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Waldorf Astoria Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Red Velvet Cake is a decadent chocolate cake dyed a deep red then iced in a rich cream cheese and Mascarpone frosting

The Waldorf Astoria New York invented Red Velvet Cake (it was first created in its kitchen in the first half of the 20th century), so this is truly an original recipe!

Red Velvet Cake is a decadent chocolate cake dyed a deep red then iced in a rich cream cheese and Mascarpone frosting. This treat uses beets as a colorant, preventing the cake from having the harsh, artificial taste that red food dyes often produce.

Although many consider the Red Velvet Cake to be a Southern classic, it was actually created at The Waldorf Astoria New York. The recipe was kept secret until the chef received a letter from a guest asking how to make it.  In response, the chef sent the secret recipe along with a bill for $350. Feeling offended by the invoice, the guest shared the recipe with all of her friends and family members, which ultimately helped the cake grow in popularity and become one of the most sought-after bakery treats.

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 3 Ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 Cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 Cup vanilla extract
  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 Teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 Pound canned beets, drained, puréed
  • 1 Teaspoon red food color

For the frosting:

  • 2 Cups heavy cream
  • 12 Ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 12 Ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Cup powdered sugar, sifted

Directions

For the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and line three 9-inch round cake pans with waxed paper. Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water.

Meanwhile, mix the sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla with an electric mixer on low speed for 2 minutes. In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and continue to mix on low speed until everything is incorporated. Add the melted chocolate to the mixture while mixing on low speed. Add the puréed beets and food coloring. Continue to mix on low speed.

Evenly divide the batter between the 3 pans and bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes or until the center of the cake is done. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool for 10 minutes in pans, then turn the layers out onto the rack and let cool completely. 

For the frosting:

To make the icing, pour cream into a bowl and whip to soft peaks. Place in the refrigerator. Place the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until it is soft and smooth. Add the mascarpone and continue to mix on low speed until the cheeses are well combined. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar and mix. Turn off the mixer and fold in the whipped cream by hand with a spatula.

Using a serrated knife, trim the top of each layer of cake so that it is flat. Top each slice with icing and repeat until all the layers are covered, and then ice the top and sides of the cake.

Nutritional Facts
Servings6
Calories Per Serving1987
Total Fat135g100%
Sugar111gN/A
Saturated49g100%
Cholesterol358mg100%
Protein20g39%
Carbs149g50%
Vitamin A796µg88%
Vitamin B120.7µg12%
Vitamin B60.2mg10.8%
Vitamin C4mg6%
Vitamin D2µgN/A
Vitamin E14mg70%
Vitamin K8µg10%
Calcium229mg23%
Fiber5g19%
Folate (food)80µgN/A
Folate equivalent (total)189µg47%
Folic acid64µgN/A
Iron6mg35%
Magnesium102mg25%
Monounsaturated62gN/A
Niacin (B3)3mg16%
Phosphorus357mg51%
Polyunsaturated13gN/A
Potassium684mg20%
Riboflavin (B2)0.7mg41.9%
Sodium1233mg51%
Sugars, added91gN/A
Thiamin (B1)0.4mg27.9%
Trans0.4gN/A
Zinc3mg22%