23 February 2014

The red velvet story.

Have you ever jumped on a bandwagon of a craze so late that were kicking yourself for having dismissed it so easily?

This was me with red velvet cupcakes.

Red velvet has been such an insanely popular flavour for quite a while now and I just never quite understood it. I'd tried a few from local cupcake places and they just tasted like a normal chocolate cupcake to me with a slight chemical flavour from the obvious huge amounts of red colouring involved.

One of my best girl friends worked at a cupcake store in Melbourne and she assured me, once I tried one of their red velvet cupcakes I'd be sold. I hoped she was right and was incredibly excited when she flew over with a box for me to try, only to end up bitterly disappointed once again. They were better but I still wasn't convinced.

I was probably being a bit 'too cool for school' thinking that it was just another craze that would hopefully go away, like cake pops (have they disappeared yet? No? Damn...). Alas, the craze continued for much longer than I expected and the flavour continued to baffle me.

Baffled by red velvet. That's the way I remained until I went to California last year. I was staying in Palo Alto and while I was there I visited both Sprinkles Cupcakes and Kara's Cupcakes. Oh my golly gosh...

Sprinkles Cupcakes, Palo Alto

It all suddenly made sense! The flavour! The texture! The cream cheese frosting! Goodness gracious me!

The cupcakes from these two stores were both phenomenal. Both had incredible red velvet cupcakes, although I think I was leaning slightly more towards Sprinkles - but Kara's won me over with their Vanilla so I think all in all they're even! Either way, both red velvet's were a million times better than any I'd tried back home so my search began to recreate the flavour.

It's been eight months since then and I have tried a dozen different recipes, and then alterations to said recipes. I'm still yet to settle on one that I'm 100% happy with.

One of many red velvet recipes that was trialled, and just didn't cut it.

This past weekend I thought I would try one more recipe, however I did not have enough red food colouring. Apparently liquid food colouring could not be substituted with gel food colouring. I rarely keep liquid food colouring in the house so that was problem #1. Result: way too red for my liking. Oops!

Problem #2 resulted from me accidentally picking up the wrong type of vinegar. Note to self: never ever do this again. EVER! (Ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever!)

Perhaps my memory of the Sprinkles Red Velvet Cupcakes has made them feel better than they actually were. Perhaps cupcakes simply taste better on holidays. Perhaps I should go back and try some more...

Yes... I think I'll do just that. And perhaps I'll learn the secrets of the perfect red velvet while I'm there!

Only 35 days to go, but who's counting? (Hint: it's me!)


  1. I'm yet to even try red velvet cake, but I keep meaning to bake it myself. The amount of food colouring you need is just so off putting, though!

    1. Isn't it just? I can't get my head around it, but those I tried in California were SO delicious I think it's worth it.

      I'll give it another go sometime soon with the right ingredients ;)

      - Taryn Elise xx

  2. I'm gonna vote you go back and definitely try some more ;)

    1. I vote on this too! First stop after arriving at the airport: cupcakes!

      - Taryn Elise xx


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