I came across this blog post from years ago of some one who did a red velvet cake taste off to see which red velvet cake recipe was the best.
Here is an excerpt from the blog followed by pictures of the actual cakes she baked. The largest percentage of recipes I found used BUTTER as the fat. The butter recipes I found are:
- Sylvia’s Red Velvet - from Emeril’s site
- Joy of Baking’s Red Velvet (same as Epicurious’ Red Velvet)
- Grandmother Paula’s Red Velvet – from Paula Deen at the Food Network
- Montclair Martha’s Red Velvet – from Martha Stewart
- Hummingbird’s Red Velvet
- Magnolia Bakery’s Red Velvet
- Brown Derby Red Velvet
- Cooks Country Red Velvet
- Christmas Red Velvet - from The Pastry Queen, Rebecca Rather
The recipes are very similar with just minor changes in sugar, cocoa, and vinegar content. In the end I selected Paula Deen’s version as the "typical butter” RVC . I also selected Rebecca Rather’s version because it added sour cream in addition to the butter.
In the OIL category of RVC are:
- Cake Man Raven’s Southern Red Velvet (same as Apple a Day and Saveur)
- Rachel’s Red Velvet – from Martha Stewart
- Sara Moulton’s Southern Red Velvet
- Smitten Kitchen's Red Velvet Cake from “The Confetti Cakes Cookbook” by Elisa Stauss
- Bobby Flay’s Red Velvet Cake
Because it is so famous, I selected the Cake Man Raven version. I also selected Bobby Flay’s version which uses a combination of oil and butter.
Next were the SHORTENING RVCs. This category had the smallest number of recipe variations but it includes the most famous of them all: Waldorf Astoria Red Velvet Cake. I also found a variation of the Waldorf recipe that included Cane Syrup. The syrup recipe looked interesting (could Cane Syrup possibly be the secret to Piccadilly's unique RVC?) so I included it in the baking lineup.
Last but not least is the OTHER category of RVC recipes. I recently received a copy of Melissa Gray’s book All Cakes Considered which includes a RVC recipe that contains no buttermilk. Hummm. I was curious enough to add her version to the experiment.
So in the end I settled on 8 different RVC recipes to use in my taste test:
- Grandmother Paula’s Red Velvet Cake – Paula Deen (butter)
- Cake Man Raven’s Southern Red Velvet (oil)
- Waldorf Astoria Red Velvet Cake (shortening)
- Bobby Flay’s Red Velvet Cake (butter & oil)
- Louisiana Red Velvet (shortening & cane syrup)
- The Pastry Queen, Rebecca Rather’s Christmas Red Velvet Cake (butter & sour cream)
- Melissa Gray’s Dark-Chocolate Red Velvet Cake (no buttermilk, sour cream)
- Duncan Hines Red Velvet Box Mix – YES a box mix. I wanted to see how a box mix compared to the scratch recipes. The results were: 1. cake man raven. 2. Pastry Queen 3. Waldorf 4. Duncan Hines 5. Louisiana red velvet 6. Paula Deen's Grandmother Pauls red velvet. 7. Bobby Flay's red velvet cake 8. Melissa grays' red velvet cake.
What were your results?
He has the results listed at the bottom of number 8. Looks like cake man raven was number 1. I have never made red velvet so maybe I will try cake man raven cake. Thanks for doing all the leg work for us.
cake man raven red velvet cake recipe
I did not do this cake bake off the person who owns the blog did it
I looked it up on google and tried to copy and paste recipe but for some reason it did not paste. If you look it up on google you will be able to get the recipe. It has buttermilk in it.