Red Velvet Recipes for Valentine’s Day

By Fabiana Santana

If there is ever a day to indulge in velvet, it’s Valentine’s Day. And since we’re foodies, the velvet on our minds is red velvet. Red velvet cake has one of those cool back stories, like the Cobb Salad (developed at the famous Derby restaurant when the owner threw a bunch of leftovers in a bowl and ate it for lunch). The story, which originated around the 1940s, claimed that the prestigious Manhattan hotel the Waldorf-Astoria, famous for their deep, rich red cake, granted the wish of a diner and sent her the recipe for the cake. But along with the recipe, was a bill for $350. So the angry cake lover asked her attorney if she had to pay up for the recipe. Since the hotel considered it a “sale,” she was responsible for the tab. So, she paid up, but not before circulating the recipe to her friends, family and anyone else who was hungry. That is why Red Velvet Cake is often called $350 cake.
We don’t know too many people willing to pay $350 for dessert these days. Especially when delicious and dramatic dark red velvet desserts can be whipped up with supermarket cake mix.
Why not give it a try on Valentine’s Day with these super easy Red Velvet recipes.

Red Velvet Triple Stacked Cupcakes
A new take on a classic cupcake. Three layers of red velvet stacked with spoonfuls of fluffy frosting.
1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® German chocolate cake mix
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
1 bottle (1 oz) red food color (about 2 tablespoons)

1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow creme
1 cup butter, softened
3 to 5 teaspoons milk or water
4 cups powdered sugar

1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.
2. In large bowl, beat cupcake ingredients on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (about two-thirds full).
3. Bake 18 to 23 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate uncovered 1 hour.
4. In large bowl, beat marshmallow creme, butter and 3 teaspoons of the milk with electric mixer on high speed until fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Gradually beat in just enough remaining milk until smooth and spreadable.
5. To assemble, remove paper baking cups, and cut cupcakes in half horizontally. Set aside 16 cupcake tops. Pipe about 1 tablespoon frosting onto cut side of 16 cupcake bottoms; top each with another cupcake top or bottom. Pipe about 1 tablespoon frosting on each cupcake. Top with reserved cupcake tops. Pipe frosting on cupcake tops. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Store in refrigerator until serving.
Makes 16 servings

Red Velvet Espresso and Cream Swirled Brownies

Cream Cheese Swirl Layer
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon vanilla

Brownie Layer
1 box Betty Crocker® Original Supreme Premium brownie mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box
2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder
1 bottle (1 oz) red food color

1. Heat oven to 350ºF (325ºF for dark or nonstick pan). Grease bottom only of 13×9-inch pan with shortening or cooking spray. In small bowl, beat cream cheese swirl layer ingredients with electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Set aside.
2. Make brownie batter as directed on box, using water, oil, eggs and adding espresso coffee powder and red food color; mix well until batter turns a rich red color. Spread batter in pan.
3. Dollop cream cheese mixture by tablespoonfuls evenly on top of batter. With knife, cut through mixture a few times to marble.
4. Bake as directed on brownie mix box or until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into 5 rows by 3 rows. Store in refrigerator.
Makes 15 brownies

Red Velvet Cake Martini
Betty Crocker® Whipped cream cheese frosting (from 12-oz container)
Betty Crocker® red colored sugar
2 teaspoons chocolate-flavor syrup
Crushed ice
1/4 cup cake-flavored or vanilla flavored vodka
1/4 cup crème de cacao
6 tablespoons buttermilk
1 to 2 drops red food color

1. Dip rims of 2 martini glasses in frosting, then dip in red sugar. Drizzle 1 teaspoon chocolate syrup in bottom of each glass. Refrigerate.
2. Fill cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add vodka, crème de cacao, buttermilk and food color. Cover; shake vigorously until well mixed. Strain mixture into chilled glasses.
Makes 2 servings

*Recipes courtesy of Betty Crocker