Harridge Post & Prospector

Roxie’s Recipes (for the lazy cook)

Once I found out that Issy’s favorite cake is Red Velvet, well I just knew I would have to do what I could to make her birthday extra special. It proved to be an enlightening experience for me as well, delving a bit into the history of this hotly contested favorite. Different accounts claim that it was developed in the Victorian era; that it originated in the Southern part of the US; or that it was invented at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in the 1930s. I’m not about to step in to contest any of these claims. I will say that I was determined not to add any artificial food colorings to my recipe, so – as usual – I wound up taking a bit from this recipe and that to develop my own version. Apparently the original recipe got its red hue from the cocoa powder used, but I found a version that added a bit of beet powder as well, resulting in a beautiful, but subtle and natural shade of red.

  • ½ cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1-½ cups sugar
  • 2-½ cups flour
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 3 tbs beet powder (I ordered mine through Amazon)
  • 1-½ tbs baking powder
  • 2 tbs red cocoa powder
  • 1 tps white vinegar
  • 1 tps vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  1. For best results, pull your butter, eggs and buttermilk out of the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature before starting.
  2. Preheat your oven to 325˚. Thoroughly butter and flour three 8” baking pans, or line with parchment paper.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until they are nice and frothy. The best way to do this is to start at a low mixing speed and gradually increase it until you get a nice foamy texture. Then add this to your butter and sugar mixture, as well as the vinegar, vanilla and egg yolks.
  5. Combine your dry ingredients – flour, beet powder, and cocoa powder.
  6. Gradually add your dry ingredient mix and your buttermilk to your previous ingredients, alternating each and mixing well all the while.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely before removing from pans.

A note about the frosting: Most modern versions of this cake use cream cheese frosting. Although I do love a good cream cheese frosting, I decided to go with a more traditional frosting, which – though not quite as sweet – seems to set this cake off beautifully.

  • 5 tbs flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tps vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered, or confectioners’ sugar
  1. Combine the flour and milk in a saucepan and gradually warm over medium heat, stirring constantly to remove any lumps. Allow to cool completely.
  2. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together until smooth.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until you get a nice fluffy smoth consistency. Then frost between layers and over the top and sides of the cake.

Now, Sunday at 9pm, tune your radio to KNVC 95.1 FM Carson City – or if you’re not in range, you can pull it up on their website: https://knvc.org. If you happen to miss it for some reason, they will re-air it next Friday at 8pm.

Need to catch up on previous episodes? Go to https://anchor.fm/harridgehouse or your favorite podcast provider to stream Season 1.