February 1, 2016

Mama's Red Velvet Cake

We went over to Mama and Daddy’s for supper yesterday and when I walked through to door there sat the layers for a red velvet cake cooling on racks.

awwwwwwww yeeeaaahhhhhh…

Mama was already cooking ribs, greasy rice and sweet potatoes and now there’s going to be red velvet cake too?? Praise the Lord!

A lot of people associate red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting – and since I never met a cream cheese frosting I didn’t like, that’s A-OK with me – but our old fashioned family recipe for red velvet cake uses what some folks call a ‘cooked frosting’ or ‘boiled icing’.

And I love it.

You boil flour and milk together to make the base, let it cool, then mix it with butter and sugar to make a butter cream that will blow your mind! It’s very stable and doesn’t have to be refrigerated (though, you can if you want). It also stands up to humidity and fluctuating temperatures like we’re prone to here in the South.

I’ve eaten a lot of red velvet cake in my day but I have to tell you, this recipe is, hands-down, my favorite. The cake is super moist and, well, velvety. And the icing reminds you of something your grandma would have made.

If you’re looking for a true, authentic, Southern red velvet cake recipe, this cake is what you’re looking for!

Mama's Red Velvet Cake with Cooked Buttercream Frosting! This is an old fashioned, heirloom Southern recipe for classic red velvet cake and the original cooked flour buttercream frosting.


Mama's Red Velvet Cake with Cooked Buttercream Frosting! This is an old fashioned, heirloom Southern recipe for classic red velvet cake and the original cooked flour buttercream frosting.

Mama's Red Velvet Cake with Cooked Buttercream Frosting! This is an old fashioned, heirloom Southern recipe for classic red velvet cake and the original cooked flour buttercream frosting.

Side note: I wish I'd gotten better pictures. We were running out of daylight and I didn't take the time and care to prep and stage things right to get the best photos.

PS... pictures of cakes and pies are THE HARDEST types of food photos to take! In case you ever wondered ;)

But as you can see here, Angel Baby was a HUGE help!


Mama's Red Velvet Cake
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1-oz. bottle red food coloring
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon vinegar
Cooked Buttercream Frosting (recipe below)

Cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.

Mix cocoa powder and food coloring together in a small bowl to make a paste; add to butter mixture and mix until well combined.

Mix salt, vanilla and buttermilk in a small bowl; add to butter mixture alternately with cake flour until well combined.

Mix baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl then fold into batter by hand until well combined.

Pour batter into 2 9-inch greased and floured cake pans then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until cooked through. Cool completely then frost with Cooked Buttercream Frosting. Cake does not need to be refrigerated.

Cooked Buttercream Frosting
5 tablespoons cake flour
1 cup milk
1 cup butter (real, salted), at room temperature.
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Add flour to a small saucepan then whisk in milk. Heat over medium-high heat until boiling. Cook and stir until thickened (about the consistency of your cake batter). Remove from heat and cool completely.

Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy and smooth (about 3-4 minutes). Add vanilla and cooked flour mixture and continue mixing until creamy, well combined and spreadable. Don’t worry if it doesn’t seem to be coming together – it will. Just keep mixing!

Notes:
  • I don’t know if you can use regular flour. Mama uses cake flour so that’s what I use.
  • Yes, use regular granulated sugar in the frosting; not powdered sugar.
  • No, you can’t make this in a crock pot :)
This recipe was featured at the Weekend Potluck!

PRINTABLE RECIPE


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37 comments:

  1. Thank you! Finally someone blogs about the best frosting for Red Velvet. I do not understand why so many people think Red Velvet goes with cream cheese frosting.
    We always made this cooked frosting. We call it Ermine Frosting. Any other is just not true Red Velvet.

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    Replies
    1. I agree! NO cream cheese frosting on red velvet cake or cupcakes!

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    2. Well, well....you learn something new everyday. I've never tried this cooked buttercream frosting. I always thought you put cream cheese frosting on red velvet cakes. Will this recipe be enough to cover the entire cake?

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    3. I have been making Red Velvet cakes for 45 years and this is the first time I have seen the correct recipe for it. The only difference is powdered sugar is used in the icing. The recipe also calls for you to cut each layer with a thread to make 4 layers. We always refrigerated this cake. I have made green and blue velvet cakes also. The icing is awesome on an orange cake.

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    4. You are absolutely correct! One change I made years ago was the use of Confectioner's Sugar instead of regular, granulated sugar. It mixes in so much more quickly and completely. This frosting is light, fluffy, creamy and is not sickeningly sweet like cream cheese frosting is.

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    5. I have avoided making Red Velvet because as a kid my friends mom who was from England made the best RV cake ever. I've never had any other I liked. The problem was the frosting! I dislike cream cheese frostings on cake. I decided to try my hand and started looking for different kinds of frostings and found this! This is what I've missed since I was a girl. Thank you for the recipe! My husband is about to be a happy camper.

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  2. This looks absolutely delightful! I'm really excited to try the frosting recipe. This recipe is a keeper for sure!

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  3. I'm going to try the frosting first on my husband's chocolate birthday cake! yum!

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  4. I'm going to try the frosting first on my husband's chocolate birthday cake! yum!

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  5. I think the pictuers look great!! Good enough for me to make this cake this weekend for my husbnds birthday! And I call my youngest Angel Baby too!! :)

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    1. Do you REALLY?! I've never met anyone else who used that name! Love it!

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  6. Oh my Goodness!!!!!! This sounds so yummy! Can't wait to make it and that frosting is so yummy! Thank you for sharing your Mama's recipe.
    Diane M.

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  7. Love your recipes Mandy....but your posts are the best...you have the most fabulous sense of humor....

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    Replies
    1. I've made this cake and icing for 60 yrs , Can't imagine putting cream cheese frosting on it. YES you can use regular flour . I use this icing on all my cakes. Oh my goodness so so yummy.

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  8. Delicious. Red Velvet cake is my husband's favorite and this looks better than my recipe. We are having a surprise 65th bday party for him and to check it out I made a sample one for him before I make it for his party. He loved it! He said it was the best I had ever made. So now I have a question. I am making Texas sheet cake for the chocolate lovers and would love to put this on the menu too. Do you think I could make sheet cakes out of this as well? I think it would be fabulous but wanted your opinion. Thanks for all the new ideas. This midwestern cook loves them.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, totally! Obviously, you'll have to adjust the cooking time but I'm sure you'll figure it out. I almost always make my cakes in 13x9 pans. It's just so much easier to store and transport that way!

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    2. And give your husband a BIG FAT KISS for the compliment and tell him Happy Birthday!

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    3. Hi Mandy,
      I found your blog and aside from LOVING your recipes your post notes and hints have me absolutely rolling, tears down the cheeks rolling. Most recently I did the stir fry egg roll post...BINGO! Another winner. My daughter will be having her "leaving the 30's behind" birthday in a couple weeks. Red velvet is her most favorite and I just know you've given us a winner....Again!!<3

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  9. My husband's favorite cake just got better with your recipe! I'm going to make this for him for Valentine's Day. I'll even try the boiled frosting. I must confess, though, I LOVE cream cheese frosting. Thanks for another great recipe!

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  10. This is the recipe that my family has made forever. So many family get-togethers and memories. I always feel bad for the people that think cream cheese frosting is the way to go. Once you try the cooked buttercream you will never go back.

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  11. Hello from Montreal,Canada! Is it necessary to use the whole bottle of food coloring? I was wondering if the batter would still be red if I cut it down to 1-2 Tablespoons?

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    Replies
    1. I *think* one ounce is only 2 tablespoons. I could be wrong, but I think that's right. You're certainly welcome to use less - it won't change the flavor!

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  12. There's always room for Red Velvet Cake. Love it.

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  13. OH My...I would love to try this recipe! My daughter loves red velvet. We have always used the box mix. I would so love to try homemade. Looks delicious!!

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  14. Finally, a recipe with the frosting my grandma made for red velvet cake! I always make it this way. I don't know when cream cheese frosting became the go-to.

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  15. I have always wanted to make a red velvet cake from scratch and icing too.....well, I tried this and it was so easy and delicious!!!!! I can truly say I have not been disappointed with your recipes...thanks for this awesome recipe and the many many others!!!

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  16. Makes me just want to lick my screen!

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  17. no cream cheese frosting on my Red Velvet cake. My aunt always made the frosting with all purpose flour and Crisco, not butter. Will have to try your version of the frosting.

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  18. We call this frosting Mock whipped Cream. It is good but cream cheese is better. I use 8 oz. of cream cheese and 8 oz. salted butter. Alan Jackson has the best red velvet cake recipe ever!

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  19. This looks scrumptious! However, how could I use red beets in place of the food coloring? I cannot and never would use red food coloring as it is formulated from bugs. Thank you!

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  20. Yeahhhhh! My mama made this cake for me every year on my birthday. The icing is the best!!! Thank you for bringing back some great memories =)

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  21. instead of the 9 inch pans, would this work in a large bundt cake pan.... ? this looks really good

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  22. Awesome recipe luks simply delicious will try soon I m big fan of urs I hv tried many of your recipes and came out really well. thanks.

    Hebbars
    http://hebbarskitchen.com/

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  23. This looks like the cake my mom made me every year for my birthday. I haven't had this cake in 12 years. I will have to check my recipe to see if it is the same recipe.

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  24. Wow am going to make this for Easter yum!!

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  25. Yes, this is the frosting my mama always made, too! I make it exactly by her recipe, but somehow it doesn't taste quite the same. :( I always knew there was a red velvet cake in the making when it was time for homecoming at church. I wasn't the only one - several of the women would sneak their servings and hide them in the church kitchen before the eating started. Wonderful memories....

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  26. I made this for the first time tonight,followed the recipe closely and..........it was absolutely amazing!!!! Moist,chocolatey loveliness. Thanks for a fab recipe.

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Hi there! While I'm not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven't been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments. And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y'all! - Mandy

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