1Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease & lightly flour two 9" round or a 9 x 13 pan.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter & sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla.
Combine flour, cinnamon, cocoa, baking powder, & salt in a medium bowl. Add this gradually to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk. Add the food coloring.
Dissolve the baking soda in the vinegar and fold very carefully into the batter. Stir to combine and do not overmix.
Pour into prepared pan(s) and bake about 30 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pans & cool completely before frosting.
2To make sour milk (if you don't want to be bothered with buttermilk):
Add one tablespoon of white vinegar to a cup of milk. This is IN ADDITION TO the vinegar used in the above recipe.
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup cold water
2 sticks butter or margarine (orig. recipe uses Crisco)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Using a wire wisk, thoroughly combine flour and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until slightly clear. Cool for 2 hours.
Cream together butter (or Crisco), sugar, and vanilla. Add butter mixture to the cooled flour mixture. Beat until light & fluffy. Frost cake (also put between the layers if you used cake pans).