• A Taste of Down Home

Sonya's Famous Red Velvet Cake



This post is in honor of “National Brothers and Sisters Day.”

As children, we develop special bonds with our siblings and our siblings tend to know us inside and out. If they are older than you, and mine is, (she will get me for this, haha), they have been a part of your life since you were in diapers. They may have helped you navigate through life and maybe even intimidated your bully, or helped you learn to ride a bike. No one will ever “get” you like your sibling will.

National Brothers and Sisters Day is a day to reflect on the best times with your siblings. Take time to give them a call, or email and let them know how special they are to you.

I want to spotlight one of my sister’s hallmark dishes, which is her routinely requested, Red Velvet Cake. Her Red Velvet Cake is requested for all of our holiday gatherings, and our

table would not be complete without it.

I have one sister, Sonya, who is a seasoned cook as well and loves to cook as much as I do. Just like any siblings would do, we contend over who is bringing the macaroni and cheese to the family gathering, and who likes our dish more. Haha! However, I have to concede that nobody can make a homemade Red Velvet Cake like my sister can.

The following is her account of where it all began:

“While antiquing in Cave Springs, GA. many years ago, we stopped for a bite at a local café. I’ll never forget the setting; Red gingham curtains, sitting next to a window with snowflakes falling. We had a sandwich, a cup of soup, and a slice of red velvet cake. The baker came out

to where we were sitting, and I asked her what the “key” was to good smooth icing, and she said to always use unsalted butter. Ever since then that is what I have always used, and it really does make a difference.”

Here are some more helpful tips for this recipe:

  1. Always use real butter for the icing, not margarine.

  2. It is important to sift the flour.

  3. Use only quality ingredients such as Crisco oil & real vanilla extract, not generic or imitation.

  4. Crack eggs in a separate container.

  5. Sometimes you can add a smidgen more oil to make it moister if desired.


Sonya’s Famous Red Velvet Cake


2-1/2 Cups plain four (sifted)

1 – cup Buttermilk

1-1/2 cups Sugar

2- cups Crisco oil

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. Vinegar

1 tsp. Cocoa

1 tsp. Vanilla

2 oz. Red food coloring

2 eggs


1 stick unsalted butter, (softened)

1 box confectioner sugar

1 8oz package cream cheese

1 tsp. Vanilla

½ cup chopped pecans

Directions for cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • Butter and flour three 9” round cake pans.

  • Cream sugar and oil; add eggs and beat well.

  • Sift together flour, salt, and soda; set aside.

  • Mix food coloring, vinegar, and cocoa; add to sugar and oil mixture.

  • Add vanilla flavoring.

  • Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk; blend well.

  • Pour batter into three round cake pans. Bake for 35 minutes.

  • Let layers cool before icing.

Directions for icing:

  • With a stand-up mixer on medium to high speed, mix butter, sugar, and cream cheese.

  • Add vanilla and mix well.

  • Fold in the pecans.


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