3 Baking Secrets Behind Deliciously Chocolate-y Red Velvet Desserts

Here's how to make the flavor shine through!

IMAGE Riell Santos

Red velvet cakes and desserts are known for their bright red color, chocolate-y taste, soft and tender texture, and a classic cream cheese pairing. Red velvet desserts are rich, indulgent, and not to mention, pretty fun to eat!


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Using the right ingredients makes all the difference when it comes to this particular dessert. Here are our best baking tips to making perfect red velvet cakes, cheesecakes, and more.


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1 Use natural cocoa powder.

There are different kinds of cocoa powders available in groceries, so avoid picking up the wrong one. Make sure that the label reads "natural cocoa powder," because this specific type is the most concentrated and will give your red velvet desserts the best chocolate flavor. Dutch-processed cocoa powder will also work, but expect a lighter chocolate taste as your end result. 


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2 Buttermilk and vinegar are must-have ingredients.  

Both buttermilk and vinegar are acidic ingredients and will react with baking soda to create lots of carbon dioxide bubbles. These gas-filled bubbles will make your cakes rise beautifully! If you are using beets instead of red food coloring to give your desserts that distinct red color, vinegar will prevent discoloration from the beets and your desserts will stay red for a longer amount of time. 


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3 Get the best-tasting cream cheese you can afford.

Nothing beats good-quality cream cheese used for frosting. We recommend the brand Philadelphia: this thick, creamy, tasty cream cheese can be used to make the perfect frosting for red velvet desserts. All you need to do is add a little sugar, whip until fluffy, then flavor with vanilla or lemon zest. 


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