Yankee Challenge: Red Velvet Cake


Growing up my Sisters would watch Steel Magnolias, over and over.  So you can imagine that I’ve managed to see this, modern, Southern classic once or twice.  About midway through the film, there is this great scene where the “mean old” Ouiser is serving the, Armadillo shaped, red velvet groom’s cake, and she chops the tail off and serves it to Tom Skerritt.  Seeing this scene makes me laugh every time, which brings us to this month’s Yankee Challenge. This month you’ll be baking Southern Red Velvet Cake.

For this challenge you’re going to be baking a classic southern dessert, the Red Velvet Cake.  What makes this particular dessert Southern?  I have no idea, but all my life it’s been served as the quintessential dessert of the finest Southern bakers, and I won’t argue with that.  Besides, no true Southerner is going to turned down a beautiful slice of that deep dark Red Velvet Cake.  So this month you’ll get to relax your cast iron skillet, and hot oil;  no frying necessary, just the alchemy of baking a beautiful cake from scratch.

Here are the rules: 1)Everything has to be done from scratch; no cake boxes or icing from a can; 2) you have your choice between home made buttercream icing or cream cheese icing; 3)the cake has to be done in 2 layers, unless you can do it in the shape of an armadillo; 4) in honor of Independence Day, the 4th of July, you have to implement red, white and blue in your cake (think blueberries).  Tips? Good luck, all I can say is find a great recipe and follow it to the letter, weighing ingredients usually works out better than measuring ingredients with baking.  Try to have fun!


We’ve got  a great prize this month for the Hungry Southerner reader with the best attempt at The Challenge.  Thanks to the guys at Calphalon, we’re giving a way a great Calphalon Non-Stick Contemporary Skillet.  The winner will also be receiving one of our great Hungry Southern T-Shirts, and a Southern starter kit with the Southern cooking necessities.  The rules are: you have till the end of July to attempt the challenge; you must execute the challenge following the rules (we’ll trust you’re following the rules), then take pictures of the final results; become a fan of us on Facebook, post your pictures and tell us how the challenge went for you.  If you’re not on Facebook, then post your pictures online and leave a comment in Caitlin’s follow up post on The Hungry Southerner telling us how you did and be sure to link to your pictures.

If your a baking expert, be sure to leave comments here offering Caitlin some great advice to succeed in the Red Velvet Challenge. Don’t forget to follow us on twitter @HungrySouthernr for the latest updates, and make sure you’re helping “The Yankee” along through each month’s challenge.

Stay Hungry Y’all!
-The Hungry Southerner


Filed under Cooking, Cooking Tutorial, Food, Southern Culture, Southern Recipes, Yankee Challenge

7 responses to “Yankee Challenge: Red Velvet Cake

  1. I love red velvet cake, but it has to have chopped walnuts on top.

  2. Tes

    I’m not the expert on the velvet cake, but love eating it 🙂

  3. Looks like fun. Always up for a challenge 🙂

  4. Mark D.

    Um, does anyone else find it odd that The Hungry Southerner is attributing his knowledge of Steel Magnolias to his sisters? I ain’t scared…I’m a southern man and I love me a little Steel Magnolias. “Here MaLynn, take a wack at Ouiser!” “…and the mean, horrible nasty Ouiser was never heard from again.”

  5. Scott S.

    Hate to bust everyones bubble but Red Velvet Cake was first created at the Waldorf Astoria in… you guessed it… New York City. Don’t really know how it came to be associated with the South.

    • True. But like a lot of things that become part of a culture, take Seersucker for instance, it was made for the British to endure the heat in places like India and became a part of the culture in the same for the same reasons. I have no clue why Red Velvet Cake is so popular in the South, but I do know it’s part of our culture, just one of those things. What do you think? Thanks for the comment!

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