Red cake, white icing and blue ribbon

Teen has recipe for success at Ag Expo

Teen has recipe for success at Ag Expo

July 27, 2005|by JULIE E. GREENE

Ben Kelly hit one out of the park the first time he entered the 4-H Club cake competition at Washington County Ag Expo.

The 14-year-old Hagerstown-area resident won the grand championship in the cake division with his paternal grandmother's red velvet cake recipe, but his family didn't come away with the cake.

Aaron Kelly, Ben's father, lost out in the bidding at the cake auction Friday night when the price went to $225.


"I figured he could make it at home," said Ben's mom, Linda Kelly.

The cake was bought by Karl Pile Septic Service.

Pile's son, Kevin Pile, said his father had been buying the grand champion cake at the Ag Expo for many years and the tradition is continuing now that Kevin's brother, Brian, owns the business.

The tradition began when their sisters were involved in 4-H, Kevin Pile said.

Ben Kelly, who won the grand championship in recent years for cookies and candy, said he hadn't tried making a red velvet cake until his father told him he might buy it.

Kelly practiced once and entered his second try.

Even though he enjoys baking desserts about once a month, Kelly said he was surprised to win.

"I thought it was pretty cool," said the Chewsville 4-H Club member.

Ann Bowers also was surprised to win the championship in the open-class cake competition and the grand championship of open-class baked goods and candies.

The open-class competition is open to adults and youths, though not necessarily members of an organized 4-H Club. Bowers' and Kelly's cakes did not compete against each other.

Bowers' applesauce cake, with raisins and black walnuts, won the last two years at Wacohu Grange's community show, but had not won at the Ag Expo until this year.

Bowers entered her applesauce cake at the Ag Expo at least three times before, but it was beaten each time by a bigger applesauce cake.

This year her cake was good enough to better all other cakes, cookies, quick breads, yeast breads, pies and candies in the open-class contest.

"I love to cook and I bake applesauce cakes as Christmas presents," said Bowers, 66, who lives west of Hagerstown.

Turns out this cake would be a gift, too.

Bette Jo Shifler of Beaver Creek bought the cake at the auction, for $30, to give to members of the Washington County Tractor Pullers Association who will be competing tonight and Thursday.

Red Velvet Cake


1 stick butter

6 tablespoons vegetable shortening

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons flour

2/3 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix together butter and vegetable shortening. Stir in sugar. Stir in flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Add milk and vanilla. Mix for 12 minutes.


2 ounces red food coloring

3 tablespoons cocoa

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour (sifted three times)

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 teaspoon baking soda

Mix together red food coloring and cocoa. Set aside.

Using electric mixer, cream together shortening and sugar in another bowl. Then add eggs and coloring mixture. Beat 10 minutes.

Mix in buttermilk. Slowly mix in flour.

Using a rubber spatula, stir in vinegar and baking soda.

Spoon batter into two greased and floured 8-inch layer cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

Let cake cool and spread icing.

- Recipe by Barbara Kelly

Applesauce Cake

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

3 cups sifted flour

1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 tablespoon baking soda

2 1/2 cups applesauce

2 tablespoons corn syrup (Ann Bowers uses light corn syrup)

1 cup raisins

1 cup chopped nuts (Bowers uses black walnuts from her backyard)

Using electric mixer, cream the butter. Mix in sugar gradually. Mix in eggs one at a time.

Sift together flour and other dry ingredients (nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, ground cloves, baking soda). Mix with butter and sugar mixture.

Stir in applesauce and corn syrup.

Fold in raisins and nuts.

Pour batter into greased pan. Bowers uses a tube pan, 10 inches in diameter.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours at 300 degrees.

Let cake cool completely. Then turn the pan upside down and let cake come out of pan unassisted.

- Recipe from Maryland State Grange Cookbook, 1979 edition, Grace Stone, Braddock Grange in Frederick County, Md.

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