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Red Velvet Birthday Cake

A velvety cake for a very special occasion

What is a red velvet cake?

A red velvet cake is a type of chocolate cake that has a distinctive red or reddish-brown colour, and a rich, moist texture. It gets its unique colour from a reaction between acidic ingredients such as buttermilk or vinegar, and the cocoa powder. It is often layered with cream cheese icing, and is known for its slightly tangy and cocoa-flavoured taste.

There’s some uncertainty surrounding the exact origins of the red velvet cake as it isn’t well-documented. There are several theories surrounding it’s invention, however it is often associated with the United States, particularly in the Southern States of North America.

One popular theory suggests that the Adams Extract Company, a food colouring and flavouring company based in the United States, played a role in popularising red velvet cake. According to this theory, the company included a recipe for “Velvet cake” using their red food colouring in their product catalogues in the 1920s. It’s believed that the red food colouring gave the cake its distinctive appearance and contributed to its popularity.

Another theory links the origin of red velvet cake to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. It’s said that the hotel’s recipe for “Red Velvet Cake” gained popularity after it was featured in newspapers and cookbooks in the 1950s. Although there is limited evidence that confirms this theory.

The final favourite theory comes from the Great Depression. Some suggest that the red colour of the cake was initially a result of a chemical reaction between cocoa powder and vinegar, which were commonly used during the Great Depression in America, when ingredients like butter and eggs were scarce. The reaction between the two ingredients could have enhanced the reddish hue of a chocolate cake.

Red velvet cakes are traditionally made with ingredients such as flour, sugar, coco powder, buttermilk, butter, eggs, and vanilla extract. The cake batter is usually flavoured with a small amount of cocoa powder to give it a slight chocolate flavour, but not enough to overpower the other ingredients.

It became a favourite go-to cake in America for special occasions, and like many things, the UK have adopted this cake flavour into its repertoire, and many Brits enjoy Red Velvet birthday cakes now.

Making a red velvet birthday cake at home might be a little bit daunting, as it does involve some ingredients that aren’t used in typical sponge cakes. So, you would need to practice a recipe a few times. Or, you could save yourself time and energy, and order a red velvet birthday cake online and get it delivered to your door.

Sponge has a fabulous red velvet cake that can be delivered to you anywhere in the UK, we even offer next day delivery when your order by 3pm (some postcodes may not be eligible for this service – please check our delivery page for more information).

Red Velvet Cake – Our Red Velvet Cake has a striking deep-red Sponge with chocolate notes. It is held together and topped with a velvety vanilla buttercream filling and sprinkled with a pretty red crumb. We use cocoa powder, beetroot powder, and natural yoghurt to achieve the scrumptious characteristic red velvet colour, taste, and texture.