Is A Red Velvet Cake Without Cocoa Powder Still Considered A Red Velvet Cake?

Decorating By saj designs Updated 14 Oct 2013 , 10:43pm by UnicornKirsten

saj designs Posted 21 May 2013 , 12:46pm
post #1 of 16

Hi to all you cake lovers!


I am new to Cake Central and baking and am looking forward to learning from all of you talented bakers. I was recently asked to bake a Red Velvet cake for a girl's birthday party. The mom asked me to do a Red Velvet cake without the cocoa powder. She said her daughter doesn't like chocolate. It seems a bit strange to me to bake a Red Velvet cake without adding the cocoa powder - the cake will be pink. Not adding cocoa powder seems to change the cake completely. Can it still be considered a Red Velvet cake without the cocoa powder? Please share your thoughts with me so that I can figure out what to do. Your help is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!

15 replies
cakefat Posted 21 May 2013 , 1:02pm
post #2 of 16

no it's not a red velvet cake without the cocoa's usually only a couple tablespoons anyway and it's not overly chocolate at all. it's barely a chocolate taste- if that..


It seems that your client just wants a red dyed cake- or pink or whatever other color.

saj designs Posted 21 May 2013 , 1:17pm
post #3 of 16

That's what I thought. Thank you for taking the time to respond.

cakealicious7 Posted 21 May 2013 , 1:56pm
post #4 of 16

ARed velvet without cocoa is not red velvet at all, you can't even taste it, it shouldn't even be a problem to add it- she won't even notice it.

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 21 May 2013 , 4:15pm
post #5 of 16

You can just do a white velvet cake and add red food colouring I suppose, sounds like she just wants a red cake.

adrendari Posted 29 Sep 2013 , 12:02am
post #6 of 16

AI beg to differ. I grew up with red velvet cake WITHOUT cocoa powder, and I can tell you that I don't like it with the cocoa powder in it. You CAN taste it (if you are a supertaster like me). I suppose most people can't tell the difference.

UnicornKirsten Posted 1 Oct 2013 , 9:15pm
post #7 of 16

AAdrendari Could you post your recipe? I do not eat chocolate or cocoa powder and have been on the look for a recipe for a red velvet cake that I can eat. I would be greatful :)

heartsnsync Posted 2 Oct 2013 , 2:50am
post #8 of 16

I make velvet cakes all the time in a variety of colors. The important factors in a velvet cake are your process of constructing the cake (i.e. creaming the butter and sugar properly, sifting the dry ingredients, incorporating the eggs one at a time, etc.) the butter, the cake flour, the buttermilk, and the baking soda and vinegar added at the end. A red velvet cake with the cocoa just has a little different nuance. Without it, it is still the smooth velvety cake. I would think any red velvet cake could be converted to a non-cocoa velvet cake. You might have to play around with your baking soda though because that could be different with the cocoa absent. With my recipe it does not seem to affect the texture when the cocoa is left out. HTH

darkchocolate Posted 2 Oct 2013 , 10:21am
post #9 of 16


Originally Posted by UnicornKirsten 

Could you post your recipe?
I do not eat chocolate or cocoa powder and have been on the look for a recipe for a red velvet cake that I can eat. I would be greatful

I don't mind sharing my recipe.


Red Velvet Cake


2 ½ C AP flour

¾ tsp. salt

1 T + ¾ tsp. baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups white sugar

¾ cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

2 ounces red food coloring



1 1/2 (12 ounces) packages cream cheese, softened

1 ½ sticks butter, softened

6 cups confectioners' sugar –more or less to taste

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dash of popcorn salt

3/4 cup chopped pecans – optional


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 8 inch round pans.

In a large bowl, mix together sugar, oil, and eggs. Add food coloring and vinegar to buttermilk. Add baking soda, salt and baking powder to flour. Add flour mixture and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the sugar mixture. Mix well. Stir 2 teaspoons vanilla into batter. Pour batter into prepared pans, approximately 1 ½ C per pan.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (18-20 minutes for my oven), or until done. Remove from oven, and cool on wire racks.



Mix together butter, confectioners' sugar first, then add the cream cheese and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Stir in nuts. Frost cooled cake.


DeliciousDesserts Posted 2 Oct 2013 , 11:09am
post #10 of 16

ATechnically, no it isn't red velvet.

Red velvet got it's traditional red color because of a chemical reaction between the cocoa & baking soda. Today, most cocoa is Dutch processed and the chemical reaction no longer occurs. This is why most recipes now call for red food coloring.

Without the cocoa, it is an entirely different cake.

Can you imagine someone asking for a lemon cake without any lemon?!

Of course, this doesn't have to be explained to the client. No need to lecture her on the original creation of the cake or the nuisances of baking.

BatterUpCake Posted 2 Oct 2013 , 11:45am
post #11 of 16

and vinegar was part of the reaction

adrendari Posted 2 Oct 2013 , 1:42pm
post #12 of 16

Red Velvet Cake


2 1/4


All-purpose Flour



Baking Soda




1 1/2






1 3/4


Vegetable Oil






Vanilla Extract



Red Food Coloring



White Vinegar




Cream Cheese






Confectioner's Sugar



Vanilla Extract


CAKE Sift flour, salt, and baking soda together. Cream sugar, milk, eggs and oil in a separate bowl. Slowly blend in dry ingredients into creamed mixture. Add vanilla, red coloring, and vinegar until blended. Pour into two well floured 9 inch cake pans and bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Cool, then frost.



FROSTING Mix the first three ingredients together until smooth, then add the vanilla and mix well. Spread over cooled cake.


Mine is very similar to the one darkchocolate posted.


I grew up with this recipe because I have to avoid chocolate. Gives me migraines.

vgcea Posted 2 Oct 2013 , 2:19pm
post #13 of 16

AIt's no longer a red velvet cake so no use calling it that. Just make her a red cake using your white or yellow cake recipe. Also be careful with taking out cocoa powder from a recipe. You could throw off the acid-base balance of the recipe.

adrendari Posted 2 Oct 2013 , 2:32pm
post #14 of 16

You could just make a white or yellow cake and add red food coloring... but IT IS NOT THE SAME. 


I have used the recipe I've posted for years. Got it from my mom. It does NOT taste the same as a red or yellow cake. They do not have the velvety texture and rich taste that the non-cocoa powder version of the red velvet cake. It is still a VELVET cake. 

UnicornKirsten Posted 9 Oct 2013 , 12:10am
post #15 of 16


Thank you very much!! I will make it ASAP!!

UnicornKirsten Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 10:43pm
post #16 of 16

AThank you it was a lovely recipe, one if the only ones that my family actually gobbled down, it had a lovely texture. I only used 2/3 of the amount of buttercream and it was a bit too much for my liking. But I was very impressed, thank you :)

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