I’ve made no secret of my loathing for red velvet cake. Here’s a fascinating article, by gilttaste.com blogger Stella Parks, that gives the lie to the story that it is some ancient Southern recipe born of beets and affliction.
According to Parks, red-velvet cake, as we know it now, was invented by one John A. Adam, scion of the Texas-based Adams Extract & Spice. During the Depression, he devised a recipe that called for his own company's red food coloring.
Adams “began setting up displays in groceries throughout the Midwest and parts of the South. These featured Adams Extract Co. [as it was then called] products under a huge color photo of the reddest red velvet cake ever seen.
“A free copy of the recipe (modified to include Adams Best Vanilla, Adams Butter Flavor, and two bottles of Adams Red Color) came with every purchase.”
Read the whole article here.