The Red Velvet Experiment

The Cupcake Crusaders are lucky enough to have a friend, Christina, who loves baking (like, REAL baking, from scratch). Unfortunately Christina doesn’t live close enough for them to sample all her creations, but she was kind enough to venture into THE RED VELVET EXPERIMENT. After Crusader Jenn made Red Velvet cupcakes from a box mix (not REAL baking… sorry Jenn!), a discussion began about comparing recipes. Christina, being the awesome baker that she is, decided to take on the “from scratch” challenge. Read below to see what recipes she tried and how they turned out. Thanks Christina!

After looking online through what seemed like hundreds of recipes, some using oil, butter, shortening, or a combination, I decided on three different versions. One that uses oil, one using butter, and one that uses beets instead of food coloring. Two of these recipes called for 2 oz of liquid red food coloring (that’s a lot of red food coloring). When shopping for supplies I found Wilton’s red gel food color that had no flavor. I was worried because I know red food coloring can have a nasty taste and having to use so much red color (yuck) I didn’t want to make cupcakes no one would eat. So I was happy when I saw the “no flavor“on the label.

First up: BUTTER (Recipe from
They looked good going in. But after I took them out; flop, not so well.

How could this happen? I cut the recipe in half so I wouldn’t end up with more cupcakes than I knew what to do with. So with that being said, while I cut everything in half, I forgot to cut the sugar in half this is what happens when you add too much sugar to your batter. They tasted good, sticky and sweet, but good. So I decided to try again:

Batter looked good and the product looked yummy and I couldn’t wait to taste them.

Next: OIL (I found this recipe on, she did her own red velvet cake test making 8 different recipes. I chose her winning recipe for my test.)

This batter was runny. I thought I messed up again, but went ahead and cooked them.

They came out just fine, although I didn’t put enough food coloring in the batter, so they came out more on the brown side.

Last: BEETS (Recipe from:
The beets gave it a nice red almost purple color. This batter was a little thicker.

They look good although they didn’t rise much.

The verdict:

They all turned out nice. I used the same cream cheese frosting on all of them. The oil and butter ones were light, fluffy and moist. The one made using beets (which also had cream cheese baked in them) were moist, but dense. The beets gave the cupcake a nice red color. I personally didn’t care for the taste and you could taste a hint of beets. I don’t know, maybe using less beets would help with the taste? Out of the butter and oil, they were close on taste. My taste testers (family), said they prefer the ones made with oil. My mom liked the one that used the beets, but she likes beets. So I guess if you don’t mind the taste of beets go for it, but maybe use a little less.

Thanks to my baking assistant’s, my mom and niece, I ended up making 7 dozen cupcakes.

My niece testing the batter.

– Review by Guest Crusader, Christina (Edmond, Oklahoma)


1 thought on “The Red Velvet Experiment

  1. Great job Christina! Though I wish you would bake some of your chocolate chip cookies and send them my way. Haha! I guess I can just make my own. I can’t believe you made 7 dozen cupcakes. I wish I was there to help you guys eat them too! Miss ya! !

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