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Ode to Red Velvet

  • Apr 06, 2015
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Dramatic. Distinctive. Oh-so-delicious.

Get inspired with red velvet cake and cupcakes. The bright red hue, courtesy of red food coloring or beetroot, sets it apart from other cakes, and the cream cheese frosting that is typically paired with it provides color and flavor contrast. The velvety texture and smooth chocolatey taste account for its ongoing popularity.

History offers varying accounts of how red velvet cake got its name, with most historians attributing it to a marketing campaign of Adams Extract Company and others giving credit to the velvet texture, perfected in the late 1800s, as the origin of the name. We know that it’s essentially red devil’s food cake, and most agree that there’s a possible connection to the luxury Waldorf Astoria hotel in Manhattan, where the first piece was purportedly served. In popular culture, red velvet cake showed up in the 1989 film Steel Magnolias as a gaudy cake in the shape of an armadillo.

Red velvet enthusiasts recognize that there’s nothing gaudy about this slice of red heaven. Want to get creative? Buttermilk is a must, as is vinegar; they react with the cocoa to create that intense reddish hue, intensified by food coloring. You can opt for beets or beet juice instead, which still produces a crimson color, but the flavor is milder. You can also experiment with frostings. Why not use white and blue for the Fourth of July? But keep in mind that red velvet is a favorite treat anytime of the year. Use our bakeware to whip up some classic red velvet treats and see for yourself.

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