1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 oz (1/4 cup) red cake coloring
2 tsp cocoa
2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cup flour
Make a paste of cake coloring, cocoa, and sugar mixture. Sift flour and salt together and add to sugar mixture with buttermilk, eggs, shortening, and vanilla. Mix ingredients with a mixer. Stir in vinegar and soda by hand (don't beat). Bake in 2 greased and floured layer pans at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Cool.
Note: Shave off the top of the bottom cake to allow for a flat surface for top cake to sit on. Apply icing(below) in between cakes for a layered effect.
Note: 4 layers can be made by halving layers with a string or thread.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pound (2 small packages) cream cheese, softened
1 small box (about 4 cups) sifted confectioners' sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar, and butter on low speed. Increase the speed to high, and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. (Occasionally scrape down sides to get all the sugar mixed with a spatula)
Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Add the vanilla, raise the speed to high and mix briefly until fluffy (scrape down the bowl occasionally). Store in the refrigerator until somewhat stiff, before using.