As a semi-Southener, though it’s tough to admit that I was born and partially raised there, red velvet cake is a Southern’s signature dessert. It is served in cake form, as cupcakes, cookies, cake-pops and even as my favorite flavor at Yogurtland (which unfortunately is not a native Southern staple.)

Red velvet is seemingly the go-to flavor on every baking show on television, tirelessly played out as a classic flavor, even Florian Bellanger of Cup Cake wars loathes red velvet cake! So why am I even attempting to make this cake? Because it’s just damn good and pretty challenging too!

If you’ve never tasted red velvet I would say you’re missing out. My description of red velvet would be like a vanilla-light chocolately-kinda yellow cake flavored-red colored cake!

Whew! Even tougher to describe then the flavor is the history of this cake. Cake legend places its conception at  New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in the 1920s. But after some digging and reading many a skeptics blogs on the Waldorf-Astoria birth, it seems the true man to thank is John A. Adams. Adams was the owner of a food coloring and extract business, started in the late 1800s. During the Great Depression his business was failing. “He began setting up displays in groceries throughout the Midwest and parts of the South. These featured Adams Extract Company products under a huge color photo of the reddest Red Velvet cake ever seen. A free copy of the recipe (modified to include Adams Best Vanilla, Adams Butter Flavor, and two bottles of Adams Red Color) came with every purchase.1”

Just like that the fight for the reddest red velvet cake was born!

For my cake I chose the Waldorf-Astoria recipe. TIP #1: make sure you buy enough red coloring! I did not have enough so my cake was a muddled red instead of a bright red like I had hoped for.

I also created my own fondant! This marshmallow fondant, using marshmallows and confectioners sugar, is actually is edible, or should I say enjoyable! Although I still haven’t discovered the secret to rolling out marshmallow fondant without it sticking to everything! Help!!

Don’t judge my lumpy marshmallow fondant, its not beautiful, but it tastes amazing!

A day later! After letting my fondant chill for 8 hours my cake was ready to be assembled! The buttercream frosting that I made for the inside was very creamy and rich in flavor the red velvet cake flavor was also on point. A few things I have learned:

1. Make fondant the night before then make the cake the next day.

2. If you think the cake needs a few more minutes…it doesn’t! Take it out and let it sit, it will cook as it cools and you will save yourself from a dry cake.

3. ALWAYS make as much icing as a recipe calls for, even if it seems like too much…its not!

1. The Unknown History of the Red Velvet Cake – Stella Parks


One thought on “

  1. I don’t refrigerate my fondant – I would think that trying to work with cold fondant would be really difficult! I have a good recipe for red velvet using the Duncan Hines box cake and adding some additional ingredients, including buttermilk, sour cream, and white chocolate pudding mix. I know some people turn their noses up at a boxed cake mix, but for me it saves time from having to measure out all the flour/sugar/soda etc ingredients.

    Your cake looks nice Laura!

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