Red Velvet: Origins, Ingredients, and Recipes to Try at Home

Red Velvet: Origins, Ingredients, and Recipes to Try at Home
Written by Fandy

Which of you doesn’t know Red Velvet? The taste of food that is a favorite of many people has been popular for several years. No wonder because it tastes sweet, soft, and addictive. You can find various types of food and drinks with red velvet flavor at various food outlets, including tarts, sweet martabak, milkshakes, ice cream, and so on. However, do you know what red velvet actually tastes like and what ingredients it is made of?

Definition of Red Velvet Cake

Red velvet cake or in Indonesian known as red velvet cake/red velvet cake is a red, reddish brown, or reddish chocolate layer cake, covered with white cream cheese. Traditional recipes do not use food coloring, with the red color being obtained from cocoa powder which contains anthocyanins.

Asal-Usul Red Velvet Cake

From the first point of view, red velvet is believed to have existed since the 1800s. At that time the red velvet recipe was well known, but still referred to the type of cake. That is, there is a cake known as kue merah, which later changed its name to red velvet because of the soft and tender texture of the cake (velvet).

Furthermore, red velvet is also considered popular since World War II, which is around the 1940s. Red velvet is known as a popular cake in the United States because it is a cake that is often served to war soldiers. The reason why red velvet is served to US soldiers is quite simple.

During World War II, pastry chefs had difficulty getting ingredients commonly used in making cakes, including food coloring. These limited conditions made chefs start to innovate and use natural dyes. To be more precise, they use beetroot to make a cake that is red in color and is called red velvet.

There is another story about the origin of red velvet, which comes from the Waldorf-Astoria, a well-known restaurant in New York, United States. According to the story circulating, there was a rich woman who came to the restaurant and was amazed by the cake she was eating. It is a red cake which is the restaurant’s special menu.

Because the woman really liked this red cake, she asked the chef who made it for the cake recipe. The restaurant then gave the recipe on condition that they had to pay 350 dollars. This is where the red velvet cake recipe began to spread when the woman started making her own red velvet and sharing the recipe with people.

In addition, the fourth version of the story about the origin of red velvet is said to come from the Earton Department Store in Canada. This is a restaurant as well as a bakery. From the 1940s to the 1950s, the owner’s wife made red velvet with her own recipe and then sold it. Red velvet is then claimed to be an original product from Earton which cannot be found anywhere else.

Furthermore, red velvet has become increasingly known to the world since its appearance in a film in 1989 entitled A Steel Magnoliasa . The film tells the story of a groom who brings a red cake called red velvet. The shape of the cake is similar to that of an armadillo (a type of tapir) which is then given to the bride. The appearance of this scene in the film makes red velvet give the impression of being a romantic and sexy cake for young people.

Ingredients for Red Velvet Cake

1. Made from Various Materials

Red velvet is now no longer only intended to refer to types of cakes, but is also used as a type of flavor that is suitable for food and drinks. This typical red cake is actually made from various ingredients. The ingredients used include buttermilk , cocoa powder, coffee, vinegar, white vinegar , and red food coloring. These dyes can be natural or safe synthetic dyes.

Due to the use of cocoa powder and buttermilk , the taste of red velvet is slightly similar to the taste of chocolate, but gives a sweeter and more unique taste sensation. In addition, red velvet is also made to produce a softer food texture or creamier drinks .

The red velvet color looks beautiful and attractive when using Dutch cocoa powder which has a characteristic light brown powder color. As a result, when all the ingredients have been mixed, the resulting color is reddish brown. Meanwhile, to produce a lighter color, people started using beetroot extract or dyes that can produce a red color, instead of using Dutch cocoa powder.

2. Combined with Various Flavors

Red velvet is so popular because the color can really describe the overall taste of the food or drink that uses this material. The original red velvet is actually enough to leave a delicious impression on the tongue. However, over time, red velvet began to be combined with other flavors.

Red velvet, which has an earthy taste from beetroot extract, is perfect for pairing with peanut, caramel, or nougat flavors. This combination produces the red velvet nougatine variant . Not only that, red velvet can also be combined with vanilla flavor to produce food preparations that are sweeter and taste stronger.

Furthermore, the texture of red velvet which is softer than chocolate is suitable to be paired with cream cheese. This is what makes almost all foods that use red velvet flavor be combined with cream cheese that will melt in the mouth.

Varian Red Velvet

Red velvet can not only be enjoyed in the form of cakes, but there are several types of food and drinks that you can taste as culinary creations from red velvet.

1. Red Velvet Cake


It’s no secret that the most important and popular variant of red velvet is cake . This food is what makes red velvet sometimes synonymous with cake or sponge. Red velvet cake is a red or reddish brown chocolate-coated cake covered with white cream cheese.

The traditional recipe for this cake usually does not use food coloring, but the red color is obtained from a special cocoa powder. This material contains anthocyanin color components, which produce a distinctive red velvet color. Usually, red velvet cakes are quite premium, both in terms of price and appearance.

2. Sweet Red Velvet Martabak

Martabak red velvet, which comes in a bright red color, is very tempting for anyone who has a sweet tooth. This martabak is often the choice of contemporary snacks with a sweet, legit taste and the addition of various toppings .

Making red velvet martabak is the same as making sweet martabak in general, but there are additional ingredients such as red velvet powder to make the color bright and taste like red velvet. Most red velvet sweet martabak are filled with cream cheese topping mixed with crushed Oreos. However, there are also those who add bananas, cheese slices, meses, to avocado as additional toppings .

3. Given Red Velvet

Donuts, which are cakes with a hole in the middle, already have red velvet flavors in Indonesia. Red velvet donuts are perfect as a snack while drinking tea or coffee. The taste of this donut is combined with a sprinkling of nuts and cream cheese which has become a hit menu lately. It is not surprising that various red velvet donut motifs are found which add to the attractiveness of the appearance of this food.

Powered By

Loaded: 1.17%

4. Crepes Red Velvet


Crepes are thin pancakes made from wheat flour, eggs, milk and butter. This is a food that originates from Europe, specifically France. However, now it has been widely consumed by other countries, including in Indonesia. Crepes are a very popular culinary dish because they are thin in shape with a crunchy texture and offer a variety of flavors.

If usually the skin of the crepes is yellowish brown and smells of vanilla, now the crepes can also be combined with red velvet, so that the color becomes reddish. Red velvet crepes can be found as street food or at food stands in malls where they are usually mixed with vanilla ice cream. Some premium crepes also get additional toppings in the form of fresh fruits.

5. Pinch Cake

Pinch cake is a traditional snack that is delicious, sweet and soft. The shape is small and fits as a light snack, making many people start creating it with a contemporary taste. Not only the green tea cubit cake which was a hit , now there is the red velvet cubit cake which is no less popular.

Besides looking attractive, red velvet cubit cake is also easy to make at home because it’s so simple to make. In addition, the materials needed are very easy to obtain. The topping of kue cubit is usually matched with cheese, meses and chocochips .

6. It Crimea

Ice cream that is sold today does have extraordinary variations. There are unique ice creams and some that are very modern, like red velvet ice cream. Red Velvet ice cream has been widely used as a variation of branded ice cream products such as Magnum, Joyday, Walls, and so on. The taste of red velvet ice cream is very similar to red velvet cake . The only part that distinguishes it is the refreshing cold sensation and melts in the mouth which both children and adults will love.

7. Sweet Drinks

Sweet drinks with red velvet flavor are starting to be found in coffee shops . The taste is not much different from red velvet ice cream. The red velvet drink is made from pure milk and chocolate, then mixed with red velvet flavored powder. The red velvet flavored sweet drink can be served cold or hot.

Thus, it is actually not difficult to find various desserts that use red velvet flavor. In addition to the list above, other variants of red velvet include puddings, cupcakes, waffles , macarons, and sugar candies. With a very soft and moist red velvet texture , almost everyone likes this taste.

Of course, to produce a red velvet dessert behind its soft texture is certainly not an easy thing. One must really learn the technique of making it with the materials used. In particular, to make a red velvet cake you also have to know the techniques in the baking process which greatly affect the final result of the red velvet cake.

Therefore, before making various red velvet desserts , you better learn the easier recipe first. Meanwhile, if you want to enjoy the taste of this prima donna without the hassle of making it, you can buy it at cake shops, coffee shops , and even now it’s available online.

Red Velvet Recipes You Can Try at Home

Here are some red velvet recipes that you can try practicing at home. Recipes vary, from food to drinks.

1. Red Velvet Classic Cake

The first red velvet recipe is red velvet classic cake . Here are the ingredients and how to make it.


  • 250 gr of flour.
  • Red velvet chocolate powder.
  • Baking soda.
  • Powdered vanilla.
  • 2 eggs.
  • 100 ml of milk.
  • 100 gr butter.
  • Cream cheese.
  • Fine granulated sugar.
  • Vanilla.

How to make:

  • Mix the dry ingredients which consist of flour, red velvet chocolate powder, baking soda, and vanilla powder. Then, separately beat the two eggs, milk and butter.
  • Next, mix the two into a thick batter.
  • Divide the dough into two and put it in the pan.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.
  • For the frosting , mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla.
  • After the cake is cooked, cover and decorate with the frosting mixture.
  • Chill in refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  • Red velvet classic cake is ready to be served.

2. Red Velvet Roll Cheese

The second red velvet recipe is red velvet roll cheese. Here are the ingredients and how to make it.


  • 6 egg yolks.
  • 5 egg whites.
  • 100 grams of granulated sugar.
  • 2 sdt emulsifier.
  • 80 gr of flour.
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch.
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder.
  • 100 gr melted butter.
  • 2 tbsp liquid milk.
  • 1 tbsp red coloring
  • 5 tbsp cream cheese as spread
  • Powdered sugar for sprinkling to taste.

How to make:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  • Set aside in a container, mix egg yolks, egg whites, sugar and emulsifier.
  • Whisk until white, thick, and streaky.
  • Add flour, cornstarch and cocoa powder.
  • Shake again until smooth.
  • Add melted butter, liquid milk, and coloring.
  • Stir fold with a spatula.
  • Pour the mixture into a tin that has been greased with margarine and lined with parchment paper.
  • Flatten the dough and gently tap the pan to get rid of excess air in the cake batter.
  • Bake the cake in the oven for 20 minutes until cooked.
  • Remove the pan and let it cool.
  • Remove the cake from the tin.
  • Brush the cake with cream cheese then roll it while compacting it.
  • Sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar and cut into pieces.
  • Red velvet roll cheese is ready to be served.

3. Red Velvet Cookies

The third red velvet recipe is red velvet cookies. Here are the ingredients and how to make it.


  • 250 gr butter.
  • 100 gr white sugar.
  • 1 egg.
  • Vanilla extract.
  • 2 cups of flour.
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch.
  • 1 cup red velvet powder
  • Almonds and choco chips to taste.

How to make:

  • Beat the butter with a mixer, then add the white sugar, eggs and vanilla extract to taste.
  • In a different bowl, mix the flour, cornstarch and red velvet powder.
  • Then, stir the two mixtures together in a container.
  • Add chopped almonds and choco chips to add texture and flavor.
  • Leave the dough for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  • Next, form into small circles in the pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the dough for 10-12 minutes.
  • Remove and chill.
  • Red velvet cookies are ready to be served.

4. Red Velvet Milkshake

The fourth red velvet recipe is the red velvet milkshake. Here are the ingredients and how to make it.


  • 1 cup of vanilla milk.
  • Cup plain yogurt.
  • Red velvet powder cups .
  • 1 spoon of cocoa powder.
  • Sufficient liquid sugar.
  • Shaved ice (to taste).
  • Whipped cream.

How to make:

  • Blend all the ingredients above with shaved ice.
  • After everything is mixed, put it in a glass.
  • Garnish with whipped cream .
  • Red velvet milkshake is ready to be enjoyed.