Mom used to make Red Velvet Cake all the time. Especially around the 4th of July. She'd make a 9x13 inch cake and then decorate to look like Old Glory. (Might be fun for Flag Day --which is this Saturday, by the way.)
Or try this recipe for the cupcake version. (Just promise me you'll make the real frosting. I know. It's a pain to make. But the whipped cream consistency and rich flavor is the perfect match for the not-too-sweet cake!)
By the way, Mom's recipe calls for TWO fluid ounces of red dye instead of one.
And she probably just thought it was the fireworks making us all so hyper...