Red velvet cake is a southern classic that has inspired cupcakes, cheesecakes, doughnuts, and a plethora of other confections. So just what is red velvet cake? We rewind history and discus how the ruby red cake with stark white icing was invented and popularized. We’ll get into what it tastes like, what makes it red and how to achieve that vibrant color naturally.
Red velvet cake is a vanilla cake with a few tablespoons of cocoa powder and red food coloring thrown in. It is popular in the southern United States. Vinegar and buttermilk bring some acid to the batter, adding a bit of tanginess that balances out the sweet cream cheese-butter frosting that is standard. The cake crumb is exceedingly fine, delicate, and silky.
What Flavor Is Red Velvet Cake?
Red velvet cake has a fairly mild chocolate flavor with a somewhat acidic edge. The cream cheese icing has the strongest taste. Perhaps even more important than the taste is the texture: smooth, soft, tender and light with creamy icing.
What Is the History of Red Velvet Cake?
Red velvet cake is said to have developed during the Victorian period, according to historians. Since cake flour was not available at the time, vinegar was employed to tenderize cakes. When vinegar was combined with non-Dutch processed cocoa powder, the cake turned a reddish-brown hue.
The first red velvet cake recipes were published in the early twentieth century, and as the cake spread throughout the United States, southerners began adding additional acid to the cake: buttermilk.
The technique of making cocoa powder altered before World War II, and it no longer colored red when coupled with acids. Since people still desired that crimson cake, less beet juice was added. Adams Extract, a southern dye firm, popularized red velvet cake by releasing a recipe that used his red food color.
Cream cheese frosting is a much later innovation: the original frosting was a French roux-style buttercream, sometimes called gravy frosting because it starts out with the same type of roux used to make gravy. It is astonishingly light and fluffy with the butter beaten in at the end, but quite time consuming to prepare. As a result, cream cheese icing became the standard.
What Makes Red Velvet Cake Red?
In today’s world, the red color of red velvet cake is usually achieved with the use of red food coloring. However, as we discussed above, the color initially occurred when the acidic ingredients in the cake reacted with non-Dutch cocoa powder.
What Is a Substitute for the Red Food Coloring In Red Velvet Cake?
In place of artificial red dye, turn to natural red dyes like beet juice, beet powder (ground dehydrated beets), pomegranate powder or cranberry powder. Keep in mind that some of these components may have an effect on the taste of the red velvet cake.
What Is Blue Velvet Cake?
By replacing blue food coloring for red in practically any red velvet recipe, you may make blue velvet cake. Adding a tiny touch of red will keep the blue dark instead of turquoise. Blue velvet cake tastes just like red velvet cake but is appropriate for celebratory events such as the Fourth of July or a gender reveal party. In this vein, it’s not unusual to see green velvet cake, made with green dye instead of red, featured on St. Paddy’s Day.
How to Make Red Velvet Cake and How to Make Red Velvet Cupcakes
Needless to say, there are several red velvet cake recipes available. Some follow the creaming method, where butter and sugar are creamed until light and fluffy, then eggs, then dry and wet ingredients added alternately. After baking the batter, the cakes are chilled and iced. Some recipes use oil instead of butter, and after eggs are whisked into the oil, the wet and dry are added in the same way as for the creaming method.
Two 9-inch cakes are combined to make four stunning layers, and a simple cream cheese frosting holds them all together.
Red velvet swirls through the cheesecake filling, which replaces graham crackers with chocolate wafer cookies.
Cherry cola and the traditional cocoa powder-red food coloring combo bring the color and the flavor of red velvet to this fancy-looking confection. So don’t worry: the roll is much simpler than you think.
These little cupcakes are prepared with oil and whole wheat flour and are adorable, basically consider them a snack instead of a treat.
Our second red velvet layer cake is two layers instead of four, making it just a bit easier than the first. Yet, it has all of the markings of a classic read velvet.
Does red velvet cake taste different than chocolate cake?
Cocoa powder, chocolate chips, or melted chocolate are used to flavor chocolate cake. On the other hand, though red velvet cake has cocoa powder that gives it a slightly chocolatey flavor, the buttermilk and vinegar add a tart edge making it different between the two.
What is special about red velvet cake?
The INSIDER Summary: Red velvet cake is more than simply the food coloring. Red velvet cake contains cocoa powder, vinegar, and buttermilk. The chemical reaction between these ingredients help give the cake a deep maroon color that is often enhanced by extra food coloring.
What is in red velvet cake that makes it taste different?
What gives red velvet cake its distinctive flavor? The buttermilk, vinegar, cocoa powder, and cream cheese icing give red velvet cake its unique characteristics. Some red velvet cake recipes call for just a tablespoon or two of cocoa powder, which results in almost no chocolate taste.
Is red velvet actually a Flavour?
Comparing several original recipes online, what makes red velvet different is really just the red dye and some added vinegar. The vinegar, buttermilk, chocolate, and dye all react to provide the classic taste and color.