Decorating ideas for a red velvet cake

Written by melissa lewis | 13/05/2017
Decorating ideas for a red velvet cake
No matter how it's decorated, red velvet cake satisfies a sweet tooth. (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Made famous by the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, Red Velvet cake is a mild chocolate cake generously tinted with red food colouring. Paired with white frosting--traditionally cream cheese-flavoured--this visually striking dessert has become a sweet tooth's obsession either by the layered slice or as a convenient cupcake.

Red Velvet Cake Recipes

Searching for a basic Red Velvet recipe yields a surprising mix of results, as many minor variations are available. There are even options for interesting Red Velvet desserts, such as cheesecakes. However, any recipe for Red Velvet cake should incorporate a few important ingredients. Red Velvet is a more colourful version of Devil's Food cake, due to the addition of red food colouring. Buttermilk is the key to its moist, tender crumb. To avoid damaging your cake while you're frosting it, freeze it before you frost.

Traditional Red Velvet Cakes

The most common way to decorate a red velvet cake is to apply the frosting with a spatula in random sweeps and swirls. Garnish with chopped or crushed nuts on the top or sides of the cake. Simple variations might replace the nuts with shredded coconut or a sprinkling of loose cake crumbs obtained from scraps when cutting the layers. White piping is a traditional decorative border for elegant monochromatic cakes.

Red Velvet Holiday Cakes

Red Velvet cakes lend themselves perfectly to Fourtth of July celebrations when they are decorated in blue and white to mimic the American flag. Frost a cake with either cream cheese frosting or your favourite white icing. Reserve some of the frosting so you can colour it blue with food dye. Pipe blue frosting into star shapes or stripes or simply arrange blueberries and raspberries on the top of the cake for a patriotic presentation. Sprinkle crushed peppermint sticks on top of a Red Velvet for a quick, festive look or colour some frosting for red or green piped designs, such as holly or poinsettia flowers. For Valentine's Day, decorate with red candy hearts or piped roses.

Unique Red Velvet Cake Decorations

There's no reason you can't use your favourite cake decorating ideas to decorate Red Velvet cake. But because you reveal a vibrant red when you cut the cake, coordinate the colour of your frosting and decorations with this colour as well. Tint frosting pink for a baby shower cake and decorate with white piping, or use chocolate shavings as a simple decoration for an everyday Red Velvet cake. Use multicoloured candies with red in the mix to brighten up white icing for a festive birthday cake.

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