Red Velvet Cake - Will the original recipe please take a bow?

Three Layer Red Velvet Cake As I Remember It At two recent events, I was offered Red Velvet Cake.  Both times this dessert was covered in Cream Cheese Frosting, a staple of the South.  This I not the way...

Three Layer Red Velvet Cake As I Remember It
Three Layer Red Velvet Cake As I Remember It

At two recent events, I was offered Red Velvet Cake.  Both times this dessert was covered in Cream Cheese Frosting, a staple of the South.  This I not the way I remember this cake, as I knew this red-treasure to be finished with a boiled frosting started with a milk and flour "paste" as I made many a time when I created this Birthday Treat.  I was told that my frosting was the Midwest version of the cake.  I remember using cake crumbs a top the frosting to cover any pink streaks that you could create when frosting these works of art.

Red Velvet in process
Red Velvet in process

In the Spring of 2014, I blogged about my beloved Red Velvet Cake from my childhood.   And a top request from my staff who requested their dessert for their Birthday Celebrations.  Here is the link to my original blog.

I have seen many recipes for this treat and almost all include buttermilk to create this rich and moist decadent treat.  Some recipes include cocoa, others do not add this chocolate seasoning.  Another difference is the amount of red food coloring added.  I have seen recipes including one ounce of bottled red-food coloring and other for 1  1 /2 ounces and mine requiring 2 ounces or two full bottles.  One of the recipes claimed this recipe with it's copious amount of red food coloring in a fluid ounce, turned the layers of this cake a bright magenta.  True to my childhood memories, I want a red cake, not a pink cake!

As to the vinegar in the cake better, here are two answers, One from Nigella and another from e-how's Andrea Cespedes.

Vinegar isn't a typical cake ingredient -- unless you're making the lightly chocolate-flavored, crimson-hued red velvet version. If you leave it out of the ingredients, chances are your cake will turn out just fine. But adding it may help make your cake light and tender, or preserve the reddish color.

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Nigella's Red Velvet Cupcakes (from Kitchen and on the Nigella website) use a combination of baking powder and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) as raising agents. The bicarbonate of soda is added to help add extra lift to the cakes, as the cocoa powder can tend to slightly reduce the rise in cakes.

Bicarbonate of soda needs an acid to react with to make the carbon dioxide bubbles that cause the cakes to rise. And although the buttermilk is acidic and there is cream of tartar in the baking powder, the extra acid will help to make the bicarbonate of soda very active and make the cakes light. Cider vinegar is a mild-flavoured vinegar but lemon juice would also be fine to use as an alternative acid ingredient, as it should also not interfere with the flavour of the cakes.

It is worth noting that the cake batter will have quite a few bubbles when first mixed, but the bicarbonate of soda will expire fairly quickly. So make sure that you have the oven properly preheated and the muffin pan prepared so that you can put the cupcke batter into the oven as quickly as possible after it has been mixed.