The term “red velvet” gets tossed around a lot these days. It is – arguably – one of the tastiest cakes out there.  For every piece of praise we hear, we also catch a complaint. Common critics could say most red velvet cupcakes are bland, chemical-tasting, too red.  Well, who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?  Of course, you can choose the red velvet cake because it’s an excuse to eat our delicious cream cheese frosting.  But we hope you’ll choose it because it’s sweet, tangy, slightly chocolatey, and really rich.

So, what exactly is red velvet?

A good red velvet comes in many different colors. It can be dark red, bright red, or even a reddish-brown color.  The reddish color can be enhanced by beet juice or red food coloring. In World War II, bakers used beet juices to enhance the color.  Now-a-days, it’s common to use red food coloring, simply because it’s more convenient. We would agree, because boiling beets is not our cup of tea.

Common ingredients in any red velvet recipe are usually flour, baking soda, vinegar, buttermilk, cocoa powder, eggs, sugar, and red food coloring.  Red velvet cake can be made with shortening, butter and/or vegetable oil.  All recipes pretty much use red food coloring, and it is the reaction between the acidic vinegar and the buttermilk which tends to reveal the red hues that are naturally in the cocoa.  These ingredients also keep the cake moist, light, and fluffy.

The exact origins of the cake are unknown, and there are plenty of theories out there that try to explain how the cake got to be red. The original red velvet cake is said to have had a reddish hue that was caused by the reaction between natural cocoa powder and an acidic ingredient, like buttermilk. You can observe a slight reddish tint in chocolate cupcakes made with these two ingredients. Even a small amount of cocoa powder will tint the cake more brown than red.  Therefore,  even if this classic recipe began in this way, it really is the red food coloring that gives this cake the appearance that we see today.

In keeping with tradition, we top our Red Velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  Trying to describe red velvet is challenging. It’s not vanilla cake, it’s not chocolate. So, let’s not try and define it, because it is just so yummy!

The Royale Bakery uses local organic Shepherd’s Grain flour, Organic Cane sugar, Non- GMO Canola oil, fresh local buttermilk, baking soda, vinegar, vanilla, Guittard Cocoa powder, red color, and salt.

You owe it to yourself to taste the softly chocolate and rich deliciousness that is our Red Velvet Cupcake. Add cream cheese frosting? Yes, please!