Red Velvet Cake (aka Brian's Red Cake)
The recipe is an old family original, that has been in his family for several generations. However, when I say "original" you'll see that there's really nothing original about it. As I searched through many online versions of Red Velvet cake, it's a pretty typical recipe. In fact, there are near identical ones to it all over the place. When looking at all the recipes, there was a wide discrepancy regarding the amount of cocoa to use. Some (like this one) use just a couple teaspoons. Others use up to a quarter cup. Though I've tasted many over the years, I stick with making this one, because 1) it's darn good. And, 2) it has a history.
Before 1988, I don't think I'd ever heard of, nor tasted, a Red Velvet cake. I'm thinking that like all classics, it was experiencing a lull, only to be fully revived by a new generation. In fact, for years, I called it "Brian's Red Cake" not even knowing that it was a Red Velvet cake. Silly girl.
Brian's Red Cake
Combine and let stand:
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vinegar
1 1/2 C sugar
1/2 C shortening
Mix in a small, separate bowl. Then add to the sugar mixture:
2 tsp cocoa
2 1/2 C cake flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Mix in the baking soda/vinegar.
Pour into 2 9" pans.
Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
Top with cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz softened cream cheese
4 TB softened (NOT melted) butter
2 C powdered sugar
1 tsp real vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract