Often used as an alternative to the traditional birthday cake, the classic red velvet cake is a rich, layered dessert consisting of a mild chocolate flavor with a distinctive red color, and white frosting that both fills between the layers and covers the cake, usually made of cream cheese or butter cream.

The Mystery of the Red Velvet Cake Origin

The true origin of the Red Velvet Cake is a mystery. The earliest story or documentation involving this decadent chocolate cake was believed to be around 1959, when a woman dining at the elegant Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City was served the dessert. She was so pleased with this early Red Velvet Cake that she asked for the recipe. The kitchen obliged to her request, but she found out later she was charged $100 (or $200, depending on the version of the story) for the recipe itself.

To get her revenge on the NYC Hotel, she shared the kitchen’s Red Velvet Cake recipe in the form of chain letters, which she sent to hundreds of individuals, therefore exposing the “secret” and exploding the popularity of and demand for the Red Velvet Cake as a birthday cake and elegant dessert.

Although it’s possible that the first recipe for the Red Velvet Cake was created at the Waldorf Astoria, others believe that its story began at the bakery of the Eaton’s department store in Canada, even though the first Eaton’s documentation appeared in a 1961 newspaper announcing the “new” Red Velvet Cake, which would position Eaton’s as the second “founder” of this desired dessert.

Still others say that it is a U.S. Southern creation that grew into a tradition, spurring hundreds of bakers and dessert enthusiasts to dive into the recipe and adapt it to craft their own, custom-made version of the ruby colored cake to use as their own birthday cakes, or to be featured in their bakeries.

Today's Red Velvet Cake Popularity

Regardless of where it first appeared, the Red Velvet Cake is suddenly all the rage. If they didn’t already offer it at one time, bakeries all over the United States are beginning to add this treat to their dessert and birthday cake menus, tweaking the original recipe to fit their own personal style, and attempting to keep up with the demand. In New York City, the Red Velvet Cake is threatening to take over the cheesecake’s place as the traditional city cake favorite.

Overall, Red Velvet Cake is one of the most popular cakes on the dessert and birthday cake menu: a mild chocolate cake filled and frosted with a rich, sweet cream cheese frosting. Often used as a birthday cake, this version of the famous dessert has pleased hundreds of our customers. Try it for yourself, or send it to a loved one to serve as his or her special birthday cake.

Famous Roles of Red Velvet Cake

1989: Steel Magnolias grey armadillo groom’s cake with a deep blood red center.

2002: Official Wedding Cake of Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey’s lavish wedding.

2007: Singer and Actress Majandra Delfino named her company, "Red Velvet Cake Records” after her favorite dessert.

2008: A line beauty products by Philosophy was named after the Red Velvet Cake.