Red Velvet Cake and Texas: Do You Know the Delicious Connection?

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For those with a sweet tooth, red velvet cake is a festive treat. Do you know the Texas connection within this bright red delectable? The actual origin of the cake is highly debated and ranges from a bakery in Canada to a famous hotel in New York City to Southern kitchens. However, what’s actually certain is that the tell-tale color was popularized by Adams Extract, one of the oldest continuously operated companies in Texas and one of the oldest spice and extract companies in the United States.

Red Velvet Cake and Texas: Do You Know the Delicious Connection?

Facebook/Dan Eggleston

Cakes began to be named ‘velvet’ in the late 1800s or early 1900s due to changing ingredients allowing for soft, crumb-like consistency. In those days, cocoa powder had a reddish tint which is its natural color. Enter Adams in the 1930s, who saw an opportunity to boost sales of products like red food dye, butter flavoring, and vanilla. A campaign of eye-catching posters and free recipe cards took over grocery stores across the South and the Midwest. Fame of this dessert spread further via baking contests at county fairs. This treat is still very popular today; so much, the red velvet cake flavor can be found everywhere including wine, waffles, and hummus!

Red Velvet Cake and Texas: Do You Know the Delicious Connection?

Facebook/LaVonda Workingitout Banks

Here is the list of ingredients for the Adams “Original” Red Velvet Cake. Click here for the full directions from (as well as the frosting recipe) and a picture of the recipe card from the 1960s. This confection is sure to taste all the sweeter, now that you know its Texas connection!

Serves 12

Prep Time/Cook Time: 15 minutes / 25 minutes


1 tsp soda

1 cup buttermilk

1 Tbl vinegar

1/2 cup shortening

1-1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. “Adams Best” Vanilla

1 tsp. Adams Butter Flavor

1 ounce Adams Red Color

3 Tbl cocoa

2-1/2 cups sifted flour

1 tsp salt