The Shady Porch: Waldorf-Astoria Red Velvet Log Cake


Waldorf-Astoria Red Velvet Log Cake

The Waldorf-Astoria Red Velvet cake is one of our holiday family traditions that spans generations. My Gran would make Red Velvets for our birthdays and holidays; now I carry on her tradition. Christmas without the Red Velvet cake is like the 4th of July without fireworks or family. I make several of these cakes over the holidays for family functions and as gifts for family members.
This year I decided to try something different by preparing it as a log cake and was pleasantly surprised with the result! 
Waldorf-Astoria Red Velvet Cake
Yummy slice of Red Velvet Log Cake

Waldorf-Astoria Red Velvet Cake & Icing  
from 'What's Cooking In Kentucky?' cookbook

Original Cake recipe  
CREAM: 1/2 cup shortening and 1 1/2 cups of sugar
ADD: 1 t. vanilla and 2 oz. of red food coloring
THEN ADD: 2 eggs  Cream well.
SIFT TOGETHER 3 TIMES: 2 cups of sifted cake flour and 
1 T. cocoa
Add to creamed mixture alternately with 1 cup of buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Dissolve 1 t.  soda and 1 T. vinegar. Fold into batter. Blend well.
Pour into two greased and floured  9-inch cake pans.
Bake for 30 minutes in 350 degree oven.

COMBINE: 1/4 cup flour and 1 cup of milk in small saucepan. Cook until thickened. Set aside to cool.
CREAM: 1 stick of margarine, 1/2 cup shortening and 1 cup of sugar.  Cream until fluffy.
Add cold pudding.  Beat well...seriously, I have never know anyone to be able to beat this too much!  Spread over cake. 

NOTE - I traditionally use the recipe from the 'What's Cooking In Kentucky?' cookbook.
However, I've found that the dry ingredients are not so different when baking this cake from scratch and using the box mix. Therefore, instead of the scratch cookbook recipe for the cake, I used a Red Velvet box mix and substituted the water measurements with an equal amount of buttermilk and it tastes a lot like the scratch cake.

LOG CAKE DIRECTIONS: To make the log cake, I poured about 3/4 the batter into a buttered, and floured cookie sheet and baked about 12-15 minutes at 350.  Bake according to your oven, but the point is this preparation will take less bake-time than usual.
Remove from oven. Cool for 1-5 minutes. Turn cake onto clean dish towel sprinkled liberally with powdered sugar so it won't stick. From a narrow side, roll cake up in the dish towel. Set aside to finish cooling.  While cake is cooling, prepare icing.

Unroll cake. Evenly spread icing (see below) over cake. Roll up cake, without the towel and finish icing. Decorate as desired. [Note -I doubled my icing recipe for this cake]

Homemade Red Velvet Cake
Red Velvet Log Cake
In my opinion, the part of the Red Velvet cake that cannot be substituted is the icing! It must be the traditional Waldorf-Astoria icing for it to be a real Gran-like Red Velvet cake. 
The icing is the most difficult part to get right. The pitfall in preparing this icing is the cooked pudding stage. This milk and flour pudding must cool and then is incorporated with the remaining icing ingredients. If it's not mixed in well, you will have small bits of the pudding in your icing, making it appear lumpy.  Be patient; this icing is worth the trouble! I really don't care for Red Velvet cake with any other icing. 

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