Below is a Red Velvet recipe obtained from Cordelia Figgatt, who
just turned 101 years old! She still makes great pies and sweet potato
casserole for all family functions. Interestingly, this Red Velvet Cake recipe
calls for both buttermilk and vinegar. I suppose the reason liquid food coloring
is called for is because most rural Southern cooks didn't have access to the
more potent paste coloring. The icing recipe is weird, but at least it calls for
butter and not shortening. I am going to assume the icing recipe's goal is to
reduce the amount of sugar used.
This Red Velvet Cake recipe is similar to some I have seen in old church
cookbooks. It may not be what you're looking for, but it seems to be authentic
and could be used for comparison if nothing else.
Red Velvet Cake
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp. salt
2 oz. red food coloring
2 tsp. cocoa
1 tsp. soda
Cream shortening and sugar, add eggs. Make paste of food coloring and cocoa.
Combine the two mixtures then add buttermilk alternately with combined flour and
salt to this mixture. Add vanilla, soda and vinegar. Bake for 30 minutes in two
9 inch pans at 350 degrees.
5 Tbsp. flour
1 cup sweet milk
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Cook flour and milk until thick; cool. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy and
combine with cooled flour mixture. Add vanilla. Do not beat too long before
spreading over cake.