Food for Thought: A Short History of Red Velvet Cake 8 years ago

Food for Thought: A Short History of Red Velvet Cake

We need food and drink to survive, to nourish us and to keep us in tip-top shape. But did you ever wonder about the history behind certain cakes?

This week we’re bringing you the history behind the Red Velvet Cake.


The Red Velvet Cake story is an interesting one. The first hint of the red mix was during World War II, when bakers are said to have used beet juices to enhance the colour of their cakes – they were also used to retain moisture.

During the Great Depression, Texan company Adams Extract, is largely credited with popularising and bringing the red velvet cake to kitchens across the US.

It’s said that they were the first to sell the signature red food colouring  and butter extract instead of the traditional ingredients that made the overall product more affordable to make.

According to Mental Floss; "the “velvet” comes not from the color of crushed velvet, but from the smooth texture of fine cake crumb."


Though the original recipe is often said to have come from the famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York in the 1920s – though it’s also said that it was a more Southern recipe.

In recent years, the cake has been revamped as a cupcake with many bakeries across the world baking tons of batches of the much loved treat every day.