Red Velvet and Beer


This is wordy and nostalgic and will probably only interest my family so if you’re not into that there are also pics…a song and the recipe at the end of the post…just scroll down.  🙂

I was going to make this post primarily about how much it sucks to have to make your own birthday cake but then I thought ‘Who am I kiddin’?’  I love to bake and would have been happy if I was making a cake for someone else so I might as well just accept it and move along.    Oh don’t get me wrong I wish my cake could still come from my favorite bakery because…well it’s delicious…but also it would mean I didn’t have this annoying disease.  But I do and it can’t so here were are…red velvet cake…a birthday and an anniversary.  🙂

Mema and Pappy Anniversary - Copy

Today would have been my Mema and Pappy’s 75th wedding anniversary.  They were married 62 years when she passed away.  I was born on their 33rd anniversary and all of my family birthday celebrations were also anniversary celebrations.

Pic was my 5th birthday and their 38th anniversary.  We couldn’t decide if that’s my little hand to the left of the pic or Sister Lupiac (she would have been almost 3).  If it’s mine I’m almost certain I’m asking them why we’re eating pie instead of that cake.  😉

Every birthday from one to twenty-nine Mema made a red velvet cake.  I was very spoiled by that and have always had a hard time accepting other red velvet cakes.  Thankfully a local-ish bakery made (until last year) a really good version and after she passed I got my cakes there.

And now?

Well now I have to try to recreate something so very special…something I’m such a huge snob over…AND I have to do it gluten-free.  Needless to say…I was scared of how it would turn out.

Before I go on let me say that I’m not interested in opinions on how much food color (or sugar or fat) is in this.  🙂  No self-respecting Texas baker is going to put prune baby food or beets in their red velvet cake.  Sorry.  Not here.  This should be self explanatory but hold onto your hats because apparently it’s not in some circles…red velvet cake is NOT a health food.  😉

Red Velvet Red Velvet 2

This is the recipe Mema used for the cake.  I have her original of this exact piece of paper complete with her red food coloring finger prints all over it.  I keep the originals of all of her (and my Meme’s) recipes / cookbooks locked up in safe storage.  Hey some people treasure gold…I treasure recipes.  🙂  One day I will pull them out and do an ‘old cookbook / recipe’ post but not today.

Legend has it that in order to sell more of his red food coloring plus vanilla and butter flavoring the Texas based owner of Adams Extract had his wife come up with this version of red velvet and then positioned these ‘tear off’ recipe ‘cards’ on the shelves in front of the red food color.

I realize there are other versions of the cake and other versions of how it was invented.  As far as I’m concerned my Mema invented red velvet cake and nothing you can say will sway me otherwise.  😉

So anyway on to the baking

a b

c d

e f

g h

h i

I followed the above Adams recipe just subbing my flour blend for the flour and butter for the shortening.   As always the recipe is at the bottom of the post.

j k

l m

In the early days of making red velvet Mema used the basic old school ‘7 Minute’ cooked icing.  She switched to a cream cheese icing in the 80’s and it’s my absolute favorite so that’s what I use.

I use a 1:1:1 formula for mine. 

1 eight ounce package Cream Cheese 

1 stick of Butter

1 box Powdered Sugar

Doubled or tripled as needed. 

1 2

4 5

Not too bad for my first decorated cake in many many years.  🙂

I was going for a ‘waves’ effect with the teal icing.  And the flowers are hybiscus…my favorite flower.  The pearls are way too big for this size cake but it was either these or little tiny ones which would have looked silly.  I’m scheduling this to post at midnight and haven’t cut the cake yet.  I will include pics of the inside of the cake in my next post. The scraps were delicious.  🙂

Mema and Pappy River

We took this family trip to tube the Guadalupe River in the Texas Hill Country the summer before my junior year of high school.  It was my Mema’s favorite trip.  She continued to talk about it until she passed away.  Raise your hand if your elderly grandma has ever tubed the river complete with beer in hand the entire way.  😉

We’re full Czech on Papa Lupiac’s side of the family.  That means two things…lots of polka music and lots of pevo (beer).  They had a life long friend who played polka music on the squeeze box at get-together’s.  Pappy always had polka music playing on Saturday mornings and Mema had a sign in the kitchen with the lyrics to todays song.  It’s also in safe storage with the cookbooks.  I’m using this song today because it’s just so ‘them’ and I know it will also make my family members smile.  🙂

Y’all know the one thing that would make this vid better would be if the beer bottles were Old Milwaukee.  😉   

Happy Anniversary Mema and Pappy.  🙂

I miss them all the time but always a little more on the day we share.  🙂 

Red Velvet Cake

1/2 cup Butter

1 1/2 cup Sugar

2 Eggs

1 tsp Vanilla

1 tsp Butter Flavor

1 large bottle Adams Extract Red Food Color

3 tbsp Cocoa

2 1/2 cups Flour

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Soda

1 cup Buttermilk

1 tbsp Vinegar


Cream butter.  Add sugar and beat til light and fluffy…about 5 minutes.

Add eggs one at time beating well after each.

Add flavors.

Make a paste of cocoa and food color and add to butter / sugar / eggs.   Mix well.

Mix together dry ingredients.

Add dry alternately with buttermilk.

Add vinegar last.

Beat until smooth.

Divide evenly into 2 or 3 pans and bake at 350* for 20 – 25 minutes.

Cool for 10 minutes in pan and then remove from pan and cool completely before icing.

10 responses to “Red Velvet and Beer

  1. Happy birthday to the best sister a girl could ask for! I love you and am so proud to call you my sister. I love this post and the beautiful tribute to Mema and Papa too. 🙂 The cake looks AMAZING and I can’t wait to try a piece (hint, hint..haha!). Love you and hope you have a wonderful day!

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