A velvet experiment

Recently, I’ve been noticing more “specialty diets/food restrictions” popping up (I’m sure they’ve been occurring for a while now and I’ve just been rather oblivious) – things like gluten-free, vegan, food-dye allergies, etc. I feel like they’ve become more mainstream and there’s more awareness of things like this than before. Perhaps it’s because I now know more people who have specialty diets than I did before? My coworker is allergic to food-dyes. It wasn’t until I met him that I realized there was such an allergy. And, with some research, I found it’s not a very common allergy. With this in mind, I wanted to remake the usual crowd-pleaser, red velvet, into a treat my coworker could have along with the rest of us. “My” red velvet recipe (originally from I Spy’s blog) was the base. All I did was substitute the 2 tbsps of red food dye with 2 tbsps of skim milk. This way the amount of liquid in the recipe would stay the same and be replaced by a neutral liquid. This, of course, led me along the path of…”What would it taste like if I used almond flavoring instead of milk? Or hazelnut? Or more vanilla?” But, that’s a rabbit-hole for another day – look for posts about those experiments! 😉 And, one of my next thoughts was “How does the color of the cupcake affect the taste of the cupcake?” I wondered, would people think they had two different cupcakes if they had one of the original red velvet cupcakes alongside a neutral, “velvet” cupcake? Interesting, no? I took them to work and made a game of it – I told no one what flavor they were and told them to tell me what flavor they thought they were. What kind of responses do you think I received? Answers at the end of the post! And, below is the revised “velvet” cupcake recipe.

Velvet cupcakes

Velvet Cupcakes

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.
  2. In large bowl, beat oil, eggs, buttermilk, vinegar, milk and vanilla until blended.
  3. Slowly blend in dry ingredients and divide into cupcake tins. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz of cream cheese
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter (soften)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Powdered sugar (about 3 cups)
  1. Cream cream cheese and butter.
  2. Add vanilla and mix in completely.
  3. Add in powder sugar (gradually).
  4. Frost cupcakes after they cool completely.

Answers: Spice cupcakes, “some-sort-of -fruit” cupcakes, Italian cream cake cupcakes. It MUST be all in the color. 😉 Try it, tell me what you think it tastes like and what your “taste-testers” think as well! Also, if you happen to try any of the modifications, let me know how they turn out!

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2 responses to “A velvet experiment

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