Red Velvet Cake Recipes
Red velvet cake is traditionally a red, red-brown, mahogany, maroon, crimson or scarlet colored chocolate layer cake, layered with white cream cheese or ermine icing.
The common modern red velvet cake is made with red dye; the red color was originally due to non-Dutch, anthocyanin-rich cocoa.
Velvet cake is thought to originate in the Victorian era. During that Era, they served velvet cakes as a fancy dessert. The term “velvet” was a description used to let consumers know the dessert was a soft and velvety crumb cake. During that same time, devil’s food cake was introduced, which is how some believe that red velvet cake came about. The difference between the two cakes is that devil’s food cake uses chocolate and red velvet cake uses cocoa.
Ingredient changes vary based on the era and area of the world. James Beard’s reference, American Cookery (1972), describes three red velvet cakes varying in the amounts of shortening, butter, and vegetable oil. All used red food coloring.
Common ingredients include buttermilk, butter, cocoa, vinegar, and flour. Beetroot or red food coloring may be used for the color.
The reaction of acidic vinegar and buttermilk tends to better reveal the red anthocyanin in cocoa and keeps the cake moist, light, and fluffy. This natural tinting may have been the source for the name “red velvet”, as well as “Devil’s food” and similar names for chocolate cakes.
Contemporarily, chocolate has often undergone Dutch processing, which prevents the color change of the anthocyanins. A reconstruction of the original red velvet cake involves reducing or eliminating the vinegar and colorants and using non-Dutch cocoa to provide the needed acidity and color.
Below are the all of the Red Velvet Cake Recipes published to date.