Did you know that red velvet cake is just chocolate cake with red food coloring?
Red velvet cake is actually made with cocoa powder, vinegar, and buttermilk compared to a traditional chocolate cake recipe with no vinegar or buttermilk! According to the interwebs, the chemical reaction between the cocoa powder (which contains anthocyanin, a pH-sensitive antioxidant that reacts to acids), vinegar, and buttermilk makes the cake its famous red-tinted/maroon color. However, as a marketing ploy by Adam’s Extract (a food dye company) back in the day, they added red coloring to the red velvet cake to enhance the maroon color to the bright red color that we know today. Sneaky sneaky. Lastly, red velvet cake is almost always served with cream cheese frosting, where chocolate cake is served with all different kinds of frosting!
p.s. don’t feel silly, I literally just learned these facts this past weekend while doing some research on red velvet cake… hopefully you didn’t spend your weekend doing this too ha!
No matter what red velvet actually is… it’s freaking delicious. I decided to take this deliciousness and turn it into red velvet donuts! Because…
a) donuts are adorable
b) donuts are delicious
c) donuts are super fun
d) donuts are life
Guess what?! Ummm these red velvet donuts are like extra extra moist!!
p.s.s. I know some people hate this word but… there isn’t a better word to describe something that isn’t dry…
These mouthwatering red velvet donuts are also double dipped in cream cheese frosting… swoon. Why double dipped? Well… I first garnished these babies with red sugar sprinkles (which you can probably find a trace of in the pictures) but decided I didn’t like how they looked… sooooo I let the first frosting dry then dipped them again into the cream cheese frosting then topped them with red frosting stripes. Way more fun than red sprinkles!
Now, I know Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and these would be totes adorable for vday BUT feel free to make these any day of the year. You could also throw some green sprinkles on top and makes these for Christmas in like 10 months… just sayin’ 🙂
OR add blue sprinkles for Fourth of July?! Honestly, you should just make these whenever you want because #donutsarelife.
red velvet donuts with cream cheese frosting
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, room temp
- 1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons red food coloring
cream cheese frosting
- 2 ounces cream cheese, room temp
- 2 tablespoons butter, room temp
- 1 teaspoon clear vanilla flavoring/imitation vanilla (if you use normal/brown vanilla extract, your cream cheese frosting won't be extra white)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- pinch of fine sea salt
- splash of milk (less than a tablespoon)
- + sprinkles or food coloring to decorate
Preheat oven to 350F. Coat a large donut pan* with cooking spray or butter.
- Whisk together flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
- In a large bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, butter, vanilla extract, and red food coloring until well combined. Using a rubber spatula, mix in the dry ingredients from step two then stir until well combined and a batter forms.
- Transfer batter to a piping bag or ziploc bag with the corner snipped. Pipe batter into prepared donut pan, filling each donut opening/mold only 2/3rds full, then bake for 12-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a donut comes out clean. Alternatively, you could spoon the batter into pan. Let donuts cool a few minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool to room temp.
Dip or spread frosting on cooled donuts (x2 if you so choose) then garnish with sprinkles and/or striped colored frosting.
cream cheese frosting
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a whisk), beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla flavoring together until completely smooth. Add in the powdered sugar, salt, and splash of milk then continue to beat until a smooth frosting forms. If you wish to garnish with frosting stripes, scoop about 1/4 cup of white frosting into a small bowl, add food coloring of choice then mix until correct color forms. Transfer colored frosting to a piping bag with a small opening tip then pipe stripes onto donuts as you see fit 🙂
*This is the donut pan I used! Total time includes cooling and frosting time.
You’ll notice that my recipe doesn’t contain vinegar even though I stated earlier that red velvet cake involves cocoa powder, vinegar, and buttermilk… well, I first made this recipe with 1 teaspoon of vinegar then again without it and honestly… I much preferred the taste of the donut without vinegar so there you go! 🙂
p.s.s.s. if donuts aren’t your thing, you should totally make these brown butter white chocolate rice krispies treats for vday!