Devil's Food Cake is also know as Red Velvet Cake, Red Devils Cake,
Waldorf Astoria Cake, and $100 Dollar Cake.
A beautiful mild chocolate flavor cake that is startlingly red. The cake is traditionally complemented with a thick
white frosting with different regions of the country using different types of frosting.
The cake gets this bright red color from the large amount of red food dye used in the
preparation. A light-textured chocolate layer-type cake with a deep reddish brown
color. Devils food cake is usually thought of in terms of dark chocolate, but originally
it was red. Today cooks, using modern processed cocoa, sometimes add a touch of red food coloring to bring back the authentic
color. This cake is particularly popular in New Orleans.
Definition of deviled - A term describing food that is dark, rich, chocolate, spicily piquant or
stimulating it is "deviled." The term "deviled" for spicy foods dates back to
the 18th century. Deviled dishes were popular throughout the 19th and
into the 20th centuries, especially for seafood dishes.
This cake probably goes back in history and existed in the southern
states where the cake was originally made from beets and cocoa.
1902 - Devil's food cake was the favorite dessert of the early 1900s. In 1902, the recipe first
appeared in an American cookbook called Mrs. Rorer's New Cook Book by
Sarah Tyson Rorer. By 1913, recipes began appearing in cookbooks across America.
1950s - Some people think that this cake
originated in the 1950s at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The restaurant archives cant
produce any evidence or records of this, but because this version is so popular, the
restaurant likes to take credit for it.
1940s - In the 1940s, a rumor was spread
that a customer asked for a copy of the recipe and was given a bill in the amount of $100. According to the rumor, the angry customer,
apparently with revenge in mind, then began circulating the recipe along with her story.
As with most urban legends, they seem to have a life of their own, creeping through a
society one person at a time.
1970s - In the 1970s, the cakes
popularity faded when red dye was linked to cancer.
Red Velvet Cake (Devil's Food Cake) Recipe:
This recipe was shared with me by my daughter, Brenda Weller. The original recipe was from
the Cakeman Raven of Cakeman Raven Confectionery, NYC.
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30 min
2 1/2 cups all-purpose
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt (use regular salt, not coarse)
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe below)
Crushed pecans, for garnish
* You can choose to leave the red food
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil and flour 3 (9- x 1 1/2-inch round) cake pans.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder; set aside.
In another large bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla extract.
Using a standing mixer, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined and a smooth batter is formed. Divide the cake batter evenly among
the prepared cake pans. Place the full cake pans in the oven, evenly spaced apart.
Bake approximately 30 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking, until the cake pulls away from the side of the pans, and a toothpick
inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cake is done when the
registers approximately 205 to 209 degrees F. on your
Remove the cakes from the oven and run a knife around the edges to loosen them from the sides of the pans. One at a time, invert each cake onto a plate and then
re-invert them onto a cooling rack, rounded-sides up. Let cool completely before frosting.
Once cakes are cooled, frost the cake:
- Place one (1) layer, rounded-side down, in the middle of a cake stand or
- Using a palette knife or spatula, spread some of the cream cheese
frosting over the top of the cake (spread enough frosting to make a 1/4
to 1/2-inch layer or frosting).
- Carefully set another layer on top, rounded-side down, and repeat.
- Top with the remaining layer and cover the entire cake with the remaining
- Sprinkle the top with the pecans.
Makes a cake large enough to serve 6 to 8 people (depending on the size of the slices).
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
4 cups sifted powdered (confectioners') sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with a hand-held
electric mixer in a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and
butter on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high, and mix
until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. NOTE:
Occasionally turn the mixer off, and scrape the down the sides of the bowl
with a rubber spatula.
Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Add the vanilla extract; raise the speed to
high and mix briefly until fluffy (scrape down the bowl occasionally).
Store in the refrigerator until somewhat stiff, before using.
NOTE: May be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days.
Makes enough to frost a 3 layer (9-inch) cake.