Blue velvet cake offers a colorful twist on the classic red velvet cake. Switch up the coloring to serve the dessert at blue-themed bridal showers, baby showers or pool parties, or use blue simply because you prefer the hue. While blue velvet cake may look complicated to make, it needn’t be, and you can still make use of your favorite cake mix to create the vibrant layers.
The Blue Velvet Cake Difference
Besides the color, the primary difference between the cake you make with a traditional cake mix and a blue velvet cake is the addition of cocoa powder. Add one to two tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder to your mix to develop the rich flavor of a velvet cake. Mix in about two ounces of liquid food coloring to achieve the deep blue color. Adjust the amount to create lighter or darker hues, according to your preference.
Food Coloring Options
Food coloring comes in several varieties, including liquid, gel, and gel-paste. Any of these types can be added to a cake mix to create the desired shade of blue, but the amount used for each type will vary. Gel-paste is more concentrated than both gel and liquid food coloring, and the mix will require less of it than either other options. Liquid food coloring is the least concentrated, and a mix may require two or more ounces.
Cake Mix Options
You have several options when it comes to choosing the cake mix for a blue velvet cake. The primary thing to remember is that whatever the mix, the batter needs to be light enough in color for the blue food coloring to show. Use a vanilla, yellow, or white cake mix for the strongest results. For a fun twist, use a white cake mix that features colorful sprinkles in the batter.
Tips and Ideas
Add buttermilk in place of water in your cake mix to enhance the flavor even further and play nicely off of the light cocoa flavor. Experiment with your food coloring, adding a drop or two of violet to deepen the blue, or a bit of green to create a slightly more ocean-blue look. For a twist, make two or more batters of different shades of blue, bake multiple layers, and alternate the colors when assembling.
References and ResourcesBaking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft. The Culinary Institute of America. Wiley, 2009.
Royal Blue Velvet Cake by Betty Crocker
ResourcesThe Cake Bible. Rose Levy Barenbaum. William Morrow Cookbooks, 1988.
The Cake Mix Doctor. Anne Byrn. Workman Publishing Company, 1999.