loved every word! Compelling story, fun premise, lots of 'meat' (or should I say tofu?). Just gobbled it up. Now I'm reading The Cowboy's Healing Ways by Brenda Minton and am having a hard time putting it down. Perfect escape read for my post-flu blues. :-)

    Now about the cake -- it's really red! That surprised me! Do you think your cake flour would be what we call pastry flour up here?

    I've never heard of that whipped icing recipe. Can't imagine an icing with flour and plain old sugar! But I'm trusting you so I'll give it a try. :-)

    1. Kav, cowboy stories are always hard to put down. There's just something that draws us to them.

      Good question on the flour. What is pastry flour typically used for? And you're not allowed to say pastries. Do you use it for cakes?

      The key to the icing is to make sure you beat it long enough. Past the funky looking stage until it looks right.

    2. Can I butt in again?

      Cake flour and pastry flour are different.

      Cake flour is hard wheat, but pastry flour is soft wheat.

      The hard wheat is also called winter wheat - the farmers plant it in the fall, it grows a bit then goes dormant for the winter. In the spring it starts growing again and is ready to harvest in the summer (June in Kansas - there's nothing prettier than a golden wheat field under a Kansas blue sky in June).

      Soft wheat is planted in the spring and harvested in the summer. It's just another variety of wheat.

      I use whole wheat pastry flour whenever I bake non-yeast things like muffins and pancakes.

      I use cake flour for cakes (all white flour there - it is cake, after all).

      I use hard wheat flour for yeast breads.

      Have I succeeded in confusing everyone yet?

    3. Wow -- who knew flour was so complicated? I usually use plain ol' all-purpose flour for everything. I'll have to check the shelves in the grocery store and see if we have cake flour.

    4. Jan, you are a wealth of knowledge. What would we do without you and Ruthy to filter in all these tidbits of information. Y'all rock.

  6. MINDY! I love your title and can hardly wait to read your book :)

    (I'll be watching for it to show up on Amazon so I can pre-order it!)

    This recipe sounds much better than the last Red Velvet Cake recipe I tried (hmmm, it was on the back of the cake flour box...).

    And your frosting sounds wonderful with all that butter in it.

    That may have been one problem with the Red Velvet cake I tried - the frosting wasn't much more that powdered sugar and milk. You have to have the butter in there to give it the right flavor, don't you?

    1. Butter makes everything better, Jan. But I like that it's not as rich as a cream cheese or buttercream frosting. Of course, I still like those. Preferably by the spoonful:-)

  7. Yeah. Mindy. Next up...pre-order info for us!

    1. Julie, this is all so exciting. You know I'll just be bouncing out of my socks when I have that info:-)