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Mary's Red Velvet Cake

From "Sylvia's Family Soul Food Cookbook: From Hemingway, South Carolina, to Harlem"
(William Morrow and Company)

By Sylvia Woods and Family

This cake is as deep a red as there ever was and it is something to see. The layers are flavored with chocolate and the frosting is made from cream cheese, a delicious and unusual combination. Most everything about this cake is a surprise, and that's what makes it so much fun to serve. The recipe is from our friend Mary, and we thank her very much.

- Sylvia's Family Soul Food Cookbook October 7, 1999
Web posted at: 11:19 a.m. EDT (1519 GMT)

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 ounces red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the frosting
  • One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
  • One 1-pound box confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

In a medium bowl or on a piece of waxed paper, sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt together; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the sugar with the butter. Beat in the eggs one at a time.

Alternately add the flour mixture with the buttermilk. Beat in the food coloring and vinegar, then add the vanilla. Spread the batter evenly in the pans. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Turn out onto a rack to cool.

To prepare the frosting, in a large bowl, cream the cream cheese and butter. Beat in the confectioner's sugar until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla. Stir in the pecans. Use to fill and frost the cake.


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