Red Velvet Cake and Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cake from the Buttercup Bake Shop (NYC) - Photo Courtesy of the Buttercup Bake Shop

Red Velvet Cake from the Buttercup Bake Shop (NYC) – Photo Courtesy of the Buttercup Bake Shop

With red cake and white frosting (usually cream cheese), Red Velvet Cake and Cupcakes are some of the most striking of desserts.

Although Red Velvet Cake is often thought of as a Southern specialty, its origin may be a little murkier. According to Colman Andrews, author of The Taste of America, Red Velvet Cake was popular at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York in the 1920’s. This might be before it was enjoyed in the South.

How do you get the cake to turn red? Typically red food coloring.  However a pigment in cocoa powder (an integral Red Velvet component) helps the red hue along, especially when mixed with acidic ingredients.

Red Velvet is certainly a showy dessert, but is it a popular one?  The answer seems to be “yes.”

Red Velvet Cake from SusieCakes Bakeries (Northern and Southern California)  - Photo Courtesy of SusieCakes Bakeries

Red Velvet Cake from SusieCakes Bakeries (Northern and Southern California) – Photo Courtesy of SusieCakes Bakeries


Susie, of SusieCakes Bakeries, located in both Southern and Northern California, said  her Red Velvet Cake and Cupcakes are extremely popular.

Red Velvet Cupcake from Bumblebee Bakeshop (San Francisco) - Photo Courtesy of Bumblebee Bakeshop

Red Velvet Cupcake from Bumblebee Bakeshop (San Francisco) – Photo Courtesy of Bumblebee Bakeshop


Red Velvet Cupcakes and Cake are so popular, they’re the top seller for the Bumblebee Bakeshop, based in San Francisco.

Red Velvet Cake from Ruggles Café Bakery (Houston) - Photo Courtesy of Ruggles Café Bakery

Red Velvet Cake from Ruggles Café Bakery (Houston) – Photo Courtesy of Ruggles Café Bakery

 Houston-based Ruggles Cafe Bakery offers 30 different desserts on a daily basis. And Red Velvet Cake is one of the 10 most ordered desserts at the bakery.  Ruggles’ Alexia Nino speculates that one of the reasons Red Velvet is so well liked is the frosting “….. the general crowd is looking to get their cream cheese frosting fix…”

The Cheesecake Factory's Ultimate Red Velvet Cheesecake, Distributed by Harry & David - Photo as Seen On the Web Sites of Both Companies

The Cheesecake Factory’s Ultimate Red Velvet Cheesecake, Distributed by Harry & David – Photo as Seen on the Web Sites of Both Companies

 Of the many different Cheesecakes offered by the Cheesecake Factory, Harry & David distributes 9 different ones.  It’s probably safe to assume these are the 9 most popular flavors.  And yes, you guessed it, Red Velvet Cheesecake is in this group of 9.  (Also see the Dessert Surveillance Posting on Cheesecake.)

Blue Dot Donuts' Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Donuts (donuts to the left) - Photo Courtesy of Blue Dot Donuts

Blue Dot Donuts’ Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Donuts (New Orleans) – Photo Courtesy of Blue Dot Donuts

 What’s more, Red Velvet is not restricted to Cake and Cupcakes.  Blue Dot Donuts in New Orleans offers a Red Velvet and Cream Cheese Donut.  “Red Velvet Cake” is a Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream flavor, complete with Red Velvet Cake pieces and a Cream Cheese Frosting Swirl.  You can find plenty of recipes for Red Velvet Cookies – usually with a Cream Cheese Frosting or Filling.

 Let’s hear it for showy desserts!

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4 thoughts on “Red Velvet Cake and Cupcakes

  1. Robert says:

    Looks delicious!

  2. Don’t they all! Makes me realize it’s been too long since I’ve enjoyed a slice of Red Velvet Cake!

  3. Rhoda says:

    Red Velvet is typically not my favorite, but add good cream cheese frosting to anything and I’m on it!

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