Red Velvet Cake
Although no one knows the exact origins of the red velvet cake, specifically, there are recipes for “velvet cakes” that date back to the 1800s. These cakes called for cocoa powder to be added which had the effect of softening the cake flour and giving the cake a finer texture and their name.
We do know that the recipe for red velvet cake dates back to at least the 1920s. At that time, a story began circulating about a customer at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. The story goes that the customer ate dinner at the hotel restaurant and was very impressed by the cake that she had for dessert. When she returned home, she wrote to the hotel to compliment the chef and to ask for the recipe. The hotel responded by sending her the recipe…along with a bill for some large sum of money. The customer paid the bill upon the advice of an attorney, but in an act of revenge distributed the recipe far and wide. The story eventually became something of an urban legend and resulted in red velvet cake also being referred to as Waldorf Cake, Waldorf Astoria Cake, or having the price of the recipe from the story attached to the name (for example, $100 Cake).
Whether there is any truth to the legend or not, we do know that red velvet cake grew in popularity from the 1920s until the 1950s and then waned a bit until recent years. Currently red velvet is a favorite flavor for not only cakes, but also waffles, pancakes, cookies, candies, and other sweet treats.
Soft, tender cake flavored with cocoa powder and colored bright red with food coloring. Usually served topped with some sort of white icing, often buttercream or cream cheese based.
Flour, sugar, cocoa powder, eggs, vanilla, salt, baking soda, milk or buttermilk, vinegar, red food coloring, white icing