Red Velvet W/out Red Dye?

Decorating By CambriasCakes Updated 22 Jan 2009 , 4:36am by sarahnichole975

CambriasCakes Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 11:43pm
post #1 of 10

Ok so, does anyone ever make red velvet cake without the red food color? And if so, is the batter just reddish brown or is it really a true red?

I've never heard of anyone NOT using food coloring when making it until just a few minutes ago when my cousin said she got a red velvet cake at a bakery where she lives and the owner said she uses no dye whatsoever...that it turns red because of the chemical reaction between the buttermilk and cocoa powder.

Now when I've made it, I've never noticed the batter being reddish brown before I added the color.....am I missing something here?

9 replies
CambriasCakes Posted 22 Jan 2009 , 1:56am
post #2 of 10

Does anyone have any ideas about this??

msladybug Posted 22 Jan 2009 , 1:59am
post #3 of 10

I don't know about that. I have always added my color before the cocoa and buttermilk. I think I will make one for the guys at my hubbys work and try it out.

Price Posted 22 Jan 2009 , 2:10am
post #4 of 10

I've made the Red Velvet from the Martha Stewart Wedding Cakes book. The recipe only calls for 3/4 tsp. red gel color. The cake was very good. It was not a bright red, red. It did have a little bit of Brownish red color. I kind of like the idea of not having all of that food coloring in my cake.

Melvira Posted 22 Jan 2009 , 2:17am
post #5 of 10

I think that's a load of hooey. I think the color is from the food coloring! icon_rolleyes.gif I think if you don't use any coloring it would just be a very light brown color because there isn't even that much cocoa in it. Of course, I'm not a scientist, so I could be the one full of hooey. Anyone else know better?

newmansmom2004 Posted 22 Jan 2009 , 2:20am
post #6 of 10

I've made two or three different red velvet cakes from scratch within the last year - including the one from the MS Wedding Cakes book - and they all have a slight brownish tinge before adding the color but the real red does come from the food coloring. Buttermilk and cocoa powder have never turned my cakes red.

Now...kind of on a related note - Duff Goldman was on an episode of one of Paula Deen's shows and he brought her a guitar cake that was "blue velvet" cake - I took that to mean it was red velvet but made with blue food coloring. It was bizarre looking but I'll bet it tasted the same as red velvet.

I used a DH red velvet boxed mix today for a practice cake since I was doing something new that I hadn't done before (carving) and I just wanted a quick box mix and it was REALLY red - and actually quite delicious. I was surprised at how good it was. I used milk instead of water and added an extra egg to the mix and it helped the texture firm up a bit as well which is better for carving.

Melvira Posted 22 Jan 2009 , 2:37am
post #7 of 10

I actually like DH Red Velvet, but I don't care for the scratch version. To me it doesn't taste quite right. Blue Velvet it awesome! I know there are also those around here that do pink velvet. Same premise, different color! (Popular for girls!)

sillyjodes Posted 22 Jan 2009 , 4:22am
post #8 of 10

Actually, the original red velvet cakes did not use dye. Apparently, the acid in the buttermilk did react with cocoa that used to be common in America. Now we use dutch processed and it doesn't react. Or at least, that's what I read when trying to find a red velvet recipe for my sis. It's her fave, but I don't care for it.

CambriasCakes Posted 22 Jan 2009 , 4:36am
post #9 of 10

Melvira - I thought it was a bunch of hooey too...I mean, who's ever heard of such a thing? But as Sillyjodes mentioned about the kind of cocoa that was originally used - I read the same thing while doing some research on it myself today.

Hmmm....now I want to try it without the color and see what it comes out like! Keep me posted on your findings Msladybug!!

Thanks you guys!!

sarahnichole975 Posted 22 Jan 2009 , 4:36am
post #10 of 10

I use the DH red velvet as well and sub 1/2 of the water for buttermilk. It's delicious and GREAT for carving!!!

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