The first time I ever heard of Red Velvet Cake was when I watched the 1989 hit film, “Steel Magnolias.” In the movie, the groom’s Aunt Fern baked a red velvet groom’s cake in the shape of an armadillo. I know. I never heard of a Groom’s Cake either, but apparently it’s quite the tradition down South. Wedding cakes are usually made for the bride so they came up with a cake for the groom which is served during the rehearsal dinner (or the reception) and is usually shaped into something whimsical like a football, a race car, a basket of fishing tackle, a beer keg, or anything that reflects the groom’s personality, hobbies or interests.
I distinctly remember one part of the movie where Ouiser, the cantankerous old friend of the bride’s mother (played by Shirley MacLaine) cut and served the groom’s cake at the wedding reception. I’ll never forget how gross I thought it looked because it was all red like you were looking at the armadillo’s bloody innards. My horror quickly changed to laughter at the dialogue between Ouiser and Drum, the bride’s father (played by Tom Skerritt).
Ouiser: I’m not speaking to you.
Drum: Oh, what a shame.
Ouiser: I mean it, Drum.
Drum: Ouiser, can we call a truce long enough for me to get a piece of cake?
Ouiser lobs off the back end of the armadillo, plops it on a plate and hands it to Drum.
Drum: Thanks, Ouiser. Nothin’ like a good piece of a – – .
RED VELVET CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1½ cups canola oil
- 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons (1 oz.) red food coloring
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.
- In another bowl, gently beat together oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with electric mixer.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Divide batter equally into prepared cake pans.
- Bake about 22-25 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
- Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 2 (8-oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth.
- Slowly beat in powdered sugar.
- Continue beating until frosting is smooth and fluffy.