Aunt Marilyn's Red Velvet Cake

Carolyn Elliott


I remember going to gatherings at the Ripley's and there would always be Aunt Marilyn's Red Velvet Cake. It always seemed to be the first to go and I'd never get a piece. Now, it's the first thing I put on my plate. I'm glad she shared it with me to put in our Family Reunion Cookbook.


★★★★★ 3 votes

25 Min
35 Min



  • 1/2 c
  • 1 1/2 c
  • 2
  • 2 oz
    red food coloring
  • 2 Tbsp
    cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp
  • 2 1/4 c
    cake flour
  • 1 c
  • 1 tsp
    vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp
    white vinegar
  • 1 tsp
    baking soda

  • 3 Tbsp
    all purpose flour
  • 1 c
  • 1 lb
    butter, room temperature
  • 1 c
  • 1 tsp
    vanilla extract
  • 1 c
    chopped walnuts

How to Make Aunt Marilyn's Red Velvet Cake


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F

    Grease and line with wax paper 2-9" cake pans

    ICING BASE (thickener):
    Cook over medium heat, 3 T all-purpose flour and 1 cup milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Set aside. As it cools, stir frequently.
  2. CAKE:
    Mix together:

    1/2 c shortening
    1 1/2 c sugar
    2 eggs
    1 t salt
    2 1/4 c cake flour
    1 c buttermilk
    1 t vanilla extract

    2 oz red food coloring
    2 T cocoa powder
    Make paste of 2 and add to mixture
  3. When all ingredients are mixed, add:
    1 T white vinegar mixed with 1 t baking soda and fold into cake. DO NOT BEAT.

    Divide into 2 cake pans and bake 30-35 minutes.
  4. When cakes are cooled, slice through layers and ice between, making a 4-layer cake. Ice sides and top and press chopped walnuts into sides, only. Keep cake cool.
  5. ICING:
    Cream together, 1 lb. butter, 1 cup sugar, and 1 t vanilla extract.

    Beat thickener into sugar/butter mixture and whip until lite and fluffy.
  6. Aunt Marilyn's Personal Notes:

    1 cake recipe = 32 cupcakes
    A single icing recipe is sufficient

    For any red cakes I make, I increase the amount of icing by 1 1/2 times.

    NOTE: I have found that this icing recipe quantities is sufficient for a 4-layer cake. I don't know if what she wrote was the "increase 1 1/2 times" or the "single" icing recipe. ~Carolyn

Printable Recipe Card

About Aunt Marilyn's Red Velvet Cake

Course/Dish: Cakes
Main Ingredient: Flour
Regional Style: American
Other Tag: Heirloom

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