1 pkg. German Chocolate Cake Mix with Pudding
1 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Bottle (1 oz.) Ref Food Coloring
3 Large Eggs
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 pkg. ( 8 oz.) Cream Cheese, at room temp.
8 TBSP. (1 stick) Butter, at room temp.
3 3/4 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350. Generously grease two 9- inch round cake pans with solid vegetable shortening, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pans aside.
Place the cake mix, sour cream, water, oil, food coloring, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with the rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 to 3 minutes, more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look well blended. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, smoothing it out with the rubber spatual. Place the pans in the oven side by side.
Bake the cakes until they spring back when lightly pressed with your fingers and just start to pull away from the sides of the pans, 28 to 30 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Run a dinner knife around the edge of each layer and invert each layer onto a rack, then invert them again onto right side up. Allow them to cool completely, 30 minutes more.
Meanwhile, prepare the Cream Cheese Frosting:
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until fluffy, 30 seconds. Stop the machine and add the powdered sugar, 3 TBSP. milk, and vanilla. Blend with the mixer on low speed until the sugar is incororated, 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 1 minute more. Blend in up to 1 TBSP. milk if the frosting seems too stiff.
Place one cake layer, right side up, on a serving platter. Spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer, right side up, on top of the first layer and frost the top and sides of the cake with clean, smooth strokes.