As someone who grew up outside of the United States, there are certain things that to me seem quintessentially, and quaintly, American. High school marching bands come to mind, I suppose because it’s fall and I’ve seen the tryouts taking place at the local high school. We had school bands in Canada, but I don’t know of any that marched while they played. Tailgating is another of these things, particularly the huge tailgating parties organized for college sports. Canadian schools simply don’t pay enough attention to their sports teams to warrant this sort of intense devotion, and our university football “stadiums” are little more than fields surrounded by a few bleachers. And red velvet cake. The first time I ever heard of such a thing was in that classic American movie, Steel Magnolias. And the first time I tasted it was, well, never. Until now.
But those of you who know their red velvet cake are probably wondering at the rather lurid pinky-red colour of my red velvet cakes and donuts. Ah, well, there is a funny, and somewhat embarrassing, story to go along with that. See, this recipe was requested by a reader, Carla, when I opened the floor for requests. I saw her comment and thought to myself that it would be an easy one. I thought I knew what I was doing. It’s a classic case of baking hubris, I believe. I knew that my cake batter recipe from the Lemon Cream Cake would be perfect for modifying into red velvet. And I knew that it took cream cheese frosting, which I have perfected over the past year. And I thought I would get all fancy and inventive, and put some of the batter in my donut pan for fun. No problem, easy peasy.
I didn’t even really look at any conventional red velvet recipes, since I was so very certain I knew what I was doing. I made up my batter and added my red food colouring, and even then, it didn’t really occur to me that anything was wrong. It literally wasn’t until I was taking the cakes out of the oven that I thought “Gee, these are a really ugly colour”. And then it hit me that maybe, just maybe, red velvet was supposed to take some cocoa powder to give it a much deeper, darker red. I quickly ran to my computer and looked up a few red velvet recipes and yup, cocoa powder is a key ingredient. I looked at my pinky-red cupcakes and donuts in dismay. They were perfectly good little cakes and I wasn’t about to throw them out, so I decided to go ahead with them as planned and tell my readers the truth…I thought red velvet was simply white cake with food colouring and cream cheese frosting. I thought I knew what I was doing.
T he Results: I figure you will forgive me, given my foreign upbringing and all. I can’t be blamed for my ignorance! I will say that the cakes were delicious just as they were. This cake recipe is so very, very good and infinitely adaptable and as such, I am very confident that it would be just as good with a few tablespoons of cocoa added into the mix. So, for those of you who really want true red velvet, I am writing up the recipe to include the cocoa. The frosting was spot on, there were no complaints there! My pictures show some of the donuts with sprinkles…that was just to make them fun for the kids.
Since I did some as cupcakes and some as donuts, it’s hard to tell exactly how many these would make. My donut pan doesn’t hold much in each hole, so two donuts would probably be the equivalent of one cupcake. Which would amount to 9 cupcakes or 18 donuts, whichever you want to go with!
2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup granulated erythritol
1/4 cup whey protein powder
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 oz greek yogurt
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
10 drops stevia extract
1/4 cup almond milk
15 drops red gel food colouring (or 1 tbsp liquid food colouring)
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup powdered erythritol
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp stevia extract
8 drops stevia extract
For the cake, preheat the oven to 325F and grease a donut pan and/or line a muffin tin with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, erythritol, protein powder, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt, breaking up any clumps with the back of a fork. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat yogurt and butter together until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla and stevia and beat until just combined. Add half of almond flour mixture and beat until combined, then beat in almond milk. Beat in remaining flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Add food colouring and mix until colour is uniform.
Spoon batter into prepared donut pan and/or muffin tin. Bake donuts for 18 to 2o minutes, and cupcakes for 25 to 30 minutes. The tops should spring back when lightly touched and a tester inserted in the middle should come out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting, beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Beat in powdered erythritol, cream, vanilla and stevia until fully combined. Pipe or spread frosting on cooled cakes and donuts.
Serves 9. Each cupcake (or 2 donuts) has 8.3g of carbs and 3.1g of fiber. Total NET carbs = 5.2g.