Sunday, January 07, 2007


Red Velvet, to be precise.

Yesterday, for the Women's Dinner & Book Group Holiday Fete, I made red velvet cupcakes as one of my dessert offerings.

If you've never had red velvet cake, it's a goody!

Duncan Hines makes a decent box mix, which is what I used yesterday with some modifications. In fact, if you want to make a Duncan Hines cake mix into a super yummy, oh-so-bad-for-you cake, you can substitute the directions on the back and do the following:

1 Duncan Hines cake mix, any flavor
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/2 cup sweet and condensed milk
1 small package instant pudding (for white, spice, yellow, marble, carrot, etc., use vanilla; for chocolate, use chocolate.)
4 eggs

Mix all the ingredients together and return to and follow the instructions on the box.

But getting back to the red velvet cake...

What is red velvet cake exactly? As it turns out, it's chocolate cake with a load of red dye in it.

Custom holds that it's a Southern thang, but according to and Wikipedia, the legend of red velvet cake and its origins is tied to New York City's most storied hotel--the Waldorf-Astoria. But the story is along the same lines as the $250 Nieman-Marcus Chocolate Chip cookie myth that has circulated on the internet for years. The origin of red velvet cake, apparently, is equally dubious. Still, it's an eye-catching cake and one that generates conversation wherever it's served.

If you want to make this cake from scratch, here's a good recipe.


Gunfighter said...

Looks tasty, Janet!

JMK said...

It was pretty tasty.

Oh, and I should clarify, for copyright's sake, that the picture isn't mine. I found it through Google Images on this site:

Swizzies said...

Oh sure...make me COMPLETELY jealous. I want some red velvet cake now!! Yum. What kind of icing did you use?

Mmmmmm cake...

JMK said...

Swizzies: I have to confess: I used the box mix and, as a result, the frosting you buy on the shelf. I took the lazy baker's route. However, the link for the red velvet cake recipe I included is one I'm going to try in the next couple of weeks and I think it includes a cream cheese frosting. I'll let you know how it turns out when I finally make it.

Miss Understood said...

It looks yummy.

I've always thought it was strange that over here, we weigh ingredients in pounds and ounces, and you use cups. Any idea why?

JMK said...

Ms. U: It is a rather unsettling looking pastry, but if you can get past the blood red color, it's quite tasty. Did you ever see the American film "Steel Magnolias"? A red velvet cake features rather prominently in the film.

As for measurements, I don't know why we measure in cups and you in pounds and ounces. My guess would be because Americans are too dense when it comes to figuring out that 1 cup = oz. and so forth. What I really enjoy is cooking from my German and Austrian cookbooks, which do things in grams and liters. There's fun converting!

Lara said...

Red Velvet Cake....ok, it's not going to be a huge surprise to learn I went on a Red Velvet Quest a few years ago (spent a week in Jan 2005 in Atlanta, and the hotel kept serving the most divine RVC, and I felt I needed to find the perfect recipe). I was making one cake every 3 days as I sought out the perfect recipe...and so there's a box in my kitchen full of red dyes (it's not that easy to get the color without the box mix!).

Swizzies, I made another homemade carrot cake with cream cheese icing....when I come for my next visit I'll bring you red velvet cake, ok? :) Do you want it during hospital stay?

JMK said...

Lara: When's the next time you're in town? We'll have to get together and make an RVC.

Swizzies said...

Hey Lara - email me...let's DISCUSS CAKE!! :-)