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Dive into this recipe with Denise!

July’s Dish is brought to you by ClearPath’s own Denise Kestner

“Floridian by birth, Gator by the grace of God.” Miami born and raised, Denise has over 23 years of HR experience. She can often be seen zipping around in her mini-van going to and from Kroger with her 2 kids no less than 5 times a week.

Her favorite place to eat? Columbus Fish Market! They have an absolutely amazing dessert called the “Sharkfin Pie” that combines chocolate, ice cream, peanuts, and peanut butter!

Denise brings to the table the BEST red velvet cake recipe you could ask for from DivasCanCook.com. She enjoys it the most while wrapped in a big fluffy blanket with her giggly kids and cozying up in front of the fire place with a good movie! Check out the recipe below!




  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened, cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil or canola
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1-2 oz. red food coloring, depends how deep you want the color
  • 1 teaspoon of white distilled vinegar
  • ½ cup of prepared plain hot coffee (don’t skip this ingredient)


  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and vegetable oil.
  4. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and red food coloring until combined.
  5. Stir in the coffee and white vinegar.
  6. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients a little at time, mixing after each addition, just until combined.
  7. Generously grease and flour two round, 9 inch cake pans with shortening and flour.
  8. Pour the batter evenly into each pan.
  9. Bake in the middle rack for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not over bake as cake will continue to cook as it cools.
  10. Let pans cool on a cooling rack until the pans are warm to the touch.
  11. Slide a knife or offset spatula around the inside of the pans to loosen the cake from the pan.
  12. Remove the cakes from the pan and let them cool.
  13. Frost the cake with cream cheese frosting when the cakes have cooled completely.


  • Be sure to not overbake! Check the cake at 30 minutes as so overs run really hot.
  • Cakes are really moist and you may need to refrigerate them to firm them up before stacking and frosting
  • To bake cupcakes, bake for 18-20 minutes, checking at the 18 minute mark.


Thanks Denise!