Step 1: Ingredients
• 3 1/2 cups cake flour
• 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 2 1/2 cups sugar
• 3 eggs, at room temperature
• 2 tablespoons red food coloring
• 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
• 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/2 cups milk
• 1 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
• 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
For the frosting:
• 12 ounces cream cheese
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
• 2 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• red sanding sugar (optional)
Step 2: The Batter
• Sift the cake flour into a bowl and set aside.
• Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy - about 5 minutes.
• Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.
• Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated.
• In a small bowl, whisk together the food coloring, cocoa powder, and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat well.
• In a separate bowl, stir the salt into the milk. Add to the batter in three parts, alternating with the cake flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are well incorporated.
• In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. (Oooh, chemical reaction!) Add to the batter and mix well.
• Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix until the ingredients are well incorporated and the batter is smooth.