Red Velvet Cake

'This cake is as deep a red as there ever was and it is something to see. The layers are flavored with chocolate and the frosting is made from cream cheese, a delicious and unusual combination. Most everything about this cake is unusual, and that's what makes it so much fun to serve,' says Sylvia Woods.

2-1/4 cups sifted cake flour

2 teaspoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup (1/4 pound) unsalted butter, softened

2 large eggs

1 cup buttermilk

2 ounces red food coloring

1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla

FOR THE FROSTING:

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup (1/4 pound) unsalted butter or margarine, softened

One 1-pound box confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs one at a time.

Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Beat in the food coloring and vinegar, then the vanilla. Spread the batter evenly in the pans. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let pans rest on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Turn cakes out onto a rack to cool.

In large bowl, cream the cream cheese and butter. Beat in the confectioners' sugar until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla. Stir in the pecans. use to fill and frost the cake.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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