What Makes the Red in Red Velvet Cake?

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A few days ago I asked my son what he would like for his birthday dinner.  He is turning 16 and our family will be celebrating on Sunday.  “Burgers… really BIG burgers,” he answered.  “For a vegetable I want chips and for dessert I want Red Velvet Cake.”  The burgers and chips were not a surprise but Red Velvet Cake?  Where did that come from?  I’d never made it before.

I know, I thought.  Since I don’t know how to make it, maybe this year I’ll order a cake.  I called the new “Cakeabake Bakery” I driven past many times but never had reason to stop.  They almost laughed me off of the phone for calling three days before a birthday.  Chagrinned, I tried another nearby bakery.  They didn’t laugh at me but could only offer a sheet cake, Red Velvet cake.  I may have been trying to pawn off the baking of this cake but I was not willing to give up on a traditional round birthday cake.

Next, I looked at the Food Network site for a recipe for Red Velvet Cake.  Five stars!  I was in luck!  I read through the ingredients.  It looked fairly straight forward although it was leveled “Intermediate.”  Wait a minute, I thought.  What makes it red?  Not tomatoes, not Catsup?  Two tablespoons of red food coloring!  While I was shocked, I had to laugh at myself as many of you are probably laughing as  you are reading this now.  The secret is out!

Today is Saturday and I am off to shop for Red Velvet cake ingredients, making sure to buy a large bottle of red food coloring.

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About kdoele

I am a teacher who continues to learn from students kindergarten through seventh grade. Currently teaching seventh grade English and Reading/Writing Workshop, I am exploring what it is like to "begin" again... my one little word for 2017.
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4 Responses to What Makes the Red in Red Velvet Cake?

  1. Jen Cherry says:

    And the cream cheese icing! That’s what makes red velvet cake so tasty 🙂 It’s also my favorite, so your son has good taste.

  2. I KNOW, right? I was surprised a bit when I first found that out, too. It made me judge it a bit I’m afraid. I loved how your son said for a vegetable I want chips. This story speaks of your love, too seeking to make him just what he wants for his birthday. I can almost smell the success of the cake making because of that!

  3. jehansen13 says:

    It’s funny because somehow the color makes it taste different than regular cake…I bet he’ll LOVE it!

  4. elsie says:

    Love the really big burgers with chips, that’s my idea of a great birthday dinner. However I can see that the focal point will be the cake. I’m sure it will be great, but I could never see the appeal of that cake.

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