Red Velvet Cake

Gay Hilbert and her husband of forty-seven years, Charles, retired to Tanglewood in 1996 after living in the Metroplex. The Hilberts are members of St. John the Apostle Episcopal Church in Pottsboro and deliver Meals on Wheels. “I love to bake cakes for special occasions, especially for church functions,” she said. She’ll bake you a cake if you wish, for a fee, a $30 donation to the church building fund. The cake is served on a Tiffany sterling server that was a wedding gift to Charles’ grandparents in 1900.

– 3 eggs
– ¾ cup butter
– 3 cups all-purpose flour
– 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
– 2¼ cups sugar
– 1½ teaspoons vanilla
– 2 tablespoons red food coloring
– 1½ cups buttermilk
– 1½ teaspoons baking soda
– 1½ teaspoons vinegar
– ¾ teaspoon salt

Let eggs and butter stand 30 minutes at room temperature. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9-inch round baking pans and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric hand mixer on medium-high for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla and mix until combined. One at a time, add the eggs, mixing on low after each egg until combined. Add food coloring and mix until incorporated. Alternately, add flour mixture and buttermilk to egg mixture. Mix on low-medium setting after each addition until combined. Continue process until all the flour mixture and buttermilk are used. In a small bowl, stir together baking soda and vinegar and add to the batter. Mix until incorporated. Equally divide the batter among the three pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and cool at room temperature until cakes are cool to the touch.

Cream Cheese Frosting

– 2 sticks (8 ounces each) butter, softened at room temperature for 30 minutes
– 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened at room temperature for 30 minutes
– 8 cups powdered sugar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla

On low speed, mix butter and cream cheese together until combined. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Continue mixing until creamy. Spread onto cooled cake layers. Add chopped nuts if desired.