Unsalted butter, for cake pans
2 1/2 cups cake flour, not self-rising
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups canola oil
2 large eggs
1/4 cup red food coloring
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons white vinegar
White Frosting (see recipe below)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans. Sprinkle with flour, and tap out the excess; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk cake flour, salt, and cocoa; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar and oil, and beat on medium speed until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add food coloring and vanilla, and beat until well combined. Add flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
- In a small bowl, mix baking soda and vinegar until combined. Add to batter, and beat for 10 seconds. Evenly divide batter between the prepared pans.
- Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool in the pans for 5 minutes. Remove from the pans, and return to the rack to cool completely.
- Cut the cake horizontally and put frosting between layers. Frost the entire cake and let set for a few minutes in the refrigerator before serving.
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
3 large egg whites, room temperature
- In a small, heavy saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar, corn syrup, and 2 tablespoons water. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Rub a bit between your fingers to make sure there is no graininess. Raise heat to bring to a boil. Do not stir anymore. Boil, washing down sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water from time to time to prevent the sugar from crystallizing, until a candy thermometer registers 230 degrees about 5 minutes. (Depending on the humidity, this can take anywhere from 4 to 10 minutes.)
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 1/2 minutes. Gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Remove the syrup from the heat when the temperature reaches 230 degrees (it will keep rising as pan is removed from heat). Pour the syrup in a steady stream down the side of the bowl (to avoid splattering) containing the egg-white mixture, with the mixer on medium-low speed.
- Beat frosting on medium speed until cool, 5 to 10 minutes. The frosting should be thick and shiny. Use immediately.