It’s National Red Velvet Cake Day. Any reason to celebrate I say. But, you’ve seen it all by this time – red velvet cupcakes, red velvet cake pops, red velvet cheesecake, red velvet brownies… Well – breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and I was inspired by some Food Network show where they turned their waffles into donuts. And who doesn’t love anything fried? Well, I haven’t met them. So, let’s give these a try.
A Southern Tradition?
Red Velvet Cake is now a true Southern Tradition that really took off after the 1989 Steel Magnolias movie. Remember the famous line from Ouiser to Drum as she serves him a ‘piece’ of the Red Velvet Armadillo Cake?? Look it up if you must.
Although there is conflicting information about how red velvet came about, I like this story the best. I understand velvet cakes were quite popular in the early 20th century. These cakes weren’t necessarily ‘red velvet,’ however velvet referred to the delicate texture that was created when buttermilk combined with baking soda. I have several really ‘old’ cookbooks and the only reference I could find to a ‘Velvet’ cake was in my 1975 edition of Joy of Cooking. This Velvet Spice Cake indeed had the required buttermilk and baking soda to achieve that delicate texture.
But, who gets credit for Red Velvet Cake?
The Waldorf Astoria had been serving a red velvet cake since the 1920s where initially their cake got a subtle red color from the reaction between natural cocoa and buttermilk. But, cocoa manufacturers started alkalizing their cocoa powders to get a richer deep brown color and rendered the red color almost non-existent when combined with buttermilk. So, the Waldorf Astoria has to add beet color to their cake to amp up the red. That is, until a couple who owned Adams Extract experienced this cake in the early 1940s and, from what I hear, the company came up with their version of Red Velvet Cake that included an entire ounce of their red food coloring along with Adams Best Vanilla and Butter Flavor. Good sales tactic.
So, I love a good story, but it’s time for Red Velvet Waffle Donuts
Gosh, I wish I had a Belgian Waffle Maker. I can’t quite pull the trigger to buy one. Really – how many times am I going to truly use it? So, you’ll just need to settle for my $5 garage sale waffle maker. These are still delicious – as anything fried always is, but I imagine they would be much more impressive with that big giant Belgian Waffle. And see how I snuck in that picture of Cole Swindell? Oh yes – I’m going to that…
So, I basically make the waffles and use a round cookie cutter to shape the ‘donut’ with a much smaller round cutter to cut the ‘hole.’ Heat your cooking oil to 369F and fry a few at a time, turning halfway through to fry on both sides. Move to a paper-towel lined cookie tray to drain.
Make the cream cheese icing drizzle and top with optional white chocolate shavings.