Category Archives: Baking

Red Velvet Cake!


Its become some sort of a family tradition that if my littlest sister birthday is around the corner and I happen to be in town she wants me to whip up a Red Velvet Cake. I did it this week with alot of trepidation considering the last time I did it 5 years ago it was a disaster. Half the kitchen in red food coloring mess when one of the pans had a false bottom and leaked everywhere. This year was a success with more foresight and bit of preparation.

Red Velvet Cake

2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 oz. red food coloring
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk*, at room temperature
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour your pans. This recipe can fill two 9-inch round cake pans or a three 8-inch round cake pans.

2. Sift the flour after measuring then sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl, then set aside.  In a small bowl, mix food coloring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps and set aside.

(beware food coloring!)

3. In a large bowl (using a mixer is preferable) beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste. Remember to scrape down the bowl with a spatula as you go so the batter will evenly mix.  Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the buttermilk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.

*BUTTERMILK: If you don’t have buttermilk available you can substitute the same amount for plain yogurt, or make a buttermilk substitute by adding 1 Tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice per one cup  milk and let stand 5-8 min.

4.  In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda. It will fizz a bit then add to the cake batter and stir well.  Working quickly, divide batter evenly between the cake pans and place them in a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

5. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. To remove the cakes from the pan invert them on a flat surface and then gently lift the pan.  Cakes need to cool completely before frosting.

Frost with buttercream or cream cheese icing*

Simple Cream Cheese Frosting

16 oz. cream cheese (2 packages), softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter (one stick), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
pinch of salt

With an electric mixer, blend together cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Turn mixer to low speed and blend in powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract.  Turn mixer on high and beat until light and fluffy. Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.  If refrigerated, the frosting will need to be brought to room temperature before using (after frosting softens up, beat with mixer until smooth).

You can always add a bit of sugar if you want to make your icing sweeter.

My lil sister wanted the letters in “scrabble style”. This is a close-up so you can see the amazing red color in the finished cake.




Its a tradition with my inlwas to make cookies for santa, being so awesome my sister in law let me use her fabulous recipes. Here are some of the cookies I made. StainedGlass and Santa’s Surprise. If I get the green light I’ll post the recipes here too. Happy Winter Solstice!

Check out my sissy in laws blog for all things girly,

Butter + Sugar = yummy shortbread cookies!


I wanted something sweet, and as always I work with the cupboard essential before payday to clear up the cupboards before doing groceries (helps the keep stuff from piling up, since I don’t know when we’ll  move). I had milk, butter, sugar…. i had also had baking powder but no eggs. So I looked up a super simple recipe and came up with Shortbread Cookies!

3/4 lbs Butter (or margarine)

Add 1 cup sugar.

Mix until blended.

Add 1 tsp vanilla. Beat. Then sift 3.5 cups flour and 1/4 tsp salt into the butter/sugar and mix until dough comes together.

Roll it up, cover in plastic and refrigerate.

30 minutes later roll it out to 1/2 inch thickness and cut out cookies with a cookie cutter or anything else on hand. Ta-da!

Put them on a cookies sheet and sprinkled with sugar. Put them in preheated 350 degree oven for 18-20 minutes until edges are brown.