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Best Red Velvet Cake Recipe. Ever.

I must confess. I LOVE Red Velvet Cake. To be honest, I’m kind of a diva when it comes to my Red Velvet Cake…but this you see, is because I have been spoiled my whole life by the best red velvet cake recipe…ever! Some may beg to differ, but this recipe has been passed on for four generations in my family and out of all red velvet cakes I’ve ever had, this is my absolute favorite. So much so that ever since I can remember, I have requested it for my birthday. And bless my mom’s heart for making me one every year because its not the quickest recipe. But the labor is totally worth it! (Thanks for all those year’s mama, by the way) 🙂

red velvet cake

Here I am goofing around with the fun decorations my mom made to go on my birthday cake last year. We make it a double layer cake – this means more icing! See technique on how to create this pretty double layer cake below.

red velvet cake 2

My birthday is on Christmas so the red is always a festive color to go along with the season.

grannie griffin and ali - red velvet cake

We also make it on Thanksgiving because my sister’s birthday is around that time and also because my great Grannie Griffin (pictured here – she lived to be 97) also loved it and this is her recipe.

Anyway, I was asked to share this recipe with a fellow blogger and lover of all food, Lauren, of HallNesting so I thought I would just share it with everyone! While we typically make this for Christmas, since it is red, it could totally work for Valentine’s day as well if you want to make a special treat for someone!

Sometimes my mom makes me a small cake and cupcakes with the left over batter.

Sometimes my mom makes me a small cake and cupcakes with the left over batter. All of these pictures make me want to go make the recipe myself! Ugh, must resist…haha

Here is the recipe! I will apologize in advance for not taking pictures of all these steps – this was a spur of the moment blog so I had to pull from the old pictures I had. I’ll try to update it though next time we make this!

Red Velvet Cake

By Chelsea Nord – Old Family Recipe

Cake Ingredients:

½ cup of Crisco 1 ½ cup Sugar

2 Eggs ½ oz. Red Food Coloring

1 tsp. Vanilla 2 Tbsp Cocoa

1 cup Buttermilk 1 tsp Baking Soda

1 Tbsp Vinegar 1 tsp. Salt

2 ½ cup Flour

Cake Directions:

Cream Crisco and sugar. Add eggs, food coloring, and vanilla. Sift flour and cocoa into a separate bowl.. Add to creamed mixture – alternating with buttermilk. Then, in a separate small bowl, mix vinegar, baking soda, and salt – and carefully add to the cake mixture. Don’t stir after blending. Bake at 350 for 40 mins. (I usually divide into 2 round pans – for this bake for 20-25 mins.)

NOTE: If you want to make this into a double layer cake, spray two 9 inch cake pans with non-stick spray and then cut out circles of wax paper to line the bottom of each pan. This makes the process of removing them from the pan much easier and your cake won’t fall apart.

Icing Ingredients:

1 cup Milk ¼ cup Flour

1 cup Crisco 1 tsp Vanilla

1 cup Sugar

Icing Directions:

Cook milk and flour until thick. (Heat slowly and stir constantly to make sure not to scald your milk. ) Then let cool. (**See note below**) While milk/flour mixture is cooling, cream together sugar, Crisco, and vanilla in mixer. Once milk/flour mixture is cool, add it to Crisco/sugar mixture. Beat until light and fluffy.

As mentioned, we make this a double layer cake so after cakes are cool, run a knife around the edge of the cake pan to loosen it, then use an additional sheet of wax paper and flip the cake upside down onto it, gently pull off the cake pan and wax paper, and use both hands, one on top and bottom of the cake, to flip it back right side up. Make sense?

To ice the cake, we put a layer of icing in between the two layers, then ice all around the outside and top of the cake to finish. My sister is the best at this technique!


  1. I usually place plastic wrap on the surface of the cooked mixture while it cools. This keeps a tough skin from forming and helps your icing be smooth. This part may be tricky, please ask me if you are confused!

  2. You can also substitute butter for one half of the Crisco in the icing if you want to, that’s how my great grandma used to make it! But we like it without butter because it’s a little lighter and fluffier. Up to you though!

Here are some printable recipe cards if you would like to save this recipe for your collection!


Recipe_Card_Farm_Fresh_4x6 icing

Is red velvet cake a tradition in any of your families? I’d love to hear about it!

Also, if you try this recipe, let me know how it turns out! I can also help with any questions that might come up! ENJOY!

red velvet cake 3


Global Eats Indy – Cuban!

Hey Indy Foodies!

If you haven’t been keeping up with my Global Eats Indy posts, here’s the deal. A group of my friends and I travel to a new restaurant each month to try a new type of cuisine  in Indianapolis and then I kindly report back here on my blog to let you know how it was! Any other ethic foodies out there? Check out our Italian and Turkish adventures if you missed them.

On our third excursion we traveled to Tata Cuban Cafe in downtown Indianapolis. It is a cute little cafe located on Market St., and its one of those hidden gems that might be easy to miss, but SOOO worth the journey to find it.

Sorry for the overly bright sign… but isn’t this a cute storefront?

I was excited for this trip because I first discovered my love for Cuban food when I was in Disney World at Bongos Cuban Cafe. (Side note – MAKE this a stop on your next Disney Trip. Great atmosphere and awesome food!) Ok, back to Indy…

A few ground rules about Tata Cuban Cafe:

1. It is tiny. They only seat about 40ish? Maybe not even that many. But it kind of adds to the atmosphere, making it feel like a family restaurant in a small town.

2. They do not serve alcohol. But DON’T let this be a deal breaker for you. We typically give reviews on the culture’s traditional beverages, but the main thing is the food. There are plenty of establishments nearby to get refreshments afterwards if you so choose.

3. Make sure to look at the walls! They have a lot of cool pictures of people who have eaten there and festive decorations.

Anyone look familiar?

4.  Every single thing on the MENU is good! The entrees are listed in Spanish, but even if you don’t habla Espanol, you can’t go wrong! Be adventurous!

We all had a hard time picking what we wanted but here were a few of our favorites:

Courtney had the  El Guaso Cuban Sandwich – Cuban sandwich made with roasted pork, ham, swiss cheese, pickles and mustard, and hot pressed on Cuban bread. This is a good dish for someone who isn’t that familiar with Cuban food. It’s a classic!

Yum! Who doesn’t love a good hot pressed sandwich?


I had the Ropa Vieja Habanera – Shredded beef marinated with citrus juices,mojo criollo, mixed with grilled onions and peppers. Served with white rice and sweet plantains.

I thought it was neat how each component of the meal came in small portions. Great presentation!

Everything was soooooooo good! Did I mention that it was good? Well if I didn’t, it was good!

Not only is the food to die for, the price is good too! Their whole menu ranges from $5.00 – $19.99. Thats a deal if you ask me.

Overall we had a great time at Tata Cuban Cafe! It was nice to catch up with some great friends, meet some new ones, and enjoy a new type of cuisine. Oh and a fun little treat, we were the biggest group in there so the owner, Alfredo Gonzalez, came out to chat with us and even took our group picture to add to the Tata Facebook page!

Great group of Global Eats Indy girls!

Have any of you ever been to Tata?

Check out this video from their website to learn more about them!

Alfredo is a very fun guy! He really takes traditional Cuban elements and incorporates them into every aspect of the Cafe. I will definitely be going back there sometime soon!

I’m still full just thinking about all the great food we ate at Tata’s, but there’s no rest for the weary! Next up – Vietnamese food!

Anyone ever been to Long Thahn Restaurant? I’d love to hear any tips on what to order!

Until then, it’s time to call it a night for this #GlobalEatsIndy gal. TA TA! (Late night joke if no one caught that) 🙂






Global Eats Indy – Turkish

This month the girls of Global Eats Indy went to the Bosphorus Istanbul Café in downtown Indianapolis for month two of our culinary adventures.

Bosphorus is a cute little restaurant down on East St. and according to their website; they were Indiana’s first Turkish cuisine restaurant! (And the best from what I’ve heard)


I was excited because I had never been to a Turkish restaurant and I was looking forward to the festive atmosphere, and festive it was!

They had beautiful tapestries and the traditional ‘evil eye’ beads on the walls, among other decorations and they were all so cool to look at! I always love admiring other cultures’ decorations.


Now to the important part – the cuisine! Wait, back up…drink orders come first. And of course we had to try the traditional beverages.

Courtney had the Efes Pilsner beer and said it was a great choice!

We started out with the feta cheese plate and the fried zucchini cakes. Both were awesome, but may I add – the homemade pita bread was heavenly! I could have eaten it just by itself, oh wait…I did. (Oops)


Next it was time or order, if you aren’t familiar with Turkish food, its similar to Greek in my opinion as they use a lot of lamb, yogurt, eggplant and hummus and of course pita bread as I mentioned earlier.

Side note: I love hummus. It’s one of my new favorite snacks – and THIS is the best (at least the best you can buy at Walmart or Marsh)

But back to dinner… check out some of the dishes we had!

SHISH KEBAB -Tender cubes of lamb marinated in our special sauce and grilled on skewers. $ 14.95

BEEF HUMMUS – Beef tenderloins pan-seared with red bell peppers, served with hummus and almonds. $12.95

STUFFED EGGPLANT (KARNIYARIK) – Oven-roasted eggplant stuffed with ground beef, chopped tomatoes, green peppers and herbs. $11.95

Everything was a hit, and the prices were good too! But the sad part was, I was reallllllyyyy hoping to save room for some baklava but I was WAY too full. Fine, twist my arm…I guess we’ll just have to go back another time! Who wants to go?

All in all, Global Eats- Turkey was a success!

Come join us next month! TATA Cuban Cafe here we come!


Global Eats Indy!

I’ve lived Indianapolis for over a year now and I think I’ve done a pretty good job of learning the ropes of the city. I do miss the rural life sometimes, but one thing I do love about Indy is that there is always some place new to try – especially restaurants! Even some of my friends who have lived here several years agree that there are places even they haven’t been.

So since my friends and I all like trying new types of food, we decided to start Global Eats Girls Night where we go out once a month to try a new type of food! (plus get a little girl time) 🙂

I was so excited about this, but sadly I had to miss the first outing! Fail…I know, but luckily I recruited my friend Tiffany to guest blog about their experience!

Month 1: Chinese Italian

Check out Tiffany’s blog for the story:

“Our mission – to boldly go where others are from and experience new cultures through food and fun. (And, possibly have a good reason to get a bunch of girls together for a couple hours of catch-up time.)

First mission, Chinese.

Mission failure.

Two of our awesome ladies were prepping to run 100 (that is not a typo) 100 miles to raise money for Heifer International, an awesome charity providing livestock as a family income source in third-world countries. So, if you’re prepping to run 100 miles, you carb-up. And carb-up we did!


This is pasta carbonara at Mamma Carolla’s Authentic Italian Restaurant.

Our outing was full of laughs, stories, our cultural adventures (good, bad, horrible, and life changing) and where we planned to go next. It is amazing how many places a group of girls in their 20-30’s have been and still plan to go. I’m pretty sure it says a lot about the world we live in. For the most part we all grew up in small towns or on farms, but have spent weeks and years traveling shores our parents and grandparents never dreamed of!


While we were a bit of a spectacle, we had a great time! Full of laughter, good drinks and good olive oil, you can’t help but be amazed at how much food brings people together and brings out the stories. Who knew we’d be in an Italian restaurant discussing camels?

We really enjoyed Mamma Carrolla’s – and while it is a more intimate restaurant for romantic dates, we found the patio a great spot. It is small and they don’t take reservations, so be prepared for a bit of a wait. Expect to take some home too – its way filling and you’ll want it for sure on day 2! All in all, from these smiles, you can tell it was a success.


We’re off to Turkish on mission two. Should you choose to accept the challenge you will enjoy baklava like you’ve never had before!

Cultural Captain, mission accomplished!


Thanks for the great blog Tiffany! I can’t wait for the next adventure!

Q: What’s your favorite type of cuisine?

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