For cake ~
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk**
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 oz red food coloring
For frosting ~
1 cup shortening
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3-4 Tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat butter on high speed 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, cocoa, baking soda, salt; beat till combined. Add egg and vanilla, mix well. Add buttermilk and flour alternately, mixing well on low speed after each addition. Beat in red food coloring.
Place batter in rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake 7-10 minutes, or until bottoms are set. Let cool on pan 2 minutes, then cool on wire racks completely.
For frosting, beat together shortening and extracts. Add half the powdered sugar, mix well. Gradually add remaining sugar. Add milk 1 Tbsp at a time until it reaches a spreadable consistency.
Yields about 36-40 cakes, or 18-20 sandwiches.
**To make sour milk, pour 1/2 Tbsp vinegar into a measuring cup. Add enough milk to total 1/2 cup of liquid.
NOTE: There will be a LOT of frosting. Make two batches of cakes if you don’t plan on storing the leftover frosting. For more uniform cakes, use a cookie scoop or a Tbsp measuring spoon when placing the batter on the cookie sheets.