Learn all about red velvet and find the best red velvet recipes to make for any time of day, from breakfast right through dessert!
“Worse the cake part is red velvet cake. Blood red!! People are gonna be hackin’ into this poor animal that looks like it’s bleedin’ to death.” ~ Shelby, Steel Magnolias
This line from the iconic movie Steel Magnolias was my first introduction to red velvet cake.
For years I had no idea what it was or what made it so special. All I ever thought of upon hearing the word red velvet was that line, which understandably sullied my opinion too soon.
Fortunately, as I got older, I actually tasted some red velvet cake and other treats. And I fell in love just like so many others.
Your Ultimate Guide to Amazing Red Velvet Recipes
But What is Red Velvet?
In the simplest terms, red velvet is a chocolate cake that is red in color.
The red color is nearly always derived from the use of red food coloring. Though, these days many chefs and home cooks are attempting to find natural ways to color the dessert red. According to Wikipedia
“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.”
Some accounts state that the ‘velvet‘ aspect of the term derives from the cake’s particularly silky texture, though I haven’t found a solid source for that claim.
The History of Red Velvet Cake
You can read the whole history of red velvet cake at this article from the New York Times, but here’s the cliff’s notes version:
While Southerners often claim ownership of the red velvet cake, the first clear mention of red velvet cake is at the Waldorf in the 1930s. Not much later, it was also found at Eaton’s department store in Toronto.
It is said that the owner of the Adams Extract Company tasted the red velvet cake at the Waldorf, and recognized a marketing opportunity. Sometime in the 1940s, after the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938 supported and standardized food colorings and additives, the Adams Extract Company adapted a traditional mahogany cake with red food coloring.
Then, the new cake was marketed alongside the company’s products, and America pretty much fell in love.
Are there any natural ways to get the red color?
As mentioned above, there is some speculation that the chemical reaction between acids and non dutch–processed cocoa can bring about a red-tint, though it’s not likely to be as red as those made with food dye.
Natural cooks often use beet juice to create a red velvet look. You can find several recipes that use beet juice in the “Healthy, Diet, and Natural Red Velvet Recipes” section below!
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Red Velvet Recipes to Take You from Breakfast to Dessert
These days, there is no shortage or red velvet recipes. Whether you want to make a red velvet treat just for the fun of it, or for the upcoming holiday, all you have to do is take a look at the list below to find some of the BEST red velvet recipes!
Red Velvet Breakfast Recipes
- Red Velvet Donuts at Jennifer Meyering*
- Red Velvet Waffles at Go Eat & Repeat*
- Overnight Red Velvet French Toast Casserole at Frugal Foodie Mama*
- Red Velvet Churro French Toast at Thrillist*
- Cake Batter Red Velvet Pancakes with Cream Cheese Syrup at Gimmedelicious.com*
- Red Velvet Cheesecake Pancakes at Creme de la Crumb*
- Red Vevet Cinnamon Rolls at The Housewife Modern
- Red Velvet Cake Mix Cinnamon Rolls at No. 2 Pencil*
- Red Velvet Cream Cheese Danish at Taste and Tell*
Red Velvet Drink Recipes
- Red Velvet Soda at A Bride on a Budget
- Red Velvet Cake Milkshake Shooters at Cake Merchant*
- Red Velvet Protein Shake at Atkinson Drive*
- Red Velvet Cake Milkshake at My Organized Chaos*
- Red Velvet Smoothie at Desserts with Benefits*
- Red Velvet Mocha Milkshake at Lemon Tree Dwelling*
- Red Velvet Hot Chocolate with Cream Cheese Whipped Cream at Tidy Mom*
- Red Velvet Latte at Almost Supermom*
Red Velvet Cookies
- Red Velvet and Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies at DIY Candy
- Red Velvet Cookies with White Chocolate Chips at Melanie Cooks
- Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies at Cake Whiz
- Homemade Red Velvet Oreos at Cooking Classy*
- Red Velvet Kiss Cookies at The Cafe Sucre Farine*
- Red Velvet Cupcake Cookie with Cream Cheese Frosting at Recipe Tin Eats*
- Red Velvet Sugar Cookies at Wine and Glue*
- Nutella Stuffed Red Velvet Cookies at A Cookie Named Desire*
- Red Velvet Whoopie Pies at Sally’s Baking Addiction*
Red Velvet Browies & Bars
- Red Velvet Brownie Stack at Lights, Camera, Bake!
- Red Velvet Cookie Dough Cheesecake Brownies at Can’t Stay Out of the Kitchen*
- Red Velvet and Pistachio Ice Cream Bread Bars at From Play Dates to Parties
- Red Velvet Dessert Lasagna at The Cookie Rookie*
- Red Velvet Seven Layer Bars at Sally’s Baking Addiction*
- Red Velvet Truffle Bars at Lights, Camera, Bake!
- Red Velvet Oreo Brownies at Sally’s Baking Addiction*
- Red Velvet Chocolate Swirled Brownie Bars at Averie Cooks*
- Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies at Just a Taste*
Red Velvet Snacks
- Red Velvet Strawberry Parfaits at Crayons & Cravings
- Red Velvet Ice Cream with Red Velvet Cookie Dough at We are Not Martha
- Red Velvet Oreo Cookie Ball Pops at Dukes & Duchesses
- 4 Ingredient Red Velvet Valentine’s Truffles at Me & B Make Tea
- Red Velvet Cake Pops at Ann’s Entitled Life
- Red Velvet Muddy Buddies at It’s a Keeper*
- Red Velvet Fudge at Amanda’s Cookin’*
- Eggless Red Velvet Mug Cake at Tickling Palates
Red Velvet Breads & Muffins
- Red Velvet Bread at 3 Boys and a Dog
- Red Velvet Banana Bread at Mom Loves Baking
- Red Velvet Cream Cheese Muffins at Averie Cooks*
- Red Velvet Pull Apart Bread at Taste and Tell*
- Red Velvet Quick Bread with Cream Cheese Filling at Taste and Tell*
Red Velvet Cakes
- Game of Thrones Red Velvet Dragonscale Cake at Liv for Cake
- Layered Red Velvet and White Chocolate Cheesecake at The Housewife Modern
- Red Velvet Cake at 3 Boys and a Dog
- Easy Red Velvet Ice Cream Cake at Food Meanderings
- Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake at Divalicious Recipes
- Moist Red Velvet Cake Recipe at Cake Whiz
- Gooey Red Velvet Brownie Cake at Beyond Frosting*
- Oreo Cookie Dough Red Velvet Blondie Layer Cake at Life, Love, and Sugar*
Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Best Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe at 3 Boys and a Dog
- The Best Red Velvet Cupcakes at Hunger Thirst Play
- Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting at The Baking Fairy
- Air Fryer Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes at Recipe This
- Air Fryer Red Velvet Cupcake Heaven at Recipe This
- Magnolia Bakery’s Red Velvet Cupcakes at Eat Cake for Dinner*
- Red Velvet Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream at The Gold Lining Girl*
Healthy, Diet, and Natural Red Velvet Recipes
- Gluten-Free Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes at Rhian’s Recipes
- Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake at Rhian’s Recipes
- Healthy & Natural Red Velvet Cookie Recipe at Food Meanderings
- Low Carb & Natural Red Velvet Cupcakes at Low Carb Yum
- Healthy Red Velvet Beetroot Pancakes at My Fussy Eater*
- Vegan Red Velvet Brownies at Modern Little Victories*
- Vegan, Paleo, No-Bake Red Velvet ‘Cheesecake’ at Pretty Pies*
- Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes with Strawberry Coconut Whipped Cream at Recipe Runner*
Holiday-Themed Red Velvet Recipes
- Red Velvet Valentine’s Day Doughnuts at For Modern Kids
- Red Velvet Poundcake Hearts at A Bride on a Budget
- Red Velvet Cinnamon Roll Guts at Nerdist*
- Ferrero Rocher Red Velvet Spider Cupcakes at No Plate Like Home
- Red Velvet Christmas Cake at Sugar et Al*
- Red Velvet Peppermint Christmas Cookies at The Search for Imperfection
- Christmas Red Velvet Poke Cake at Yummiest Food*
- Red Velvet Christmas Cupcakes at Pint-Sized Baker*
- Red Velvet Holiday Loaf at Soccer Mom Blog*
Now, It’s Your Turn
Well, I may not be about to put red velvet cake inside something shaped like an armadillo, but it’s definitely captured my heart along with Americans everywhere! And with these 80+ recipes, our family can enjoy it anytime. Yum!
What is your favorite red velvet recipe?