People are crazy about red velvet cake. It’s beloved in the South (who remembers the Bleedin’ Armadillo Grooms cake from Steel Magnolias?) but has taken all of America by storm over the past few years — it’s found in nearly every bakery on the block. Is the obsession with red-velvet cake due to the cake’s obvious merit: tender, moist cake in an attention-grabbing hue, topped with a pouf of creamy-tart cream cheese frosting? Or do we have the rumor mill to thank? Baked goods-enthusiasts have been spreading tales for some time that the cake gets its blush from a chemical reaction between the baking soda and the cocoa powder in the recipe. This is completely false, in fact, some red velvet recipes don’t even call for cocoa. The cake gets its color from nothing more scientific than a large amount of food coloring.
So if you can make the cake red by dumping in a whole bunch of red coloring, then you can turn it any color, right? You sure can. Case in point: Green Velvet Cake for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s as easy as swapping green food coloring for red in your red velvet cake recipe. Or Chuck Hughes’ Red Velvet Cupcake recipe, if you really want the best.