Hi everyone, I have a question about red velvet cake. I'm making several flavors of cupcakes with fillings for a grad party. I have had red velvet only once in my life and I remember it having no taste which I have read is normal but some people add chocolate in some form to the box mix to give it a light chocolate flavor. I'd like it to have that light chocolate flavor but I don't know what chocolate to add to the box mix and in what form? Anyone have any advice?
Also, I'm using buttercream icing and I'm trying to decide on flavor combos for the filling in the red velvet and the vanilla yellow cake. I'm thinking cream cheese filling for the red velvet and chocolate cream for the yellow vanilla cake but I could swap those and do the chocolate cream in the red velvet and cream cheese filling in the vanilla yellow cake. Any advice on this?
I should preface this by saying that I am in NO way a red velvet expert. I have had the cake a handful of times, twice from scratch and the rest from a box. None of them impress me beyond words. I get that it is a buttermilk cake that flirted with a kiss of chocolate, but to me, the flavor is fickle....like it can't commit to either vanilla or chocolate which to me makes it sort of meh. BUT, it is a very well received flavor for many....but not my cup of tea...or piece of cake if you will ;)
if you go the scratch route, sweetapolita has a great recipe for red velvet that is true to the classic. It is super moist, slightly tangy, ambiguously that... not quite vanilla... but not quite chocolate flavor. (The key is to use the highest quality ingredients since they won't be masked in a dousing of chocolate or vanilla flavoring) The buttermilk shines in her recipe.
And her cream cheese icing is indescribably good.
If you go the box route, perhaps use the WASC recipe. (If you aren't familiar, this is how I would do it) It is adapted from the WASC recipe on this site.
1 red velvet box mix
1 cup sugar (or use brown for a little depth)
2/3 cup AP flour
1/3 Cup highest quality cocoa powder
mix the dry ingredients together in a mixer with paddle attachment
In a separate bowl mix
1 Cup sour cream
1 cup water (honestly though, since it is red velvet, I would use buttermilk)
2 Tsp of vanilla
*1/2 tsp lemon or orange extract* (I added this because there is something truly interesting about a subtle hint of citrus to the red velvet. There is a bakery emulsion made by Lorann oils called "red velvet" and there is a hint of citrus notes in it and it really gives the cake a level of flavor that vanilla alone misses)
add the the wet ingredients to the dry, mix until combined and then bake as per box. You will have significantly more batter than the box alone, so it will yield more cupcakes.....I think I can usually get like 36 cupcakes from the WASC recipe (I think, it's been a while since I counted)
As for flavors to pair with it, do the cream cheese for sure. Maybe add a touch of citrus to the icing? Maybe add a raspberry on top? A white chocolate cream cheese icing could be interesting too? Maybe a fluffy chocolate icing?
i am sure they will turn out fantastic with whatever combo you choose!
I am one of those people that do not appreciate red velvet either. It does not seem to have a lot of taste aside from the interesting tang of the vinegar. From what I understand, the cocoa originally was present simply to create the red coloring. If you would like a more chocolatey flavor, you could go with a Devil's food mix instead. Cream cheese frosting is yummy and works great with red velvet cake!
I am not a big fan of red velvet. I remember One member saying she adds a package of white chocolate instant pudding to red velvet box mix. I have never tried it though.
The big trick with making red velvet is using the buttermilk in the recipe! It is what gives it that distinct flavor. I am intrigued with the idea of introducing some citrus to the recipe - might have to experiment with that! :)
Cream Cheese frosting is a good compliment to the red velvet, but I have also paired it with a Bavarian cream filling in the past - or to give it a more subtle flavor, mixed in some whipped cream to the Bavarian.
Thanks all for the info. I've decided to drop the red velvet from the list of flavors I'm making. If your interested I'm going to do a new post for opinions on I'm the flavor combos I'm thinking of doing. Check it out and give your thoughts if you want.