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Waldorf=Astoria Red Velvet Cake Recipe

My mother and I made this recipe often when I was a kid. She didn’t have The Waldorf=Astoria Cookbook, but found this recipe in a little 1960’s paperback cookbook. Don’t be turned off by the inclusion of beets. I guarantee you can’t taste them. This chocolate cake is rich and moist and a lovely deep brown/red color.

Prep: 20 minutes | Cook: 35 minutes | Yield: 1 large cake

Waldorf=Astoria Red Velvet Cake


Red Velvet Cake

  • 3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds canned beets, drained and pureed
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring

Cream Cheese/Mascarpone Frosting

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 12 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13″ pan, or three 9″ round pans. Melt chocolate according to package directions. Set aside to cool.
  2. In large bowl, mix together on low speed for 2 minutes the sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat into egg mixture on low speed, scraping sides of bowl until flour is fully incorporated.
  4. Add the pureed beets and red food coloring to the batter. Beat on low speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl until color of batter is uniform.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan(s) and place in preheated oven. Bake 30-35 minutes for a 9 x 13″ cake, or 25-30 minutes for a three layer 9″ cake. Cake is ready when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. Allow cake to cool on rack before removing from pan. (If I am preparing a 9 x 13″ cake, I usually leave it in the pan.) Frost cake when completely cool.


  1. In a large mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Chill for 10 minutes.
  2. Beat together the cream cheese and mascarpone cheese until smooth. Beat in vanilla and sifted powdered sugar until just combined.
  3. Fold in chilled whipped cream, using a rubber spatula. Refrigerate until ready to assemble cake.

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