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Why Red Velvet is the Queen of cakes

Updated: Jun 28

The red velvet is one of the most popular cake flavours at Holly Dolly Cakes. But what makes the red velvet cake so special?


What is a red velvet cake?

In short, it’s a red-coloured buttermilk-based cocoa sponge layer cake. Typically sandwiched and topped with a cream cheese frosting.


The red velvet cake has been a popular flavour choice for the last 10 years. Its rise in the popularity ranks could be thanks to the usage of social media platforms, such as Pinterest. The bright red sponge contrasts starkly against a white cream cheese frosting and makes it a visually stunning cake. And suitable for Valentine’s, weddings, birthdays – almost any celebration, in fact.


But it’s not a new cake. Velvet sponges were a “thing” even in Victorian times. The cocoa, cornflour or almond flour used as main ingredients resulted in fine-textured velvety-soft sponges. It wasn’t much later that red food colouring was added to enhance the red-brown colour of the sponge.


Cochineal, the naturally-derived red food colour typically used, unfortunately isn’t vegan-friendly! At Holly Dolly Cakes we prefer to use an artificial red food colouring in our red velvet cakes as it results in a more vibrant sponge. And is vegetarian-friendly.


So, it’s just a dressed-up chocolate cake?


Whilst both chocolate cakes and red velvets cakes contain cocoa; a red velvet cake contains considerably less cocoa powder. It’s the unique combination of the acid content in the buttermilk, cocoa powder and baking powder that react; giving the sponge a reddish hue.

As a red velvet cake contains only a hint of cocoa, if you’re after a far more chocolatey cake we’d recommend our Decadent Chocolate cake. It’s made with real dark chocolate that results in a richer sponge.


Red Velvet is a popular flavour for those who like cakes that are less sweet. The tanginess of the cream cheese filling counteracts some of the sweetness, making it so moreish!


Are you paying just for good-looks?


At Holly Dolly Cakes a red velvet cake is no more expensive than our classic vanilla sponge. It’s the decoration and finer details that will add to the overall cost of a cake. Browse our mouth-watering sponge menu for all options.


How do I store a red velvet cake?


If you’ve been lucky enough to find yourself with leftover Holly Dolly Cakes red velvet cake these tips will keep it fresher for longer.


Holly Dolly Cakes red velvet cakes contain a cream cheese frosting, so after cutting, it should be wrapped (preferably in cling film) and then stored in the fridge. And should keep up to 5 days.

They also freeze well. Again, we’d recommend you wrap it well and freeze as soon as possible for up to a month.


Whether your cake has been stored in the fridge or freezer, to enjoy it at its best, you should defrost or thaw to bring it to room temperature. Don’t be tempted to quicken this by microwaving!


Order your red velvet cake today using our contact form and we’ll respond quickly with your personalised quote. Or head over to our flavour menu for alternative options.


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