Red Velvet Cake

케이크주문제작 A luscious layer cake covered in creamy cream cheese frosting. Red velvet cake is a classic for parties or the final sweet treat to a romantic dinner.


The Waldorf Astoria Hotel claims to have invented the cake, and ritzy Toronto department store Eaton’s credits socialite Lady Eaton as its creator (both claims Southern bakers contest to this day). The iconic cake’s red hue comes from a chemical reaction of non-Dutch processed cocoa powder with vinegar.


Red velvet cake is a classic for Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and patriotic holidays like the Fourth of July. The cake is rich and chocolaty, with a subtle hint of cocoa. It is also a very moist cake, thanks to the buttermilk, vegetable oil, and added baking soda.

The addition of vinegar and the use of non-Dutch processed cocoa powder help to give it its distinctive crimson color. It is unclear whether the cake originated in the South or New York, but it became popular in the early 1900s.

To get the best red velvet cake, use a quality cocoa powder that isn’t alkalized. You should also use food coloring that is a gel-based formula rather than liquid. It is more concentrated, so you’ll need less of it to achieve a vibrant hue. Other alternatives include using beet powder, which will produce a magenta color but is mellower in flavor. Some recipes also call for buttermilk, which gives the cake a deliciously tangy flavor. However, it is a difficult ingredient to source in the United States.


The cake has a subtle tang from buttermilk and is generously smothered in fluffy cream cheese frosting. It’s wildly popular in America and is starting to gain a following here as well.

The recipe is a bit different than traditional cakes in that it uses both buttermilk and vinegar, both of which cause a chemical reaction with baking soda. This reaction helps the cake rise and gives it a light texture. Buttermilk also helps tenderize the crumb and adds moisture to the cake.

In modern recipes, the red color comes from food coloring rather than beets or other vegetables, although beet powder can work in a pinch. The original red velvet recipe used natural cocoa, which turned red when it mixed with acids. But many cocoa powders today are alkalized and don’t turn red when mixed with acid.

The tang from the vinegar and the brightness of the food coloring help set this cake apart from other cakes. It’s the perfect show-stopping dessert for Valentine’s Day or a special occasion. It’s also a favorite at Juneteenth celebrations, where the color red symbolizes freedom for enslaved people.


Although it isn’t a typical cake ingredient, vinegar is what gives red velvet cakes their unique tangy flavor and crimson hue. The reason for this isn’t entirely clear, but one theory is that it enhances the cake’s natural anthocyanin pigments that create their color by reacting with acidic ingredients such as buttermilk and baking soda.

These anthocyanins are also responsible for the deep red of devil’s food cake and similar types of chocolate cakes. However, during World War II, these ingredients were rationed and reduced beet juice was used instead to enhance the color of these recipes, which may explain why many modern red velvet cakes call for food coloring (affiliate link).

In addition to enhancing the red, vinegar helps the cake rise by reacting with the baking soda. Adding vinegar to the batter also helps make it light and airy. The combination of these contrasting flavors and textures makes it a truly unique cake that is loved by many.


In this version of a classic red velvet cake, the color comes from beets rather than food coloring. Beets are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber and help create a moist and delicious cake. In addition, the beets add a natural sweetness to the cake that is healthier than its traditional counterpart.

To make this recipe, you will need a large bowl and the following ingredients: 2 eggs, 1 cup buttermilk, 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar, 3 tablespoons beet puree, and 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder. You will also need all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

The tang of vinegar in this recipe helps prevent the beets from oxidising during baking, which is why it’s important to use an acidic batter. You can also omit the vinegar if you don’t have it on hand. The best part of this recipe is that it’s easy to prepare and tastes delicious with or without frosting. It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or any other special occasion. You can even make it into cupcakes! The recipe makes one sheet cake or a 2-layer cake.

Food coloring

Although modern recipes for red velvet cake call for food coloring to achieve the shade, the color was originally achieved naturally. During the Great Depression, when ingredients like cocoa bars and chocolate powder were rationed, cooks discovered that non-Dutch cocoa powder had natural reddish tinting. When mixed with acidic buttermilk (to help with the leavening) and baking soda, the anthocyanins in the cocoa powder redden.

Stella’s maverick version of the recipe, from her 1951 cookbook Bravetart, hydrates her batter with red wine and uses a custard frosting instead of a traditional boiled-milk frosting. The wine and the raw cocoa create a natural, burgundy-colored cake that’s still delicious without the food coloring.

To replicate this color, it’s important to use a true cocoa powder that hasn’t undergone any alkalizing processes and has high levels of antioxidants like those found in Navitas Naturals. You can also try substituting the baking soda for apple cider vinegar to ensure the acid reacts with the anthocyanins and tints the batter. If you’re avoiding food coloring altogether, try beetroot or hibiscus for a naturally colorful alternative.