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A Christmas Classic (yes, I know it's July when I'm posting). From Better Homes and Gardens Magazine
- 2 1⁄4 cups cake flour, sifted
- 1⁄2 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 cup shortening
- 1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 2 ounces red food coloring (1/4 cup)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- crushed peppermint candy
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1⁄2 cup butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5 1⁄2 cups powdered sugar (can use up to 6 1/2 cups)
- Grease and flour two 9 x 1 1/2 inch round baking pans. (I always use a parchment paper liner, too, greased and floured).
- In a small mixing bowl stir together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Beat the shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed in a large mixing bowl for about 30 seconds until softened.
- Add the sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla to the shortening and beat until well combined.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating on medium speed after each addition. Beat in the food coloring on low speed.
- Alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined.
- Stir together the baking soda and vinegar. Add to the batter, mixing until well combined.
- Pour batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans for 10 minutes.
- Remove cake layers from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack (spray rack with non-stick cooking spray to prevent sticking).
- For Frosting:.
- In a large mixing bowl combine cream cheese, butter, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups of powdered sugar until frosting reaches a spreading consistency.
- Place one layer on cake plate frost top. Place second layer on top and frost tops and sides with a thin "crumb coat". Refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Remove cake from refrigerator and frost with remaining frosting.
- Decorate cake top with crushed peppermint candies.
- Refrigerate cake.