The Difference Between Red Velvet Vs Chocolate

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Last Updated on March 25, 2022

Red Velvet and chocolate are among the most popular cake flavors. However, many people are unsure about the differences between red velvet vs chocolate. Though they share some similarities, red velvet and chocolate are two completely different flavors of cake.

Red velvet and chocolate are both signature cake flavors. Though some people think that red velvet is simply chocolate cake with red food coloring, that is simply not the case. These two cake flavors have a distinct flavor pallet and crumb structure.

Difference Between Red Velvet and Chocolate Cake

Though they do have different flavors, texture and ingredients are the key differences between red velvet and chocolate cake. Though many people say that red velvet cake is simply chocolate cake with red food coloring, that is simply not true.


There are some similarities between red velvet cake and chocolate cake. Both red velvet and chocolate cake contain cocoa powder, however, chocolate cake contains more.

In chocolate cake, cocoa powder provides a rich, chocolate flavor. On the other hand, red velvet cake contains a small amount of cocoa powder that does affect the taste, but more so affects the flavor. In red velvet cake, the cocoa powder helps create a finer, more tender crumb.


Red velvet cake contains buttermilk, white vinegar, and baking soda. These ingredients are key to making the delicious flavor and texture in red velvet cake. The use of these three ingredients helps give red velvet cake a distinctly tangy, acidic flavor.

difference between red velvet and chocolate cake

Though some chocolate cake recipes do contain buttermilk, it is not called for in every recipe. However, pretty much all chocolate cake recipes contain hot water or hot coffee as an ingredient. Hot liquid enhances the cocoa powder, helping give it a rich, chocolate flavor.

In some chocolate cake recipes, you will also see the option to add in espresso powder. Espresso powder further enhances the chocolate flavor of the cake, but will not give it a coffee flavor.

When it comes to texture, red velvet tends to have a finer, more tender crumb than chocolate cake does. Though most chocolate cakes are moist and tender, red velvet does tend to be finer.

Most commonly, red velvet cake is paired with cream cheese frosting. The tanginess and sweetness of cream cheese frosting pairs great with red velvet. In some cases, ermine icing may be used as well.

Oftentimes, chocolate cake is paired with chocolate frosting. However, people may also use other frostings such as vanilla buttercream or Swiss meringue. There is more variety among frosting used with chocolate cake than there is with red velvet.

To give red velvet cake its signature red color, red food coloring is added to the batter. Due to the addition of more cocoa powder, chocolate cake is naturally brown in color.

History of chocolate cake

The start of chocolate cake goes back to the 17th century when cocoa powder from the Americas was added to cake batter in Europe. Then, in the late 1800s, chocolate cake began to grow in popularity in the United States.

In the mid-1930s, The Duff Company of Pittsburgh introduced a devil’s food cake mix. From there, chocolate cake has grown in popularity. Since its beginning, chocolate cake has grown into several different variations.

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History of red velvet cake

Velvet cake is believed to have originated in Maryland in the 20th century. The term velvet cake was used to describe soft, velvety crumb cake that was served at fancy events.

A small amount of cocoa powder was used to help create a softer crumb. When cocoa powder was first produced, the buttermilk and white vinegar would cause a chemical reaction that would give the cake a red color.

When WWII came around, some bakers had to ration ingredients. This led to the use of beetroot juice in certain recipes. The beet juice would help give the cake a softer texture and red color.

The Adams Extract company claims to be responsible for publishing the red velvet cake recipe. As a food coloring company, they were able to make a lot of money selling red food coloring for the cake.

The Waldorf Astoria Hotel also takes claim for being the first to introduce red velvet cake. They are said to be the birthplace of red velvet cake.

Why does red velvet taste different from chocolate cake

Red Velvet Vs Chocolate Cake: Two Different And Delicious Desserts

Red velvet and chocolate cake are two of the most popular desserts. Though some people think that they are essentially the same thing, that is not true. Red velvet cake is not just chocolate cake with red food coloring.

Though they both contain cocoa powder, chocolate cake contains more cocoa powder to give it a rich, chocolate flavor. Red velvet contains cocoa powder to give it a soft, tender crumb. The two types of cakes both have different flavors and textures, making them unique in their own ways.

Do you have any questions regarding red velvet vs chocolate? If so, please ask your cake questions regarding these two flavors in the comment section below.


Does Red Velvet Have Chocolate?

Red velvet cake does contain a small amount of cocoa powder, but not as much as chocolate cake does. The cocoa powder in red velvet cake gives the cake a soft, tender crumb while also helping to contribute to the flavor of the cake.

Why Does Red Velvet Taste Different from Chocolate Cake?

Red velvet tastes different from chocolate cake because it contains different ingredients. Red velvet cake has cocoa powder, buttermilk, white vinegar and baking soda that are key to giving the cake its signature texture and flavor. Chocolate cake contains more cocoa powder, hot water or coffee and depending on the recipe, sour cream, buttermilk and espresso powder.

Is Red Velvet Just Chocolate with Food Coloring?

Red velvet is not just chocolate cake with food coloring. Red velvet cake contains different ingredients than chocolate cake, giving it a different flavor and texture. Red velvet cake has a tangier flavor and a more tender, softer crumb than chocolate cake does.

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