What athletes eat: Florida pitcher Kelly Barnhill's red velvet cake

Senior standout Kelly Barnhill leads the NCAA in career strikeouts and shutouts. This season, she has one mission: to lead the No. 4-ranked Gators to a national title.

Off the field, the Georgia native is quite the baker -- and she loves making cakes and cupcakes for her teammates' birthdays. "I just really love seeing how happy people get when they eat something I baked for them," she says. "And I also really love being able to get creative with all the decorating. I've gotten a lot better in the last year."

Barnhill's go-to? Red velvet cake. She shared the recipe, and a pic of the cake she made recently for teammates Haven Sampson and Lily Mann.

Courtesy of Kelly Barnhill

Day and time: I make it the night before one of my teammate's or roommate's birthdays, or just when I'm bored or stressed. They generally get eaten at night after dinner or practice.

Place: I bake it in my kitchen at home. My mom bought me this amazing cute blue Kitchen Aid stand mixer for my 21st birthday that I use all the time for baking.

Florida Athletics

What I'm eating: Red velvet cake

Why I'm eating it: Baking relaxes me. But I try to give away my baked goods rather than eating them all myself. I would be bigger than a barn if I ate all of what I baked myself!

Whose recipe: It's a recipe from one of my family friends back home in Georgia.

The recipe:

1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 1/2 cups of vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 (1 ounce bottles) of red food coloring (optional)
1 teaspoon of white vinegar
2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder (leave out if you want vanilla cupcakes/cake)
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of buttermilk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Cream cheese buttercream frosting:
4 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter
8 ounces cream cheese
3 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease the pan. Beat the sugar and oil with an electric mixer until blended.

Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until blended.

Add food coloring (optional) and vinegar and beat until blended.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder (optional) in a separate bowl.

Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until blended.

Stir in vanilla extract.

Pour into cake pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 24 minutes. Check to make sure it's baked all the way through by sticking a knife into it. If it comes back clean, it's done.

Let it cool before icing.

To make the icing: Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a mixer until blended. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time and continue to mix until sugar is incorporated. Add more powdered sugar for thicker frosting and add a teaspoon of milk at a time to get a less thick frosting.

Use a piping bag to decorate!

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