What Does Red Velvet Taste Like???

Baking By BellaSweet Updated 13 Sep 2015 , 6:08pm by Shockolata

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BellaSweet Posted 12 Aug 2008 , 9:15pm
post #1 of 26

ok, so i made red velvet cake last for an upcoming wedding. My question is: What the heck is this stuff supposed to taste like??? icon_confused.gif I am not a good person to judge on red velvet. I have only tried it for the first time last Saturday. I t was at a cupcake shop here in town. It's not that I didn't like it, it just didn't have any flavor. icon_confused.gif So I just chalked it up to thinking this cupcake shop sucks. Then I made some last night. I have a wedding this weekend and decided to do a taste test. I used Ms. Betty. Most box mixes always taste better to me. But this one didn't. Just like the other one, no flavor. They both tasted like cake without sugar. Can any seasoned cake eaters fill me in? Notice, I didn't say bakers. I think we can all say, we are very well seasoned in cake eating. icon_confused.gif

25 replies
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Kiddiekakes Posted 12 Aug 2008 , 10:08pm
post #2 of 26

It is supposed to taste like chocolate but look like say...Red velvet!!

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mandice Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 2:14pm
post #3 of 26

the first time i had red velvet was at the convention last month. it was a doctored version of a betty crocker box mix. i found that it tasted pretty much like a Jos Louie, but that was the only time i've ever had it so i could be wrong?

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michellenj Posted 29 Aug 2008 , 6:07pm
post #4 of 26

It's supposed to be chocolatey, but not deep, dark chocolatey.

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Rose_N_Crantz Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 9:49pm
post #5 of 26

I thought red velvet cake was supposed to taste like cherries. But, like yourself, I've tasted it and found there was almost no flavor. No distinguishable flavor anyways. I mostly tasted the cream cheese frosting. I guess it's really popular in the southern U.S.

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wendalynn11 Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 10:05pm
post #6 of 26

It tastes like red food coloring/chemicals to me but then I am not a fan of red velvet cake...

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MacsMom Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 10:08pm
post #7 of 26

I just went throught same thing. I ended up making mine as a variation to the WASC recipe--1 box white combined with 1 box chocolate, 2 jars of Wilton Red-Red, butter flavoring.

It actually looked more purple than red so I was relieved to see that the restaurant where I delivered it had very dim lighting!

The bride-to-be sent me en e-mail that it was the best she'd had! thumbs_up.gif

But next time I am going to use 2 boxes of white and 1 box of chocolate.

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ChefJon Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 10:16pm
post #8 of 26

Technically Red Velvet cake is a white cake with red food coloring. The additional taste comes from the frosting. Usually a Southern Red Velvet cake has Cream Cheese frosting with a lemony hint.

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linda2530 Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 10:20pm
post #9 of 26

They are really popular here, and I have never really figured out why. I do so many of them and at the holidays I loose count. I have never really understood why, my most popular recipe calls for 2 tsp. of cocoa I use Tbsp. It is a very dense cake and does get better after a few days in the frig. but as for taste, to me the only taste is the cream cheese frosting. If you want my recipe to try let me know I will share, I have 2 that I use, one has butter and one has oil, and some people request the one with oil even with it having 2 (yes 2) cups of oil.

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itsloops Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 10:25pm
post #10 of 26

IMHO it's greasy. I think it's because of the buttermilk. tapedshut.gif

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Jocmom Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 10:26pm
post #11 of 26

I always thought that it tasted like a light chocolate cake (not devil's food) with a ton of red food coloring in it. It has little taste without the cream cheese frosting. I'm not a big fan.

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PollyMaggs Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 10:43pm
post #12 of 26

* Exported from MasterCook *


Recipe By :
Serving Size : 12 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Cakes Chocolate

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 1/4 c Cake flour
1 t Baking soda
1 t Salt
1/4 c Baking cocoa
1 1/2 c Sugar
1 1/2 c Oil
2 Eggs
2 ts To 1 oz of red food color
1 t Vanilla
1 t White vinegar
1 c Buttermilk
1 pk 8 oz cream cheese
1 Stick butter
1 lb Box powdered sugar
1 t Vanilla
Milk as needed

Red velvet cake also known as the $100 dollar cake,
$200 dollar cake, or Waldorph Astoria Cake is only a
legend as is the Nieman Marcus cookies and all are
examples of a legend that pits institutions against a
consumer who feels he/she has been unfairly
charged.The recipe is a grass roots recipe not an
institutional one.

James Beard outlines in his American Cookery that
there is really 3 varieties of red velvet cake,
recipes being different in the use of butter,
vegetable shortening ( crisco ) and oil.Most all call
for cake flour and buttermilk, baking soda and vinegar
for the leaving process.

The redness of the cake comes from red food color
despite the chemical reaction of baking soda, vinegar
, buttermilk and cocoa which cause a reddish brown
color, not red in the cake.

This cake is moist and red with a velvety texture and
the flavor nondistinctive as is most red velvet cakes.
Red Velvet cake is also cultural as recipes differ in
community cookbooks accross America even as to the
type of frosting for the cake. The moistest cake is
one made with oil and cake flour.The amount of food
color is up to you.Start with 2 teaspoons as a base.

The above recipe comes from:â Celebrating Our Mothers'
Kitchenâ, a fundraising cookbook published by The
National Council for Negro Woman.

Preparation: Grease and flour 2, 9 inch pans and line
with paper.In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda,
cocoa and salt. In another bowl with mixer at low
speed or spoon beat sugar and oil until blended. Add
eggs, one at a time to blend well.Blend in food color,
vanilla and vinegar.Scape bowl down with spatula.
Alternately blend in flour mixture and buttermilk,
using about 1/3 each time and scraping bowl down at
least twice. Do not beat on high or cake will be
tough.Pour into prepared pans and bake in a preheated
350 degree oven 20 to 25 minutes or tested done with
toothpick.Cool on racks 5 minutes and remove from pan
and cool completely.Frost layers when cold.Beat cream
cheese until softened and smooth. Add butter and
continue to beat till softened. Beat in sugar a little
at a time and then vanilla.If too thick blend in cold
milk a tablespoon at a time till desired consisitency.

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Bossy Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 10:44pm
post #13 of 26

The Red Velvet cake that my Alabama relatives passed down was made as a type of pound cake with 2 bottles of red food color in it!

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Suzycakes Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 10:47pm
post #14 of 26

My true Red Velvet Cake recipe is a scratch. I have tried the cake mix and the cake mix versions -- but they taste nothing like the original scratch recipe. It has a very light taste of chocolate - but you really have to know its there before you can even find it. It is a dense cake, but mine has never been greasy and I don't see how the buttermilk could make it greasy.

According to my southern roots the original icing for red velvet is a cooked/boiled icing. You cook milk & flour in a double boiler until thick and then let cool. Then you mix butter, sugar and vanilla together and then add in the milk/flour mixture and ice the cake.

I actually only use 1 bottle of red food coloring and refill the bottle with water for 'rinse' out the rest of the red to complete the liquid for my recipe. I can't tell a difference between my version and my aunt's whom I received the 'family secret recipe' from - FINALLY AFTER 27 years of asking and begging!

So it will basically taste like a white/vanilla cake with a hint of chocolate - I know the red coloring adds a flavor to it but I would not call it bitter.

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gabbenmom Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 10:48pm
post #15 of 26

I made a couple recently and both orders said they were the best. I also did make a doctored one once with a DH red velvet mix and then put in a box of cheesecake pudding. It was pretty good. I can't describe the flavor/taste either. I don't see the point but these southerners love them. I found a scratch recipe that they all love (as mentioned above). Most just have a hint of cocoa so they aren't really chocolate flavored. Most people I have made them for don't want them to have too much cocoa, just a hint. I think it is just one of things that "grandma used to make". Linda if you post your recipes, please let me know. I had such a hard time finding a "great recipe". I ended up using one from an OLD church cook book.

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meriscakes Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 10:59pm
post #16 of 26

I just did a RV cake for a wedding. I used the Confetti Cakes recipe because it has at least a smidgen of flavour due to the larger than normal amount of cocoa used in it. It turns out to be a very dark mahogany colour. I don't like making this cake because I can't eat it icon_biggrin.gif ...the red colouring does me in: headache and stomachache. BUT, it is super moist.

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bevyd Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 3:34am
post #17 of 26

RV has a slight chocolate taste.The RV recipe I use has Hershey's cocoa and some red food coloring. Lately (the past 3 yrs) the RV cake is always blood red with cream cheese frosting.The frosting is good but the cake has no taste.The RV that I make is frosted with a white buttercream type frosting.

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moreCakePlz Posted 5 Sep 2008 , 2:07pm
post #18 of 26

The Red Velvet recipe I use makes a super moist cake that has a tangy buttermilk flavor and a hint of chocolate. I also add chopped pecans to my RV batter which adds another layer of richness. If you have never had RV cake before, think of it as a butter flavored cake with just a hint of chocolate.

If you want to use a box RV mix, you can boost the flavor by adding a 4oz box of instant chocolate pudding, 3 tablespoons of light corn syrup (Karo), and 1 tsp butter extract.

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MacsMom Posted 5 Sep 2008 , 2:10pm
post #19 of 26
Originally Posted by moreCakePlz

If you want to use a box RV mix, you can boost the flavor by adding a 4oz box of instant chocolate pudding, 3 tablespoons of light corn syrup (Karo), and 1 tsp butter extract.

Thanks for this! I bought some just because it was sale and I was curious. I'll give it a try!

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Reeninoz Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 7:39am
post #20 of 26

Hey all...

I was asking the same thing as the first poster and did some research of the orgin of the Red Velvet cake....

Interestingly we might never know what a red velvet cake tastes like because ... Well I'll let you read why.

Today, red velvet cake gets its coloring from a huge amount of red food coloring dumped in mix, staining the cake a vivid red, but it wasn't always so. Original red velvet cakes got the "velvet" part of their name not because they resembled bright red velvet dresses, but because their texture was so smooth and velvety. Their texture was, in part, influenced by the special ingredients put into the cake. Cake recipes varied, but almost all contained baking soda and either vinegar or buttermilk. Both buttermilk and vinegar are acidic, and anyone who has made a volcano in elementary school knows the copious bubbles that erupt when vinegar (or any acid) is mixed with baking soda. The bubbles fluffed up the cake, making it light and smooth.

The vinegar and buttermilk didn't just react with the baking soda. They also reacted with the cake's cocoa. Cocoa powder traditionally has anthocyanins; these are compounds that are also found in foods like red cabbage (which also features in many elementary school science projects). Red cabbage leaves can be used as pH indicators, getting redder in the presence of strong acids. It's the anthocyanins that change color in the cabbage, and they do the same in the cocoa, giving it a red finish.

But not anymore. Most of the cocoa powder on the market is processed with an alkalizing agent — a base. This neutralizes its acidity. It's the reason why a lot of recipes that use cocoa powder specify what kind of cocoa powder they take. The alkalizing agent will change the way the cake responds to baking soda or baking powder, so it will either fall flat or get too fluffy. The agent also darkens the powder, and keeps it from giving off a red tint when mixed with buttermilk or vinegar. So even if you got hold of an old recipe for red velvet cake, you probably wouldn't get the same results your cake-loving ancestors did.

...It also mentioned it was a depression cake meant for special occasions.


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CatPoet Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 11:53am
post #21 of 26

The recipe I have  of  red velvet cake is   brick red, not bright red but like a  brick. It taste  like a very light and fluffy but smooth chocolate cake.   My recipe is from  1939 and it contain the juice of one beetroot and no food colouring.  I do like that cake  but I hate the modern  red velvet cakes because it just  a white cake dyed bright  red and taste chemical.  But  I guess people love it since so many dont know how scratch cooking taste like any more,

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costumeczar Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 12:57pm
post #22 of 26

Red velvet is a buttermilk cake, not a chocolate cake. The red color used to come from  the non-alkalized cocoa  in it (only about 1 Tbsp) reacting and turning the batter a reddish color.  Then people started adding other colorings in to make their cakes redder than their friend's cakes. It's totally unnecessary to add all of the food coloring to it...When I make it I cut the color in half and it still comes out red enough to satisfy people who are used to neon candy colors.

People have argued over the origins of it for years, but I'd place my bet on it being a Southern thing, since the stories about it being from New York seem to be greatly exaggerated, considering nobody in the Northeast really knew about it until it got trendy. Everyone in the South knows about it, but a lot of people think it's a chocolate cake because some of the box mixes (I suspect) are just a light chocolate cake with red food coloring in it.

But if your red velvet cake tastes like chocolate, you did something wrong.

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leah_s Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 2:55pm
post #23 of 26

What ^ costumeczar said, exactly.  Other than that, it really doesn't have much taste.  I despise it.  A waste of good ingredients.

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costumeczar Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 4:21pm
post #24 of 26

Hahaha! It has its own flavor, I don't dislike it but it really is affected by the food coloring. The less you can get away with using, the better it tastes.

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CatPoet Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 5:36pm
post #25 of 26

Well most recipe find that are over 30 years old have cocoa powder in them and the same amount  that would be called  chocolate cake. In Sweden at that time cocoa was very expensive and  people couldn't afford it.     But by today's standards and  us being used to chemical and strong flavours it wouldn't be a chocolate cake at all.

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Shockolata Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 6:08pm
post #26 of 26

I made a red velvet this week but of my own recipe - the sort of put whatever ingredients you think might work and pray for the best. It did not taste like a normal cake as the vanilla was lost. It had a slight but ever so slight earthy flavour but not enough for people to realise I had used nearly 200 grams of blitzed beets. The outside of the cake was red but when cut the inside was a light brown colour. I learned subsequently that I should have used buttermilk and lemon juice or vinegar to preserve the colour and baked it in a cooler oven. But the cake was moist and lasted 3 days in the fridge, uncovered. All I can say about Red Velvet is that it is neutral in flavour and you would need to put lots of vanilla or something else, e.g. cardamon to give it some flavour. I would expect that grated lemon zest would work, too. 

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