Red Velvet Poke Cake!

 
 
I love a good Red Velvet Cake, especially for holidays like Christmas or Valentine's Day.  Red Velvet has become sort of an anytime cake though due to it's popularity.  If you have never made a Red Velvet Cake from scratch, there is a world of difference in the taste in it and the boxed mixes.  I am not adverse to using a cake mix for some recipes and I even use a Red Velvet cake mix to make the Red Velvet Cookies,  but I just really have to make the actual cake from scratch.  It's not hard to make and the reward is worth it.  
 
Now this takes the "Red Velvet Cake" and kicks it up a notch or two, but making it into a 'poke cake'.  The poke cake became popular back in the 1970's or maybe even 1960's, but they are making a comeback it seems.   They are really easy and because you poke holes in the cake and fill the holes with yummy goodness, it assures a really moist cake.  Here is what you will need for this yummy cake:
 
 
1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2  1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. powdered cocoa
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 oz. bottle of red food coloring
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (I used Eagle Brand)
 
Cream Cheese Frosting
 
1 (8 oz.) block of cream cheese (softened)
1/2 stick of butter, softened (1/4 cup)
1 lb.. confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Sprinkles for garnish (optional)
 
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
 
 
Cream butter, shortening and sugar together until fluffy with electric mixer.  Add eggs one at a time.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa.  Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk alternating a little of each at a time and mixing after each addition.  When it's mixed well (don't over mix), add the vinegar, vanilla and red food color.  Mix just until the food coloring is evenly distributed. You don't need to beat this on high, but mix as much as needed to get it all red.  If you over mix it, the cake will be dry. See how it looks here.  It gets darker when it is baked.
Spray a 9"x13" baking pan with nonstick spray for baking.  Pour the batter in evenly.  Place in a 350 degree preheated oven.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
 
Remove from oven and while still warm, poke holes in the cake with the end of a wooden spoon, wooden pick or skewer or the tines of a fork.
 
Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top so it runs down into the holes and the cake absorbs it.  Allow the cake to cool completely and then make the cream cheese frosting and frost.
 
 

To make the cream cheese frosting, cream the cream cheese and the butter together with an electric mixer,  until fluffy.  Slowly add in the powdered sugar until well incorporated.  Add the vanilla.  Beat until light and fluffy.
 
Frost the cake and add the sprinkles if you are using them.  I used Valentine Sprinkles since it's coming up soon.
 
Serve immediately or if you are serving later, store in the fridge!


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