How to Make a Popular Cake Natural and Healthy
So, let's share our hack for making a Red Velvet cake without using artificial coloring
In this article, we'll reveal the secret of making this incredibly popular Red Velvet cake without the use of artificial colorings. Also, we'll explain how we created our seasonal winter flavour, Mulled Wine Red Velvet Cake. Berry-spiced compote, vanilla namelaka... it's incredibly delicious!

For 9 years, we refrained from making the Red Velvet cake because the recipe typically involves a large amount of red dye, something we didn't want to feed our customers. After all, in the traditional version, there was no dye used in this cake!

Carrie and Miranda were eating cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery. That's when the bakery gained worldwide fame. At that time, their signature filling was the Red Velvet.
This cake originated in America in the 1870s and was called 'velvet' because its layers were soft, tender, chocolatey, and red due to the reaction of non-alkalized cocoa and buttermilk, which, when exposed to heat, produced a rich red-brown color.

Over time, almost all cocoa became alkalized, and aesthetics triumphed over taste. Red Velvet cake started being made sometimes even without cocoa, and its color often became a bright, artificial red.

After the release of the movie 'Steel Magnolias,' Red Velvet gained tremendous popularity. It was depicted as an armadillo wedding cake. Its popularity surged further after the renowned Magnolia Bakery, where Carrie and Miranda had their cupcakes. Red Velvet Cake was Magnolia's signature.

The quirky and endearing armadillo cake from 'Steel Magnolias' featured Red Velvet Cake as its filling.
Nowadays, almost everyone makes this cake using red artificial dye, but our concept revolves around using only natural ingredients. That's why we decided to share our method of making Red Velvet Cake entirely natural, with concern for our and our customers' health.

We replaced the red dye with fermented red rice. This rice, known as koji, is a Japanese invention. It's rightly considered beneficial; it contains enzymes that aid digestion, improve gut health, and even lower cholesterol. Plus, it's very affordable.

Rice contains dietary fibers, vitamins B and C, and also helps lower cholesterol. Chinese believe it improves digestion and blood composition, while the Japanese use it to counter hangovers. It's indeed an ideal cake for corporate events!

This natural and beautifully colored cake is based on our basic chocolate sponge cake recipe that we use.
Here are a few surprising and interesting facts about fermented red rice:

  1. Historical significance: Koji rice played a key role in Japanese culture since ancient times. It's used in making sake, soy sauce, miso, and other traditional Japanese products.
  2. Fermentation process: Koji is rice processed with the Aspergillus oryzae mold. This mold contains enzymes that break down starch and proteins, enriching the rice with beneficial substances and creating a distinct taste and aroma.
  3. Culinary application: In sponge cakes and other dishes, Koji rice can be used for reddish coloring due to the pigment formed during fermentation.
  4. Natural coloring: This coloring method is considered natural and safe for use in food, making it appealing in culinary applications.
  5. Biological activity: Koji contains enzymes that aid digestion, improve gut health, and are considered beneficial for intestinal health.
Whole and ground fermented rice.
So, we replaced 2/3 of the cocoa in our chocolate sponge cake recipe with fermented rice!

But here's a crucial factor—cocoa color!

Natural, unprocessed cocoa is always light in color. When cocoa undergoes alkalinization to reduce its natural acidity and increase shelf life, it turns dark. Alkalized cocoa has a neutral pH level and doesn't react with baking soda, unlike natural cocoa.

So, for Red Velvet, use the lightest cocoa you can find. We've already posted a PDF-recipe for the Mulled Wine Red Velvet cake on our website, where we give valuable recommendations regarding cocoa, fermented rice, berries, and spices from the recipe.

You can make Red Velvet based on your favorite chocolate sponge cake, but it's easier to purchase the ready recipe; it'll save you time and money on experiments.

Now, let me tell you about our cake. Our goal was to create a winter version of Red Velvet because we wanted to introduce it for sale immediately!

On the left: natural non-alkalized cocoa. On the right: alkalized cocoa.
For the cake's filling, we made a vanilla namelaka with white chocolate. For elegance, we added a touch of natural vanilla paste to it. We got tired of buttercream fillings; so we wanted to delight our customers with something new and delicate.

And the wintery hue was given to the cake by the berry compote flavored with 'Mulled Wine.' It's quick and easy to make. The scent immediately brings a Christmas's mood! Everybody loves Mulled Wine, not just in winter, so such a cake will be in demand all year round!

The cake's color turned out not bright red but very elegant and delicate. Most importantly, the filling corresponds to our principles of using natural ingredients, and we're happy to eat it ourselves without worrying about feeding it to our children!

Visit the lessons section on our website. There, you'll find plenty of new, useful, and interesting information!

For a better understanding and visualization, watch our video on our YouTube channel.