The New Bakers Dozen
Waldorf Astoria Red Cake

The The Bakers Dozen: Waldorf Astoria Red Cake
By Yankee on Wednesday, September 20, 2000 - 02:26 am: Edit

I got a request for a "real" Waldorf Astoria red cake for a birthday this week.

I have managed to find a few over the net, most include crisco, cocoa, vinegar, buttermilk, etc., in different amounts.

The icing calls for cooking a milk and flour mixture, and adding this to (basically) whipped crisco and maragarine.

Sounds yummy...ack. My mom used to bust out the Duncan Hines version all the time. It kicked ass. I hope I am up to the challenge.

Am I on the right track? Any thoughts and help much appreciated.

By W.DeBord on Wednesday, September 20, 2000 - 08:06 am: Edit

This is my husbands favorite cake and he gets to eat it all by himself every birthday. What you describe is right on track, provided your adding 4 or more oz. of red food coloring.

The only big mistake you can make is over baking this cake, because it's not the most moist cake to begin with. The frosting isn't anything to write home about either...I can't remember the shortening off the top of my head...I'm thinking I use butter?

What's the Duncan Hines version...adding the red food coloring?

I can post my version if you want another to look at?

By Yankee on Thursday, September 21, 2000 - 02:12 am: Edit

I baked the thing off today, pulling it out of the oven as quickly as I could. I also doubled the recipe for one (as I often do to get an idea of how far I can take the yield without cutting myself short).

I also shorted the thing by one ounce of food coloring. I sat there in the market this morning not believing that I was going to need four of the damn bottles. Three ended up costing me almost nine bucks. Gotta love retail.

The icing is flour and milk (cooked out), added to 10x and butter. Should be interesting. I'll post my thoughts on how it came out in a day or two for reference.

My mom's was a box mix. All I remember is that she made it for birthdays and the thing tasted great (yeah, just like red food coloring!).


By raine on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 10:41 am: Edit

Yankee,so how did the icing turn out?

By Yankee on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 02:14 am: Edit

Sorry for the delay, but I was really ill over the weekend. "Hitting the wall" pretty much says it all. Anyways, the cake went off quite well. The person I made it for loved it, so there you are. Personally, I was not that excited about how it turned out. But that's just me.

My biggest problem was dealing with not a lot of time. It caught up to me when I did the frosting and trusted the metric conversion that provided me with. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

100 gr. shortening
100 gr. butter
4 ea. eggs
3 oz (3 bottles) red food coloring
560 gr. cake flour
2 t. salt
1 1/2 T baking powder
1 T vanilla extract
5 T cocoa powder
2 T white vinegar
470 gr. buttermilk

Cream fats and sugar, add eggs and vinegar, add coloring (make a paste with some of the cocoa), alternate sifted dry and buttermilk. 300 degree convection oven.

By Yankee on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 02:31 am: Edit

I doubled the recipe and baked off three 8 inch rounds. I wanted to get six fat layers, but only ended up using five. A single recipe should give you two eight inch rounds and four regular layers.

700 gr. whole milk
15 T flour
360 gr. 10x
675 gr. butter
2 T vanilla extract
1 T lemon juice

Bring the milk up to a boil. Cream softened butter and 10x. Make a paste with the flour and about two spoonfuls of the creamed butter. Whisk this paste into the warm milk and bring to a boil. Transfer this mixture (it should look like Elmer's white glue) to the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, run on low speed until it starts to cool down. Add the creamed butter, vanilla and lemon juice. Mix until smooth. (Above is 3x recipe)

It's a stange beast, that's for sure. The metric conversion called for 225 gr. of flour. Yikes, what a mess that made. I forgot how much 15 T ended up weighing, but it wasn't 225 grams! More like 75 to 80 gr.

By Yankee on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 02:51 am: Edit

The cake was actually quite tender. I might up the butter and sugar next time. I also was one bottle short on the food coloring (recipe called for four, yuck), so I threw in some extra cocoa (in recipe as noted) to darken the cake so I didn't get a "pink" cake. (It still tasted like food coloring to me.)

My oven was also hotter than noted (335), but I'd run it at 300 next time.

I'd also run the icing through a strainer next time. I kept finding little tiny gobs of milk and flour goop here and there.

Is that icing a "boiled icing"?

Anyways, my head is killing me, so there may be a few things missing here. Off to sleep. Enjoy!

By W.DeBord on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 08:35 am: Edit

When I began making this cake I had the same problem with lumpy frosting. I have it written it in my notes and can't recall at this moment what the exact cause was. But I remember it came down to a wrong move in procedure (going against a regular/normal procedure). Most of your recipe looks familar but I don't have lemon juice in the frosting.

I don't think this falls into the traditional term "boiled icing" that you see in older baking recipes. Most of them are like the 7-min. frosting (meringue really). I have some vintage cookbooks and just reading the ingred. lists under the boiled icing lists scares me from making them. Some of the older cake recipes aren't so different from todays, but the older frostings recipes are WAY different.

By raine on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 06:05 pm: Edit

Yankee, sorry you don't feel well.
I've always made red velvet cake with a cream cheese icing. I was just curious to see if you liked the other icing more. I'm assuming that it was a thumbs down. Better luck next time. Thanks for posting the results.

By Yankee on Thursday, September 28, 2000 - 02:48 am: Edit

Actually, I was curious to make this type of frosting as I have never before tried (or seen) anything like it.

I threw in some lemon juice to give the icing little acid as it seemed a bit flat at first taste. The client -- who is a big WARC fan -- said it was dead on. But, I too seem to think that my mom used to bust out the cream cheese frosting instead. For me, I'd much rather plow through a bowl of cream cheese frosting any day.

I had someone comment that I was making a "boiled icing." I have never seen one, which is why I asked if this was one. Now I'm not quite sure what it is. So, I guess we'll just call it "WARC frosting."

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Thursday, March 08, 2001 - 12:40 pm: Edit

Just a note here is the previous thread on the Red Velvet Cake

Add a Message

This is a private posting area. A valid username and password combination is required to post messages to this discussion.

See Forum in a Frame