Red Velvet Cake

For anytime elegance and Southern tradition, make this easy, beautifully tinted cake with a hint of cocoa. Simply frost it with your favorite icing.
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Work: 15 minutes
Total: 55 minutes

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) red food coloring
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup low-fat buttermilk

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment. Grease and flour; tap out excess. Stir together cocoa powder, food coloring, water, and vanilla; set aside.

2. In a bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Beat in flour, baking soda, and salt. Add buttermilk and cocoa mixtures alternately in 3 batches, and beat until combined. Divide batter among pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Turn cakes out of pans and cool completely.

Originally published on, September 2009.


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