Can I Make Purple Velvet Cupcakes?

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It's quite obvious by the name that red is the traditional color for these tasty treats. But, they may not have always looked so vibrant before food coloring. Without the added food coloring, the cake takes on a reddish-brown hue. For that reason, adding the red color to enhance the dull reddish appearance makes sense.

The fun fact of the red velvet cake is the explanation of how it gets its red hue. The acidic ingredients of vinegar and buttermilk react with the cocoa powder, giving you the reddish tinge of color. Not only that, but the two acids also create an offset (albeit good!) flavor that makes this cake unique.

But remember, I said reddish. Not red. For a long time, folks have been enhancing their batter to get that pop of red. At one time, red beet juice was substituted for the dye when there were food rations during World War II. Goes to show that the signature red color was and is still important.

Besides the vibrant red color, vinegar is an essential ingredient for this cake. Not only does it make the cake stand apart from others, but without it, the basic recipe would be more similar to chocolate cake.

I'm personally happy that this cake made its way into our homes and bakeries. Can you imagine not having red velvet as an option?

And now, perhaps you'll be seeing more colorful options of red velvet. Starting with purple!

When you do the recipe, substitute purple food coloring for the red -- that's pretty much all there is to it.

I found purple gel food coloring at Hobby Lobby, and of course ABC Cake Decorating Supplies carries it as well. If you use gel food coloring, use half the amount it asks for. The gel is more concentrated and will go further than liquid. Or, simply mix 1/2 oz each of blue and red liquid food colorings to get the same result.

The following two recipes I've provided are mine that I have made to fit my tastes.

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Amy Morris