10.27.2018

Summertime Blues

I think it’s odd that Alan Jackson sang the Country & Western hit “Summertime Blues” and yet today’s recipe is his, and it’s all about the red, not blue! Hmmm...

I clipped Jackson's recipe more than 25 years ago from the Sunday paper. Red Velvet Cake was popular then, and it’s popular now.

Over the past decade or two, we’ve seen red velvet cupcakes, whoopie pies, brownies, cookies, cheesecake - even trifles. But there is nothing like the original Red Velvet Cake. It’s not fancy, but it certainly is one of the easiest cakes I have ever made, and everybody loves it.

Most people I know prefer the standard cream cheese frosting (shown in the photos below). The combination is too sweet for my palate. Instead, I prefer this recipe for Tangy Whipped Icing (first photo), which pairs perfectly with the not-too-sweet cake.

In his song, Jackson croons, “There ain’t no cure for the summertime blues!”

I think there is. This cake. (Even though it is late October and closer to winter than summer!)

~ David

Red Velvet Cake

Cake
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups canola oil
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 1-ounce bottle red food coloring


Icing
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sour cream
1/4-1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until smooth. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans. Divide batter among the pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Allow the layers to cool in their pans for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto racks to cool completely.

When cakes are cool, whip the heavy cream and sour cream together until they form soft peaks. Add the extract and continue beating while gradually adding the sugar. The cream should form stiff peaks, but do not over beat.

Using a spatula, loosely spread a thin coating of the icing over the bottom layer of the cake. Add the second layer, topping was with the remaining icing. You can ice the sides, if you wish.

Makes 12 servings.

30 comments:

  1. I think your topping sounds fantastic; the almond extract cinched the deal for me!

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    1. This has become a favorite topping for us. I find the cream cheese frosting way too sweet and cloying (Not to say I wouldn't eat it...).

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  2. Must try - especially the frosting. I think it would be great on carrot cake.

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  3. There is something lovely about a traditional red velvet cake, and yours is a winner and your icing sounds really good.

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    1. Thanks, Emma - I like the cake because it isn't too sweet, and with the sour cream topping, it is pretty perfect!

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  4. That was (and probably still is) my sister's favourite cake!

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    1. Really? I had never heard of one until I was an adult!

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  5. David, I haven't seen or eaten a red velvet cake in years. The topping is just up my alley as well. Now, I have to see if can find my baking pans.

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    1. Having just returned from Europe, Ron, I can see that the baking pans are a big issue. Easy to make substitutions when making a pie or crostata, but for cakes, precision is required!

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  6. Love your version that is not overpowered with sugar. Icing sound as my cup of tea ! Great one David ! Thank you !

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    1. The older I get, the less sweet I like my desserts!

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  7. I don’t remember the last time I’ve eaten a red velvet cake. I just love your version. Thanks David.

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  8. Here are a few more quotes:

    “A Red Velvet Cake makes the heart young again and wipes out the years.”

    That’s a quote I found on the internet, so it must be true.

    Here’s another quote from another reliable source, actress Emma Stone:

    “You’re a human being, you live once and life is wonderful, so eat the damn Red Velvet Cake.”

    GREG

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    1. These are great quotes, Greg. Especially Emma Stone's.

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  9. I remember the first time I saw a red velvet cake about 25 yrs ago. I'd never heard of them and hadn't really studied food yet.I thought it was the coolest looking cake I'd ever seen, and I still think it is. It's fun! Love the sound of your topping/frosting, too!

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    1. It is fun, and you can make them in so many colors, too! The topping really makes it, I have to say.

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  10. It's been forever since I've made a red velvet cake, David. It is one of the most festive cakes in my opinion! Thank you for sharing a trusted recipe I know will be delicious! :)

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    1. There is something really festive about this cake!

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  11. I love your red velvet cause I'm not fond of the typical cream cheese frosting, I bet I'd love your double cream and almond frosting way better! ;)

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    1. Thanks, Romain. Cream cheese frosting is one of the reasons I usually avoid carrot cake!

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  12. David, I must confess I've never tasted red velvet cake. I was raised "anti-artificial-coloring" and I just can't do it! :D But I could make your recipe without the coloring, and I know I'd enjoy it with your icing.

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    1. Jean - While I did use the artificial dye here, there are some great ways to get natural color - condensed beet juice works very well! And, you are right / the cake tastes great without the coloring!

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    2. Our mutual friend Claire told me that she has a recipe with red wine to avoid the artificial color! Growing up, this was always a family favorite and it is still a great special occasion cake. I'd like to try it with your frosting recipe and, as one of your followers wrote, that frosting sounds great on carrot cake!

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    3. I would be interested in trying that, Susan. But there are quite a few natural food colorings out there I might try first.

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  13. Awww, you got me all psyched for a blue velvet cake...

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    1. It could happen, Inger... it could happen.

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  14. The perfect cake to serve during the Christmas holidays.

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    1. I have actually divided the batter and done half red and half green for Christmas, Mexican Independence Day, and a variety of Italian celebrations!

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