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Red velvet cake used to be colored with beets instead of food coloring

Posted on Dec 01 2016 in General
red velvet cupcakes

During the food rationing of World War II in the 1940s, bakers began to use beets to enhance the color of their cakes.

In addition to creating a red color, the boiled beets, beet juice and even beet baby food allowed the cake to retain moisture.

Using a natural alternative to red food coloring can prevent the cake or sweet treat from having a harsh, artifical taste that red food dyes can produce.

Consider replacing red food coloring with:

  • Boiled cranberries
  • Red beet juice
  • Red beet powder
  • Pomegranate juice

Some colorants will affect flavor more than others, but you might surprise yourself by appreciating a bit of pomegranate or beets in your dessert.

Experiment with food coloring substitutes to determine which works best with your recipe. Some recipes with natural food coloring turn brown due to a chemical reaction with leaveners. But when you leave out baking soda or baking powder, you can still get a vivid red dessert.

Have you used a natural substitute for red food coloring? Let us know on Electric Consumer’s Facebook page.

Sources: waldorfnewyork.com, thekitchn.com