A rich delicate bite of red velvet cake offers a unique chocolatey sweet flavor and an eye-popping color ranging from light red vibrant hue to red-brown, and crimson. It’s a kind of layered chocolate cake because of its staple ingredient cocoa powder. And finding the best substitute for cocoa powder in red velvet cake can really exhaust you.
Natural cocoa powder and Dutch-processed cocoa are two different eligible candidates for making red velvet cake a royal baking masterpiece. However, the most suitable and relevant one is natural cocoa powder.
So, we’ll cover all the closest alternatives to natural cocoa powder in red velvet cake that you can find easily. So, let’s know such ingredients in-depth.
Substitute For Cocoa Powder In Red Velvet Cake
Cocoa powder is so versatile and adaptable ingredient enough to alter the color and flavor of the cake amazingly. Natural cocoa powder is highly acidic and when reacts with other recipe elements such as buttermilk and baking soda, produces a soft tender, and mouth-melting cake.
This reaction of cocoa powder also causes an easy and crack-free leavening of the cake crumb. To more, the characteristic chocolatey flavor and vibrant red hue of red velvet cake are also due to cocoa.
So, substituting cocoa in red velvet cake is challenging in a sense whether you want to replace cocoa for its flavor or color. Whatever your preference is, we’ll cover you both ways.
Instant coffee can satisfy your chocolatey tooth when cocoa powder isn’t on hand to make red velvet cake in the way it is meant to be. The difference will come definitely because of the strong and astringent coffee flavor.
Use 1/6th part of coffee instead of the cocoa powder, the cake recipe calls for. Otherwise, you’ll surely end up with a pronounced bitter and unappealing flavor.
Nutella is a deliciously yummy breakfast staple as a chocolatey spread and topping. It’s also an essential ingredient of several baked creations such as chocolate desserts, brownies, and cupcakes.
As it can also make red velvet cake flavorful like cocoa powder, you can freely introduce Nutella following 1:1 ingredient ratio. For that, decrease the sugar quantity that the recipe requires and adjust the normal consistency of the cake batter.
Owing to the versatile and unique flavor profile, molasses can also substitute cocoa powder in red velvet cake pretty closely. Remember, molasses is also a good diastatic malt powder replacement.
Molasses does a similar reaction with baking soda as cocoa and results in an easy leavening of the cake. Its sweetish caramel notes seem even palatable and mouth-watering. Add molasses in double quantity as cocoa powder while keeping the consistency ideal.
Chocolate syrup cannot ideally replace cocoa powder in red velvet cake alone because of its mild Choco flavor. However, it can work great when mixed with instant coffee.
This way, it can mimic cocoa flavor but can also change the texture of the cake unexpectedly.
The best reasonable option in place of cocoa powder is unsweetened chocolate in terms of flavor and somewhat texture. Both cocoa and chocolate come from the processing of cocoa beans and hence similarly flavorful.
Use 1:1 ratio of chocolate instead of cocoa in red velvet cake to finish the recipe you are craving.
Cocoa Powder Substitute For Red Color
All the above-listed alternatives can swap cocoa powder in terms of flavor but are not specific for giving red color to the cake. So, below are the cocoa substitutions that can give a similar redness as cocoa without a Choco flavor.
Beetroot is widely known for its higher content of anthocyanins enough for lending fresh, thriving, and more vibrant color to the baking items. And it also gives a deep reddish-brown color to the red velvet cake as a cocoa alternative.
It’s the best healthy and flavorful option for getting red color in recipes rather than red food coloring or other chemicals. Add pure beetroot juice to cake batter until you get your desired reddish hue.
Red Food Coloring
Using red food coloring in food recipes remains a controversial topic up till now. This is because some people consider it a safe choice while others think that it’s not so good enough to be used in food dishes.
Whether you’re belonging first or second group, red food coloring is a well-known cocoa powder replacement when achieving natural red color seems impossible in red velvet cake.
Are you a crazy lover of cranberries? If yes, incorporate your favorite thanksgiving cranberries to red velvet cake instead of cocoa powder. And boiled cranberries can really give a nice and fresh reddish tint to the cake.
This way, you can also enjoy the fruity goodness of cranberries deliciously and appealingly.
Instead of artificial food coloring, you can carry out cocoa powder substitution healthily and refreshingly. So, if you’ve redberries in fruit stock, it’s a good time to utilize them.
Incorporate them in a similar way as cranberries to get red color in various desserts and other baking recipes.
To conclude, here’s you get an idea that substituting cocoa powder is a bit challenging because of the dual cocoa powder nature. So, any single ingredient will not work great as a cocoa powder substitute in red velvet cake. Pick up the best chocolatey ingredient to achieve cocoa-like flavor and the best red coloring element for the characteristic redness of the cake.