Don’t Wear White When Eating This….

The Daring Bakers are at it again. This month we chose red velvet cake, which very few people had made, but I make on a monthly basis for my Southern gentleman.
Like a lot of people I know, I became acquainted with red velvet cake from the movie Steal Magnolias. There at the wedding was the awful grooms cake, an armadillo, that when cut into was a blood red, red velvet cake. Not exactly appetizing to me but no one in the movie thought it out of the ordinary. Before meeting my husband I had red velvet cake a few times but had never made it before. But when I met him one of the few things(we have already established he is a picky eater) he said he truly loved to eat was red velvet cake. So off I went to make it. I was all proud the first time in making it. There it stood, all three layer of cake, covered in cream cheese frosting with chopped pecans sprinkled on top. I was excited to see my husbands reaction(he did not know I was making it). When I held out the cake there was a look of horror on his face. “That’s not red velvet cake,” he said. I assured him that according to the recipe, it was indeed red velvet cake, and if he would cut into it he would see it was quite red. “Pecans go IN the frosting, not on top!” What is the difference I thought? Apparently to him there is…and so from that day on I put the chopped pecans in the frosting instead of on top. Which leads me to my first warning about this cake. It’s a bitch to frost. If you are going for a pretty cake, this is not it. A crumb layer is a must on this cake. You are going to get bits of red in your pretty white frosting…oh well.
I have made several recipes and he doesn’t seem to prefer anyone of them. Every time I get, “tastes good, tastes like red velvet cake.” He is so helpful. So when we(the Daring Bakers that is) picked red velvet cake I decided to pick a recipe I hadn’t tried yet. This one came from a Southern boarding house cookbook and looked pretty traditional so I gave it a whirl. This originally was a three layer cake but my impatient husband could not wait until the next day after I took photos to eat it…so the top layer went to him. I actually made three mini layers and one regular cake layer(that went to a friend). Another impatient thing was that I did not have pecans. When I told him this he said, “fine, just use some other nut.” All I had was slivered almonds, so that is what I used. He seemed to be okay with it telling me, “tastes good, tastes like red velvet cake.” Grrrrr….men.

Red Velvet Cake

2 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 tsp white vinegar
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 to 3 TBSP cocoa powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
5/8 ounce bottle red food coloring

Preheat the oven to 350F. Cream the eggs, sugar, oil and vinegar. Sift the cake flour, baking soda, and cocoa together. Add the flour mixture to the creamed ingredients while beating. Slowly add the buttermilk. While still beating, add the vanilla and the food coloring. Pour into three 8-inch layer pans and bake for about 25 minutes. Press lightly;if the layers are spongy, then the cake is done. Frost the cooled layers, assemble and frost the top and sides. Serves 12 to 14.
Red Velvet Cake Frosting
1(8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter
1 (1 pound) box confectioners sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine the cream cheese and butter and melt over very low heat. Add the sugar, pecans and vanilla and mix well. If the frosting becomes too thick, add a little milk. Frost one 8-inch or 9-inch layer cake.

Source: Adapted from Mrs. Wilkes’ Boardinghouse Cookbook: Recipes and Recollections from Her Savannah Table by Selma Wilkes

We all used a variety of recipes so head on over to see my fellow Daring Bakers blogs: Quellia, Mary, Ivonne, Elle, Morven, Hester, Brilynn, Lisa, Tanna, Helen, Jen, Mary(Bread Chick), Valentina, Veronica and Freya.


Our great logos were all designed by the highly talented Ximena. If you are not familiar with her blog Lobstersquad, you should head on over and check it out. She did an outstanding job on them!


  1. Oh Yummm! Men and their cake I tell ya!
    I love that they are so many interpretations available for just one cake, make me want to try it with nuts next month!

  2. Wow! Yours is a very pretty red. :)

  3. my husband also makes similar response… blaaaaaah!
    The texture of your cake looks great, no wonder he couldn’t wait.

  4. Yours looks mouthwateringly good! I have no idea how you found time to make this, along with compiling the HHDD competition as well. I think my head would have exploded!

  5. Just gorgeous! I love the mile high layer of frosting on it.. Mmmmmm. =) At least yours ate the cake.. mine “didn’t have room” last night so the only opinion on it for my post is going to be mine.

  6. WOW! That is red!!! I am so glad I’m not the only person who has a tastebud challenged man in their life. I frosted the domes of my cake and gave a bit to MBH to take to work today. He ate his for breakfast…comment “Yup, tastes like Red Velvet Cake”. Perhaps yours and mine are twins separated at birth??!!

  7. I love the vibrant colour!

  8. Your cake looks absolutely decadent. The red of your cake is gorgeous!

  9. I love red velvet cake. I can tell I’m going to be drooling over a lot of pictures this week! Very well done.

  10. Holy Red! We made the same recipe and mine didn’t look anything like that!
    I sympathize with you on the husband thing – I get the same kinds of reactions from mine all the time.
    Any icing left? :-)

  11. amazing how red your cake is, and your icing looks so thick and great! I agree with you that the best bit of this cake is the icing… and i loved the method of melting the cream cheese. love the bottom photo – it’s how I imagined red velvet cake should look!

  12. Aren’t men such a help when cooking for them? Your cake looks amazingly red, and very good! It definitely is a Southern thing. I have not as yet made one, but I know many people love their red velvet cake, maybe someday I will be inspired to try one, and if I keep visiting all the daring bakers it might be sooner.

  13. That is one intense cake! Sounds like if we mixed the reactions of your hubbs and my younger brother, we’d get something helpful! He’s the super critical little twerp who likes pointing out to me every single thing that he doesn’t like about anything that I’ve made! :P

  14. I think making red velvet cake is SO much fun. I make one that has raspberry jam between the layers instead of frosting. OH! It is SO good. Yours looks great…so moist! Y’all look like you have a lot of fun with these challenges.

  15. You get the award for the cake that’s most blood red in colour, it really is striking!

  16. This cake sure looks delicious, with all the layers and the RED…The RED just calls for a white dress to stain.

  17. Your husband is a lucky guy, Peabody!!! I think your cake is gorgeous and I find it interesting that some people are so attached to it. It seems like a realy cultural dessert for those from the South.

    Feel free to send me one next month …


  18. Red velvet cake is on my shortlist of desserts to try. Yours looks really moist. I’ll have to check out the other recipes because I know there’s some debate about what actually makes the cake red.

  19. Men!!! Yes, I understand that. I too have had the horrors of trying to frost a cake with nuts in the frosting, its insane.

    What a delicious piece of cake, just lovely.

  20. the first time I made RVC it was a recipe from the Magnolia cook book. I had never seen anything like it. The colour fascinated me. I am using your recipe for this challenge as I wanted a change and had no other recipe in the house.your looks divine. I have been meaning to use a natural dye for it but my parcel has not arrived yet so I will have to bake mine last minute and using the usual stuff.Can I have a slice of yours?

  21. Wow – what a red cake. And that frosting – so thick I can almost taste it. You are very fortunate to have a significant other to bake for. Mine barely has a sweet tooth.

  22. Well done! Your cake looks really moist and yummy. :)

  23. Yours is the second I’ve seen (after Brilynn’s). I can never have too much cake though, especially since yours looks so delicious!

  24. Your cake looks fantastic and really, really red. Good thing we love our men…they can be frustrating. Fortunately my nephew decided that three pieces of the cake in one weekend, including one for breakfast, was the way to go. His comment? “Good cake.” Men.

  25. I’m so impressed by the color of this cake, Peabody! It’s so bright and beautiful, I love it!

  26. This is a great idea–all the different recipes have different back stories to them! I remember that groom’s cake in Steel Magnolias. It’s a hilarious scene. Your cake looks sooo good. I dearly wish I had a slice.

  27. Beautiful!
    Being from the south I know something about red velvet cakes…you should have appointed me the judge. In fact if you would like to put a piece in the mail~

  28. Me too, me too, I made red velvet cake too!

  29. I LOVE that you ladies do this! It is so much to go peek in everyone’s kitchens and see all the creative ways you finish the same recipes. Cool club! Beautiful cake, too! :-)

  30. I LOVE red velvet cake!! Your’s looks great, and I actually like almonds better anyway. :)

    I MUST try making a red velvet cake sometime…

  31. Made this red velvet cake for the first time last nite. My frosting was lousy and was a bit too sweet for me. Nevertheless, it’s a nice cake.

  32. Hey Pea – I have a fantastic recipe from one of my mom’s best friends back in NC. I ask her to make it for my Christmas present each year. Maybe your DH will dig this one (and yes, nuts are in the frosting!)

    The only difference I see between the recipes is that Tina’s uses 2 c. of oil. I’ll take whatever other folks don’t want!

  33. Tiffany says:

    I tried this recipe last weekend and yummm! It was the first time I’ve ever had red velvet cake and it was amazing! Nice work Peabody.

  34. Hi! Your cake looks amazing! I’ve made red velvet cakes before but most recipes call for distilled white vinegar. Do you know why this recipe doesn’t call for that?

  35. @Dawn- it reacts with the baking soda, gives it a fluffy texture


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  2. […] from Peabody, whose husband would probably be very upset by this […]

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