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I don't "get" Red Velvet Cake

Maybe it started with Oprah ( but I won't EVEN go there). Or, did it start with Sprinkles? But, it seems that very recently everyone's in love with Red Velvet Cake. I don't get it.

I had never had this cake and thought it was something speical. I happened to mention this to a friend and yesterday, she brought me a slice of it. It tasted like cake, and not an especially good one, and had cream chees frosting. But, what I absolutley DETESTED was the red food coloring. Is there a reason for this? After having two bites, I noticed my tongue and gums were RED. I rinsed my mouth twice and when I got home brushed my teeth and it was still red. This morning my mouth was back to normal, but the red still showed itself upon exiting - if you know what I mean.

I looked up various recipes and while proportions vary, most had 2 ounces, 1/4 cup!!!! of red food coloring. YUCK

What am I missing here? I'll take plain pound cake over this anyday!

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  1. Yeah, I really don't get it, either. Isn't it just regular cake with food coloring? That's what it always tastes like to me.

    1 Reply
    1. re: anakalia

      The recipe also calls for a small amount of chocolate. Anywhere from 1 to 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder. I didn't taste chocolate, though

    2. The recipes Ive used have called for a decent amount of cocoa powder, which gives a really nice chocolate "idea" almost without being CHOCOLATE if that makes any sense.

      Ive found that buying red velvet cake though is really a dissapointment- and exactly what you describe- seems like red cake that is just ultimately annoying when it colors your teeth red. But a well done red velvet is a really delicious treat-if you are really curious-the best I can say is try making it-I bet its 100% better than bought.

      In terms of the origins of the red coloring-Im not sure but Im sure someone can help out...

      1. I don't think the store bought cakes of today are the same as the ones our grandmothers used to make. I've never eaten a homemade Red Velvet cake but I was told that it takes a very long time to make.

        1. I, too, don't appreciate the red food colouring, but I have eaten and enjoyed red velvet cake.

          Bobby Flay did a "Throwdown" recently against "Cake Man Raven", who apparently is famous for his red velvet cakes...

          Here are CMR and BF's recipes (Bobby Flay's has much less food colouring):

          http://www.cakemanraven.com/recipe.htm
          http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bo...

          I like the idea of Bobby Flay's cake recipe, but I'm not sure which frosting I'd prefer: Raven's has cream cheese, but not Flay's.

          1. I believe beets are also used to make that deep, dark red. I ABSOLUTELY love red velvet cake, but for me, the cake part could be anything-it's the frosting I'm after. Since cream cheese is possibly my #1 favorite food, red velvet cake is a no-brainer. I personally like the frosting to be a bit more on the savory side, maybe even with little chucks of cream cheese bits in it, as if it hasn't been creamed long enough. I really hate it when people put so much sugar in it that it just tastes like buttercream. But like I said, if the cream cheese frosting is made right (for my tastes, at least), then I don't care if it's spread on a throw pillow.

            1 Reply
            1. re: schrutefarms

              It's not beets. I tried to make a red cake with beets and the high temp cooked the color right out. The red color in beets breaks down somewhere below the boiling point of water.