At age 19, Lana Turner became a star at MGM, the most glamorous of all Hollywood studios.
According to Lana, she knew she’d achieved stardom at MGM when two things happened.
Lana Turner and "Lanallure"
The first sign of Lana’s new star power occurred when Louis B. Mayer, the head of MGM, agreed to Lana’s request for a private dressing room. Of all the young, beautiful actresses working on the 1939 film, These Glamour Girls, it was Lana who asked for her own dressing room, and got it.
The second sign of Lana’s graduation to stardom was when a salad in the studio commissary was named the “Lanallure Salad” after her. As Lana mused about this lucky salad’s role in her career [aff. link],
“Maybe that was it. I got top billing in my next picture.”
Lanallure Red Velvet Cake
I can’t find any record of what the “Lanallure Salad” entailed. I’m sure I’ll develop my own Lanallure Salad recipe at some point. But today, I’m borrowing the “Lanallure” name for an entirely different type of recipe. Nothing against salads, but a star as glamorous as Lana Turner deserves to be the namesake of a more glamorous dish.
And in my book, red velvet cake fits the bill.
So this is my Lanallure Red Velvet Cake.
A Red Velvet Cake Confession & Brief History
I’ve got a controversial confession to make.
I think cream cheese frosting is overrated.
And I don’t particularly enjoy it on red velvet cake.
In fact, cream cheese frosting wasn’t even historically used on red velvet when the cake first appeared last century. That distinction belongs to the difficult to make, but incredibly delicious, whipped roux “ermine” frosting.
Since I’m not a huge fan of cream cheese frosting, and I’m still developing my own fool-proof ermine frosting recipe, I decided to pair this decadent red velvet cake with my Classic Buttercream Frosting.
As per reader feedback and my own experience, I’ve updated the recipe card below to include a doubled recipe of my Classic Buttercream Frosting. It produces more than enough to comfortably frost the red velvet cake as a two layer cake, as pictured.
Make Lanallure Red Velvet Cake!
Make my Lanallure Red Velvet Cake next time you’re craving a decadent, elegant dessert. When you see this beautiful cake, I’m sure you’ll agree there’s no better namesake than the glamorous Lana Turner.
A Few Things!
This cake recipe uses whipped egg whites. If you’ve never whipped egg whites before, I’ve got a photo tutorial in my Heart Chiffon Cakes with Chocolate Chunks recipe. Be sure to check it out for my tips and tricks.
And take a look at my Lana Turner: A Life of Fashion article for all about Lana and my collection of Lana Turner owned items.
Lanallure Red Velvet Cake
For the wet ingredients:
- ⅓ cup butter
- 2 oz baking chocolate
- ⅔ cup vegetable oil
- 1 ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup almond milk
- 2 eggs
- 3 Tbsp red food coloring, (you can use less, but the cake won't be as red)
- 2 egg whites, whipped
For the dry ingredients:
- 1 ½ cups flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
For the frosting:
- 1 cup butter, room temperature (2 sticks of butter)
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-4 Tbsp almond milk, or milk of choice
Whip the egg whites
- Separate 2 egg whites from their yokes (we won’t need these yolks in the recipe), and put the egg whites in a very clean mixing bowl.
- With a handheld or stand mixer with very clean beaters, beat the egg whites on medium speed until stiff peaks form, about 3-4 minutes. (See the pictures in my Chiffon Cake with Chocolate Chunks Recipe for reference.)
- You know the peaks are stiff enough if when you take your egg beaters out of the egg whites, the peaks hold their shape and kind of lift out of the bowl with the egg beaters.
- Set aside, and proceed quickly with the following steps. The shorter the egg whites sit the better.
Melt the butter and chocolate
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate. Whisk them together as they melt, then let the mixture cool for 5 minutes.
Prepare the dry ingredients
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
Finish the wet ingredients
- Back to the saucepan with the butter and chocolate. Now add in the sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, almond milk, and food coloring. Whisk everything together, then add the 2 eggs. Whisk again until everything is fully incorporated.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients
- Now transfer the wet ingredients to the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients, and whisk everything together until smooth. Be careful not to over mix!
Add the egg whites
- Now add the whipped egg whites to the cake batter. With a silicone spatula, very gently fold them into the cake batter until you cannot see any white streaks from the egg whites.
Bake the cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Oil two 9 inch round metal cake pans.
- Pour the cake batter evenly into each pan. Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until the cake is spring-y to the touch. You shouldn’t need to insert a toothpick to check for done-ness, but if you do, the toothpick inserted will come out mostly clean.
- Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
Make the frosting
- Add the butter, powdered sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and 2 Tbsp almond milk to a large mixing bowl. With a handheld mixer, mix everything together until smooth. The frosting will be very thick at this point.
- Now add another 1 Tbsp of almond milk. Mix again. The frosting may be finished at this point.
- If the frosting is still too thick after this last 1 Tbsp of almond milk incorporates, add an additional 1 Tbsp of almond milk, and mix to incorporate.
Frost the cakes and serve
- Frost the cakes and serve. There will be enough frosting to make this a two layer cake, as pictured.