Red velvet cake isn’t always distinguished as a chocolate cake, but cocoa powder is reportedly the cause of its namesake hue. Food historians suggest that the natural cocoa of the Victorian era, partnered with buttermilk, resulted in the cake’s burnished red hue and led to it being dubbed “red velvet cake.”
For us modern home cooks, who have many options when it comes to creating a red hue with anything from beets to red food coloring, it’s actually the cocoa that causes some confusion. How do you get the most chocolatey flavor? What’s the best option to create that desired color? What’s the most classic option? We’ve got the answer.