1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 level tablespoons cocoa
3 bottles red food color
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour (for best results, sift 3 times before using)
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine, room temperature
1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 cup finely chopped pecans, optional
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Cake: Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Cream together butter and sugar.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating well each time.
- Mix cocoa and food color until cocoa is dissolved in food color. Then mix with egg, butter, sugar mixture.
- Add vanilla extract and mix.
- Mix baking soda and buttermilk together.
- With the mixer on low speed, add flour and buttermilk mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Mix using 1/3 of flour or milk each time.
- Pour into two greased and floured 9-inch pans and bake oven for 25-30 minutes. Let cool and make the frosting.
- Frosting: Place cream cheese and margarine in a medium bowl. With a handheld electric mixer, beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add sugar, pecans if using, and vanilla. Beat, on low speed to combine. If too soft, chill until slightly stiff, about 10 minutes, before using.
- Spread cake layers and outside of cakes with frosting.
Makes 1 cake.