it may not have been the best cake of all time, but it worked! i don't think any recipe was to blame, although the fact that i was trying to incorporate my favorite parts of three recipes could have been. i could blame billy though. i went to billy's bakery with jenny in new york and would have eaten every red velvet cupcake in the place if i had a million dollars. no, i'd bathe in a tub full of the red velvet cupcakes if i had a million dollars! THAT'S how much i loved them. after watching him on martha though, i'm starting to wonder if billy does any of the baking (the two tablespoons of baking soda part - like i said, i'm no baker, but does this sound cuckoo to anyone else?). i didn't use his recipe, but i followed the one-bowl method he talks about. although he claims it's a lot harder to overmix the batter, the clumps of butter kind of freaked me out, and i think over-mixing is exactly what i did. the cake was a bit tough, and i had been hoping for a nice, fluffy birthday cake. doug said he loved it though, and that made me feel awesome. now i can't wait to try more of the recipes that were passed along. and this time, maybe i'll leave billy out of it.