An old-fashioned Southern dessert, Red Velvet Cake is traditionally red or reddish-brown and made with buttermilk, cocoa, vinegar, and oil, which makes for a moist crumb. But red velvet isn’t just a delicious cake—these recipes are a great way to play around with your favorite red velvet flavors in a creative and inspiring way. From waffles to doughnuts and everything in between, here are 11 recipes to try out for a special brunch or perfect afternoon snack, on Valentine’s Day or any other.
Our take on the classic red velvet cake is based on a recipe from “The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook” by Matt and Ted Lee, with a classic cream cheese frosting. (Another great alternative? Our Red Velvet Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.) Get our Red Velvet Cake recipe.
The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook, $21.62 on Amazon
Stories and Recipes for Southeners and Would-Be Southerners
This recipe takes your everyday breakfast pancakes to the next level, with a truly vibrant red color and a luscious cream cheese glaze. (For a more subtle shade, try these chocolate chip red velvet pancakes, or make an easy red velvet pancake recipe with cake mix). Whichever way you go, these are perfect for a Valentine’s breakfast in bed. Get the Red Velvet Pancakes recipe.
A cheesecake this good that feeds a crowd is a smart recipe to keep on hand. With three packages of cream cheese and a crust made of crushed Oreos, this combination is a rich and smooth choice for a show-stopping dessert. For an abstract look, swirl the batter, or just top off the uniform color with an ivory cream cheese frosting as called for. Get the Red Velvet Cheesecake recipe.
Shredded coconut, semisweet and white chocolate chips, and chopped pecans jazz up a red velvet cake base, and sweetened condensed milk makes them gooey in the best way. Get the Red Velvet Seven-Layer Bars recipe.
These sandwich cookies are chewy and cakelike, and are tasty eaten on their own but are really unbelievable when filled with cream cheese frosting. Try making them mini and serving with afternoon tea. You can change the frosting flavor and even add mini chocolate chips to the filling to make them extra tasty. (Again, red velvet cake mix can make these really easy and really appealing, as you can see in the main image up top…) Get the Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies recipe.
Red velvet waffles are almost as good as ordering dessert for breakfast. The cream cheese drizzle (cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla) takes the place of traditional maple syrup—you may never be able to go back. Garnish with fresh berries, toasted nuts, and/or a sprinkle of cinnamon and you’ve got a breakfast fit for a king (or queen). Get the Red Velvet Waffles recipe.
Red velvet cake mix wins again with this creative cinnamon roll recipe (that said, if you’re opposed to boxed mix, you can always make your own from scratch). Adding two envelopes of yeast to the cake mix (along with flour, salt, vanilla, water, and a cinnamon-sugar filling) makes these an easy special-occasion treat. The cream cheese frosting should be applied just before serving—if you’re making these ahead of time, don’t frost the rolls until the last possible minute as they are difficult to reheat otherwise. Get the Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls recipe.
The addition of baking powder makes these doughnuts cakelike, and the crispy exterior tastes fantastic with the cream cheese glaze. Try making these in the traditional circular doughnut shape or make doughnut holes to serve in a basket for a group. You can also use different glazes (raspberry, chocolate, caramel)—you’ll have a hard time keeping these on the table. Get the Red Velvet Doughnuts recipe.
Your bubbe might be appalled, but this take on rugelach with cream cheese filling is undeniably mouth-watering. Sour cream, butter, cocoa powder—the ingredients are very similar to the original red velvet recipe, but these crunchy cookies are a treat unto themselves. If you’re worried about the nontraditional color, leave out the food coloring and it’ll look more like the rugelach you remember. Get the Red Velvet Rugelach recipe.
These madeleines taste very similar to the traditional French version, with the exception of two teaspoons of cocoa powder and some red food coloring. Madeleines are the perfect teatime snack and keep well; make a double batch and keep some in the freezer for an impromptu dessert. Heat them up in the oven for a few minutes and you’re good to go. Get the Red Velvet Madeleines recipe.
These red velvet truffles are like cake pops without the pesky sticks you have to eat around and dispose of afterward. Crumbled red velvet cake is mixed with cream cheese and rolled into tiny balls, which are then coated with whatever kind of chocolate you like (you can also try melted almond bark). These wintry treats make a great hostess gift or last-minute party addition. Get the Red Velvet Cake Truffles recipe.
Related Video: How to Make Red Velvet Cake
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Header image courtesy of Le Creme de la Crumb.