The first time Christy Walton tried to make her grandmother’s Red Velvet Cake, it was a disaster.
And her family hasn’t let her forget in the past 30 years.
When she was 19, she started making it for a cousin’s anniversary.
Her first attempt just didn’t look right, so she tried again. After packing the second attempt in the car
and driving from home in Newark to Indianapolis, it had sat in the car all day.
“It was literally a brick. It looked terrible.”
She recalled her grandma asking, “Did you use salted butter?”
“There’s a difference?” Walton replied. “I will never live it down.”
Her grandmother always cooked the cake every year for Thanksgiving. When she passed away, the family
turned to a bakery 45 minutes away.
Walton decided in her later 20s to try again, and the cake turned out pretty good, much to the shock of
They had a back-up cake, just in case. Now, they expect it every Thanksgiving.
“It’s a phone call I get every year on a Tuesday. You’re coming with the cake, right?”
She makes it in three nine-inch layers, with Fluffy Frosting holding everything together.
While cream cheese frosting may be the traditional first choice, Walton swears by the lighter Fluffy
“You have to beat it extensively. It’s rich. There’re actually three sticks of butter in just the
frosting. You have to beat it for almost five minutes with a beater. That’s what gives it that
That consistency, while rich, doesn’t overpower the taste of the cake, but creates a perfect balance.
Walton suggested starting the frosting before the cake, because it needs to heat on the stove then cool.
She has made it now for 25 years, “and I absolutely love it. I can’t even imagine what the calorie intake
is on it. As you can see, there are seven sticks of butter.”
Walton has the process down to about 90 minutes, from making the frosting to baking the cakes, to letting
them cool and frosting the cake.
Doing it as three layers keeps it moist, with the frosting in between. With the number of ingredients the
recipe calls for and the time commitment, she only makes it twice a year for special occasions.
Walton said that she’s not much of a cook but used to make desserts every night. Her no-bake cookies are
still in demand by a daughter in college.
They are “always my go-to. They are easy.”
She and husband Chad together have seven children. She makes chocolate chip cookies with the youngest,
who is 14.
“I didn’t even like desserts before I married you,” Chad has told her.
“I know. I have a sweet tooth.”
Walton is a self-taught baker, but credits her grandmother, who made everything from scratch.
“She didn’t write down any directions. She helped me, but I am more self-taught.”
Her mother cooked a lot, but Walton wasn’t allowed in the kitchen.
She thinks she never gravitated toward cooking because it was always a necessity. Working and traveling
with her job and having three kids who all participated in travel sports left little time for her to do
anything other than quick meals in the kitchen. She has some standards, like spaghetti, but she was not
fond of big meals every night.
“I think it was just time. I didn’t have the time.”
But the older she’s gotten, the more adventurous she has become.
Walton usually improvises when cooking – but not when baking.
“With baking it has to be pretty close to the recipe.”
Before coming to Bowling Green, she coached volleyball at Liberty-Benton for seven years and worked at
Medical College of Ohio for 13 years.
She participates on the Addiction Response Collaborative (ARC) steering committee led by Wood County
Prosecutor Paul Dobson, the WBGU PACT board, the BG Transportation Advisory Board, Sandusky Area Health
Education Coalition with the University of Toledo and the Ohio Association of Hospital Philanthropy
She now is vice president of development at Wood County Hospital.
“I really enjoy what I do,” Walton said.