Steel Magnolia Red Velvet Cake

  • Prep Time
    2 hours or more to soften ingredients
  • Cook Time
    22 minutes, start checking after 20 minutes
  • Serving
  • View

Red Velvet Cake is considered a Southern dessert, but its origins date to Victorian England.  It became popular in the South after WW II when a Texan invented red food coloring, an addition that took the previously red-tinted batter to new heights of crimson.  In 1989, Shirley McLaine’s character in Steel Magnolias served up an armadillo shaped Red Velvet Cake and the cake’s relationship to the South deepened!  This is an easy cake to make and it tastes delicious and it’s just gorgeous on a holiday table!



The Cake

Cream Cheese Frosting


    Let the cream cheese and butter and eggs all come to room temperature before even thinking about starting this cake. If the butter in your cake batter is not soft, you'll have a hard time creaming the mixture. When you get ready to put icing on the cake, if your cream cheese and butter are not soft enough, you'll have a lumpy frosting.

    Step 1

    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the cake pans. Smear Crisco all over the inside of the pans, line the bottom with parchment and smear it with Crisco also. Then dust regular flour all over the pans, rotate them and shake/tap out the excess flour. Get all ingredients in place. Your kitchen sink should be a complete mess about right now.

    Step 2

    The flour mixture is the flour and cocoa and baking soda and salt, stirred with a fork until combined.

    Step 3

    The buttermilk mixture is the buttermilk mixed with the red food coloring and vinegar and vanilla extract.

    Step 4

    Cream the sugar and butter until fluffy. Do this in the mixing bowl of your Kitchenaid stand mixer with the paddle attachment.

    Step 5

    Add two eggs, one at a time, and mix in the blender until incorporated into your batter. Do not overmix.

    Step 6

    Now add the flour and buttermilk mixtures, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Stir in the stand mixer at a fairly low speed. Use your rubber spatula and scrape the sides of the bowl. You don't want to beat the heck out of this but you want to get all of the ingredients thoroughly mixed.

    Step 7

    Pour into three 6 or 8 inch prepared pans. If you use the smaller pans, you will have leftover batter.

    Step 8

    Bake at 350 degrees for about 22 minutes. Check on the cakes after about 18 to 20 minutes. They are done when they just start to pull away from the sides of the cake pan. A toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake should come out clean.

    Step 9

    Let the cakes cool in the pans for a few minutes, then turn them onto cake racks and allow them to continue cooling.

    Step 10

    MAKE FROSTING: First, sift the confectioner's sugar. This is important. Otherwise, the frosting will be lumpy.

    Step 11

    In your stand mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter.

    Step 12

    Add the sugar and vanilla. Mix well.

    Step 13

    Frost the cake when it is cool. Garnish with pecans!

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