The Crimson Cake

For years, the mere concept of a red velvet cake sounded so wholly unappetizing, I refused to even give it a try. Packing in more red food coloring than any flavor, what with that skimpy few tablespoons of cocoa, I figured it simply wasn’t worth a second thought. While others raved and this southern classic grew in popularity, I still held my ground and steadfastly refused to welcome that ruby red baked good into my recipe file.

What changed all of a sudden and compelled me to experiment with a small batch of cupcakes? Curiosity, for one, and my love for taking on challenges. No way would I use that bitter red dye, so changing up that one element opened the door to new possibilities with this sweet staple. Instead of going the path of beets like many others have for a natural hue, it only made sense to try adding in more flavor at the same time, making that bottle of reduced pomegranate juice leftover from an older project perfect for my purposes.

With an open mind and an empty stomach, I wanted so badly to understand what the hype was about and fall in love as so many others had… But sadly, I still don’t see what all the fuss is about. All that flickered through my mind as the tender crumb hit my tongue was how flat and unpronounced the flavor was; bitter and twisted, if anything at all. Maybe I’ll try again to solve this riddle, but for now I must once again say, “No red velvet for me, thanks.”

But the “cream cheese” frosting? THAT is one sweet concoction that’s absolutely swoon-worthy!