Yesterday it occurred to me that a very nice Valentine’s Day treat would be some Red Velvet cupcakes. I haven’t had Red Velvet cake in a long time. My mother used to make Red Devil cake (basically the same thing as Red Velvet, but chocolate) quite a bit, and I always loved it, especially with a lovely cream cheese frosting. But Don is not a chocolate eater, so Red Velvet it is.
Since I haven’t made it in ages, I pulled out my 1965 edition of the Betty Crocker Cookbook to see if I could find a recipe for Red Velvet, when, lo! I came across a recipe for Gumdrop Cake that I had written out in my own hand on a piece of notebook paper and stuck in the cookbook. The date that I wrote in the corner is 1969, and I promise you that I haven’t made a Gumdrop Cake since then. Where I got the recipe, I have no idea. I was in college and still living at home at the time, but I did like to cook and experiment even then. I may have gotten it from a friend or relative - my aunt liked to make odd cakes. Or I may have made it up myself. That’s possible, because I don’t like licorice and I wrote ‘alternatingly’ (which considering that I was an English major, alarms me somewhat). I don’t remember. It must have been a success, or I wouldn’t have kept it.
But what an interesting dessert to create for your Valentine! I reproduce it here, just as I wrote it out in my own youthful hand, for any of you who are feeling adventurous.
Gumdrop Cake, 1969
1/2 cup butter 2 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar 1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs beaten 2 1/4 cup flour 3/4 cup milk
14 tsp salt 3/4 cup raisins (or nuts)
1 lb. gumdrops - no licorice
Cream butter while adding sugar and eggs. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together over gumdrops (chopped) and raisins. Dredge well. Add vanilla to milk. Add flour mixture and milk to first mixture alternatingly [sic]. Bake in large greased loaf pan in slow oven, 275-300 degrees, 1 1/2 hours or until done.