History of Red Velvet Cake

Red velvet cake, the creamy red decadent cake, has traditionally been a Southern specialty. The main ingredient most Southerners will not do without in their homemade recipes is cocoa. Many believe the additional ingredients of vinegar and buttermilk will turn the cocoa into a deeper red color. During World War II, some bakers who refused to forgo the cake's signature color despite food rations, used boiled red beets instead of food coloring for their secret recipes. There is another theory that red velvet cake originated in Canada.

The Legend
The exact history of red velvet cake is unknown. There is, however, a well known story of how the recipe came to be. The legend claims a woman was staying at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. She loved the cake she had sampled there so much that she wrote to the hotel, asking for the baker's name and a copy of the recipe. The recipe arrived in the mail alongside a rather large bill. The story explains that the woman was so furious, she copied the recipe and sent it to everyone she knew. 

Red Velvet On Film
A red velvet cake was featured in the 1989 film Steel Magnolias, which led to a great resurgence of Southerners recreating the recipe for themselves. The armadillo-shaped red velvet cake served as a groom's cake for one of the film's main character.

Red velvet cake frosting is typically a white, creamy color, which serves as a dramatic contrast to the color of the actual cake. Although the types can vary, many stick with a traditional cream cheese frosting. Others might opt for a buttercream frosting which will also do the trick.

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Like anything you bake, learning how to make a cake is part art and part science. The first step is choosing what kind of cake you want to make and then using the best quality ingredients you can find and measuring them carefully. Be sure to follow the recipe's instructions for mixing and soon you may find that when you make a cake, you're not only creating something tasty, but expressing your own creativity through baking.

There might be only a few better things in life than savoring a piece of delicious crumb cake alongside a cup of hot tea or coffee. This recipe for a great crumb cake is quite simple and offers the baker a choice of crumb level in their final product.

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