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.
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!
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 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!
- 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 :)