Red Velvet Cake

2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon red food color
1 cup mashed potatoes*
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3-4 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup sour milk (**see below)

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 9×13 cake pan (or three 8-inch cake pans). For Valentine’s Day use heart shaped pans. Set aside.

Cream or beat together sugar and butter; add eggs, vanilla and food color, beat well. Beat in mashed potatoes.

Measure flour into a bowl; add baking soda, salt and cocoa. Alternating, add one-fourth the milk, then one-fourth the flour mixture to the butter egg mixture, beating well after each addition. Continue until all flour and milk are used.

Spread cake batter evenly in pan(s). Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.

To serve, drizzle with chocolate syrup or frost with cream cheese frosting. Recipe will serve 16.


* Use unseasoned mashed potatoes. Instant potatoes work well for this recipe, prepare according to package directions. If fresh potatoes are used, be sure to whip well or mash out all lumps.

** Years ago cooks would allow fresh milk to sour naturally for use in recipes. To hasten the souring process and provide a safer product they would sour the milk by adding 1-tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar to 1-cup milk. Today a nice substitute is to use buttermilk. For food safety reasons I recommend either buttermilk or making sour milk with lemon juice or vinegar.

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