I really don't like normal red velvet cake. It doesn't have enough distinctive flavor to really classify it as chocolate or anything else. It's just sort of sweet and bland with a red food coloring aftertaste. So I did some research on where red velvet cake comes from. I found this fabulous article on benstarr.com explaining that a velvet cake was "a simple cake with a luxurious texture thanks to the reaction of acidic buttermilk with alkaline baking soda. There were many versions of velvet cake, and they appear in recipe books dating back to the early 1800s. There was pineapple velvet cake. Lemon velvet cake. Red velvet cake, which simply referred to a vanilla velvet cake made with “red sugar”…which is what brown sugar was called back then. And “mahogany velvet cake,” which was a chocolate version of the cake that happened to turn a reddish color when the cocoa powder met the buttermilk."
So basically red velvet cake used to be a chocolate cake made with non alkaline cocoa powder and brown sugar. It wasn't until an extract and food coloring company in the 1930s altered the recipe to use more of their red coloring and less cocoa did red velvet cake became the blah thing we know today. Benstarr.com then reversed engineered the recipe to its original roots. I tried that recipe out, and the result is a lovely moist chocolate cupcake with a reddish tone and creamy, tangy cream cheese frosting that is soooooo much better than the normal red velvet cake. Isn't baking history fun!
Now that you know more about red velvet cake, check out our Red Velvet Cookies and Cream Cookie! It has buttermilk in the dough to pay homage to red velvet cake! It also has loads of yummy cookies and cream flavor with chocolate sandwich cookie pieces plus semi-sweet chocolate chip and white chocolate chips.