Red Velvet Cake

2 1/2 c sifted cake flour*

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 oz. red food coloring
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans or three 8-inch round cake pans.

2. *Sift cake flour and then measure 2 1/2 cups of the flour for use. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt.  In a small bowl, mix food coloring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps.

3. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste.  Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternatively. Beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.

4. Make sure you have cake pans ready to go.  In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda.  Yes, it will fizz!  Add it to the cake batter and stir well to combine.  Working quickly, divide batter evenly between the cake pans and place them in a preheated oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Check early.

5. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then remove from pans and continue to cool. Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting.