Thursday, October 12, 2006

Lucille's Red Velvet Cake

Karen recently asked for my Red Velvet Cake recipe. I should confess that as is the case with most anything worth eating that I make, the recipe isn't mine.

Lucille Greenfield was a woman who went to the church where I grew up, and this is her recipe. She was famous for this cake and for being most informed about Batesville goings on. She had a police scanner turned on in her house 24/7. When Wednesday night prayer meeting or Sunday church rolled around, Lucille was more than happy to shout out all that needed sharing and then some.

Sometimes Lucille took the trouble to submit her police reports in the form of sympathetic prayer requests. More often than not, however, her enthusiasm for local moral atrocities would eclipse any patience she had with spiritual formalities. In those instances she would resort to blurting out in joyful shock whatever newsworthy burden she happened to be carrying to anyone within earshot not affiliated with the story she had to tell. Sometimes in her excitement that last distinction was ignored. If something really big happened Lucille would forfeit the convenience of a gathered flock altogether, pick up the phone and just call everyone she knew, which thanks to the scanner was pretty much everybody in town.

Lucille moved up to the precinct in the sky some years back, but my sister still bakes a mean version of her Red Velvet Cake. I probably should buy her a scanner one of these days.

1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup oil
2 eggs, well beaten
2 teaspoons cocoa
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/2 oz (1/2 bottle) red food coloring
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon flour (for dusting cake pans)
2 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

1 box powdered sugar
8 oz. package cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla, scant

Grease and flour 2 9-inch cake pans. Mix sugar, oil, eggs, cocoa, vinegar, and food coloring. Add buttermilk and vanilla. Add dry ingredients. Pour into pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Icing: I usually double the icing recipe so I don’t have to skimp on frosting and because I like to eat the leftovers on graham crackers.

Combine 1 box powdered sugar with 8 ounce package of cream cheese. Beat until smooth. Beat in vanilla. You can also add some chopped nuts if you like.


Anonymous jennie said...

Ah, Lucille Greenfield. It's been a while since I've thought about her, but she makes me smile. Your description of her was impeccable. :)

I've never made a red velvet cake, but I think I'll definitely try this recipe!

6:54 AM  
Blogger Mike Mather said...

That cake...that cake...that cake...was amazing. I stood next to Carol who is allergic to wheat (or gluten, I can't remember what) and she said that she hadn't eaten a piece of cake in over 12 years. I said to her "Carol, this piece of cake is worth a trip to the hospital!"

4:06 AM  
Anonymous Karen said...

I don't know if I'm the Karen who asked for this recipe, but I sure am glad to have it! When you have the time, could you post some more real southern recipes, like maybe your cornbread recipe or some okras?

9:37 AM  
Blogger Troy said...

Karen, I'll post my mother's cornbread recipe, but I'm going to have to post my friend Jennie's fried okra recipe. Her's is the best and very simple, as the best things often are.

7:39 PM  
Anonymous David's friend Jason said...

David and I were talking red velvet cake and he mentioned this recipe. I read over it and have to tell you that I have one that is probably 10 times better... It's from Grandma Jay.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Troy said...

No disrespect to Grandma Jay, but bring it, Jason! Why don't you and I each whip one up, and we'll have a cake-off. The only thing better than one Red Velvet Cake would be two. Glad to have you reading, btw.

4:15 AM  

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