Categories:Baking Cakes HIstory Chocolate Cakes Dessert Recipes Historical Cakes
The cake is traditionally complemented with a thick white frosting with different regions of the country using different types of frosting. The cake gets this bright red color from the large amount of red food dye used in the preparation. A light-textured chocolate layer-type cake with a deep reddish brown color. Devils food cake is usually thought of in terms of dark chocolate, but originally it was red. Today cooks, using modern processed cocoa, sometimes add a touch of red food coloring to bring back the authentic color. This cake is particularly popular in New Orleans.
Definition of deviled – A term describing food that is dark, rich, chocolate, spicily piquant or stimulating it is “deviled.” The term “deviled” for spicy foods dates back to the 18th century. Deviled dishes were popular throughout the 19th and into the 20th centuries, especially for seafood dishes.
This cake probably goes back in history and existed in the southern states where the cake was originally made from beets and cocoa.
1902 – Devil’s food cake was the favorite dessert of the early 1900s. In 1902, the recipe first appeared in an American cookbook called Mrs. Rorer’s New Cook Book by Sarah Tyson Rorer. By 1913, recipes began appearing in cookbooks across America.
1950s – Some people think that this cake originated in the 1950s at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The restaurant archives cant produce any evidence or records of this, but because this version is so popular, the restaurant likes to take credit for it.
1940s – In the 1940s, a rumor was spread that a customer asked for a copy of the recipe and was given a bill in the amount of $100. According to the rumor, the angry customer, apparently with revenge in mind, then began circulating the recipe along with her story. As with most urban legends, they seem to have a life of their own, creeping through a society one person at a time.
1970s – In the 1970s, the cakes popularity faded when red dye was linked to cancer.
Red Velvet Cake (Devil’s Food Cake) Recipe:
This recipe was shared with me by my daughter, Brenda Weller. The original recipe was from the Cakeman Raven of Cakeman Raven Confectionery, NYC.
Comments from Readers:
I was recently going through some of my backlog of alerts, one of which has to do with Mrs. Rorer. In it I came across the following startling statement: “Devil’s Food Cake is also know [sic] as Red Velvet Cake, Red Devil’s Cake, Waldorf Astoria Cake, and $100 Dollar Cake. A beautiful mild chocolate flavor cake that is startlingly red.”
Devil’s Food Cake is NOT the same as Red Velvet Cake. See Rorer’s recipe, which you mentioned. While there is a Red Devil’s Food Cake, it still is not the same as Red Velvet Cake. For one thing, the former did not contain food coloring; the color was achieved through a chemical reaction. Red Velvet Cake, on the other hand, contains a hefty amount of red food coloring and a paucity of cocoa.
Sorry to be a a bit strident, but my friend and I have a hatred for Red Velvet Cake, so this struck a bad note. – Jean B.