What's The Difference Between Pink And Red Velvet Cake?

pink cake on cake stand
pink cake on cake stand - Dianebentleyraymond/Getty Images

Red velvet cake is an American classic, due in no small part to its photogenic nature. It is not, however, a particularly original choice. And with countless twists on red velvet trending in recent years, from red velvet hot chocolate to red velvet cinnamon rolls, some could argue it's become gimmicky. Pink velvet cake, on the other hand, is equally photo-worthy. And because it's less common than its crimson cousin, it's arguably more eye-catching.

Recipes for pink velvet cake mirror a classic red velvet cake recipe, but there's a one-ingredient difference. You might assume this has something to do with the color, but that's not actually the case. Both red velvet cake and pink velvet cake are typically dyed with red food coloring. Pink velvet cake just uses a little bit less of it to achieve a lighter hue. In actuality, the biggest difference between red velvet and pink velvet cake is one of flavor.

Read more: Cake Hacks Every Baker Will Wish They Knew Sooner

The Ingredient That Makes Red Velvet And Pink Velvet Cake Different

pink velvet cake slice
pink velvet cake slice - nickichen/Shutterstock

Red velvet cake traditionally includes a small amount of cocoa powder, giving it a lightly chocolatey flavor. Pink velvet cake, on the other hand, includes no cocoa powder, so it has a classic yellow cake flavor, with warm vanilla notes. It's partly thanks to the absence of cocoa powder that pink velvet cake can achieve its trademark hue, as only a light cake batter would allow for such a pale pink to come through clearly.

You might wonder what makes pink and red velvet cake members of the same family. What is a "velvet cake," after all? Velvet cakes originated in the Victorian era at a time when cakes typically had a coarse texture. Cake flour wasn't around at that time, but clever bakers figured out they could use acidic ingredients, such as buttermilk and vinegar, to break down the gluten in their baked goods, giving them a luscious, "velvety" texture.

Both pink and red velvet cakes are characterized by their inclusion of buttermilk, as are the many other forms of velvet cake.

There Are Many Colors Of Velvet Cake

blue velvet cake
blue velvet cake - Joseph Harper/Getty Images

Pink and red are just the tip of the velvet cake iceberg. Velvet cake comes in many other colors, though none are as famous and as common as the red variety.

Blue velvet cake, for instance, is a particularly notable version. And black velvet cake is truly attention-grabbing. However, when it comes to eye-catching cakes, nothing is as dramatic as rainbow velvet cake, which is made with six layers: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.

The most exciting takes on velvet cake create a connection between color and flavor. Orange velvet cake includes orange extract for a citrus kick. So, too, can yellow velvet and green velvet cakes gain a boost of flavor from lemons and limes. Purple velvet gets its color from purple yam powder. There are even versions of pink velvet cake that use raspberries for the frosting and garnish.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.