Red Velvet Zebra Cake

Makes 1 layer--a heart if you must (and I must)

Prep time: I made this with my 2 youngest kids so it took me approximately 28 rather painful hours, but normally I think it'd be about 10 minutes.

Cook time: 15-20 minutes

Cost: $1.05 (I actually didn't realize what a cheap cake this was. Omit the food coloring all together and you're looking at a delicious 50 cent cake. Nice.)

flour: .12, sugar: .12, egg: .10, oil: .12, food coloring: .50, buttermilk: .09

Note: I did use the cocoa with this since a traditional red velvet cake must, by some odd unchangeable degree set forth most likely by Caesar Augustus or perhaps Martha Stewart or both, contain some small amount of cocoa. However, if you omitted it, I don't think the cake would mind and your white layer would actually be more white, which was something I neglected to think about when I added the cocoa. You could also sort of sprinkle it in when you're beating in your food coloring and thereby have your red velvet cake with appropriately traditional cocoa and eat your white cake too. 

1 1/4 C all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 Tbsp cocoa

3/4 C sugar

1 egg

3/4 C canola oil

1/2 tsp vinegar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 C buttermilk (or 1/2 C milk with 1/2 Tbsp vinegar mixed it)

1/4-1/2-ounce red food coloring (that's 1/4-1/2 of a bottle of food coloring)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a cake pan with parchment paper and grease it well. 

Sift flour, baking soda and cocoa (if using). 

Beat sugar and eggs in large bowl.

Add oil, vinegar, and vanilla and beat until combined. 

Add 1/2 flour mixture and beat. Add buttermilk and beat. Add remaining flour mixture and beat. 

Now take out about 1 1/4 C of the batter and put it in a separate bowl. To the remaining batter add your food coloring (and 1 tsp cocoa if you didn't add it already). Beat the batter till nice and red. 

Pour about 3 Tbsp batter into the center of the pan. Directly in the middle of that, pour 3 Tbsp of the other color batter. Keep going like this. It'll make a bullseye looking thing. 

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick (knife, pickax, whatever you've got on hand) inserted comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. 

Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and then turn out to cool completely. 

Frost. I used a cream cheese frosting since I had some leftover from these cookies, but my favorite frosting on red velvet is the same type of white frosting that goes on a wacky cake (you can find that recipe here; it's the white one, not the fudge one).  

When you're done with that you can sprinkle on some coconut. My family always did this growing up, but coconut gets mixed reviews around here, so I often skip it or just do a little bit of the cake. Today, I went a little even crazier than I already went and dyed my coconut pink. (I know. I know. It's like Mitt Romney on non-diet Coke. Whoa. And enough with the Mitt Romney jokes already--I actually really like the guy.) To do this, put some sweetened coconut in a bag with a drop or two of food coloring and shake your money maker. Or your hands if your money-maker happens to be a body part other than your hands. You could always shake both. Whatever gets your coconut dyed. 

Posted by The Tasty Cheapskate: