As we celebrate the birth of Christ, we should take time to ponder the true “miracle” of Christmas. The “miracle” I am writing about is depicted in manger scenes displayed all around us – reminding us of the unconditional love that God showed the world by sending His son to be born in a stable, to live 33 years to show us how to love, forgive and serve others and to be our Savior. Indeed, Christ was love embodied. As I have said many times, the Christmas season seems to bring out the best in people. Please let it bring out the love and goodwill in your heart now and throughout the days ahead
Those feelings expressed, please allow me to share two delicious cake recipes that you may consider “whipping up” for holiday meals or any time of year. The Red Velvet Cake with butter frosting (partially cooked) and the Italian Cream Cake with butter frosting that doesn’t require cooking may take a bit of work, but these traditional Southern cakes will be well worth your efforts! And, if you slice a piece of the Red Velvet Cake and carefully lift it out, the cake itself may be used as a colorful “centerpiece” on the table.
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Centerpiece Red Velvet Cake
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter
3 small bottles red food coloring
3-3/4 cups plain flour, sifted
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar and eggs. Add the red food coloring. Into a separate bowl, measure and sift the flour. Put the flour back into the sifter and add salt and cocoa to the sifter; sift again. Add this flour mixture, vanilla and buttermilk to the creamed mixture and beat well. In a small cup, stir the vinegar and baking soda. Pour this into the batter, but don’t beat it. Instead, fold it in with a spoon or spatula.
Pour this batter into three greased and floured 9-inch cake pans that have been lined with parchment paper. Bake the layers at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (don’t open the oven during this time). Let the layers cool for 10 minutes before inverting the layers onto a flat surface to let them cool before frosting them with Butter Frosting.
1 box 10X powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a saucepan, combine the cornstarch and cold water. Cook it on medium heat, stirring continually, until it thickens. It doesn’t take long. Set this aside and let it cool. In a large bowl, combine the butter, powdered sugar (sifted) and vanilla. Beat well with a hand mixer. Then beat in the cornstarch mixture. Beat it until the mixture looks like whipped cream. If the frosting seems too thin, beat in a little bit more powdered sugar. This recipe frosts three layers.