Fire and Ice or Fire and Blood Black Velvet Cake with NO Artificial Dyes!

Gluten FreeDiary Free

Fire and ice (or fire and blood) black velvet cake is one of the prettiest cakes you’ll make and enjoy eating! And you can make this 100% all natural with all natural dyes! That’s right, you can make this cake with no artificial dyes and get a nice deep black velvet color without the use of artificial dyes if you would like to. (Of course we give you LOT’S of ways to enjoy this recipe so everyone can eat it!

I first saw this recipe on Heather Christo’s website and was intrigued. It was a beautiful recipe and the cake turned out gorgeous. But I found it after Halloween and I really needed to try this. Stat. But it wasn’t Halloween anymore so was it still appropriate to eat? You betcha!


Um. Anytime. But we think that these events might be fun:

Wedding: Black and white weddings turn out beautiful with black velvet cake. We love this simple look from Erin Bakes.

Halloween: Halloween nights are the perfect time to enjoy some spooky black velvet cake. This cake from Butternut Bakery Blog is beautiful!

Valentines Day: Yes, red velvet can move aside and black velvet cake for Valentines Day can be totally acceptable now. At a conference a few years ago a party planning service had a Valentines party display where black velvet was the star of the show. This cake from Lorraine Elliott from Not Quite Nigella is gorgeous!


Typically cakes with a red and black theme are called fire and ice or fire and blood cakes. The cake we made is a very simple, easy and versatile version of the cake but we also loved these versions we found:

Fire and Ice Christmas Cake: I could see this as a gorgeous holiday cake served at Christmas time. This one from uses natural charcoal powder to obtain the deep rich color.

Fire and Blood Cake: This cake is just…amazingly over the top in the craziest way possible. I don’t even know if I could take a bite! I could honestly stare at this cake from Queenslee Appetit all day.


  • Black Cocoa Powder: Black cocoa powder can be substituted for regular cocoa powder to make a rich color.
  • Natural Black Food Dye: If you’re using regular cocoa powder in your recipe, natural black food dye can bring that rich black velvet color to your cake. If you use black cocoa powder you can also use a teaspoon of natural black food dye to further enhance color of the cake. Usually a teaspoon or two of this natural food dye will do the trick.
  • Charcoal Powder: Add 1/4 cup of charcoal powder to your cake in place of black dye or black cocoa powder. This is a very inexpensive way to make black velvet cake. Make sure that if you use this method you also add and extra 1/4 cup water or milk to the recipe as well.

Fire and Ice (Fire and Blood) Black Velvet Cake

Serving Size:
12 slices
2 hours


  • 2 cups milk (dairy free can be substituted)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour (can substitute gluten free flour. Add 1 tsp xanthum powder if your gluten free flour mix does not include it)
  • 1 cup black cocoa powder (can substitute regular cocoa powder)
  • 2 cups sugar (can use white granulated, beet sugar, calorie free sugar like monkfruit or cane sugar)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup oil or melted butter (can substitute dairy free)
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • Black food dye: ** See notes below


  1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a standard sized bundt pan, 9×13 inch pan or 2 8×8 inch rounds.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the milk and vinegar and set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl on low speed stir together the dry ingredients. To that add the wet ingredients minus the dye. Stir together until smooth.
  4. Add your food dye **see notes at the bottom of this recipe** If you use regular cocoa powder in the recipe or want a more deeper black velvet color in your cake, after mixing together all the ingredients add some food dye to the recipe.
  5. Once all ingredients are mixed well, pour the cakes into the chosen pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-28 minutes for 8×8 inch pans, 30-35 minutes for 9×13 inch pan, or 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven and allow cake to cool in the pans for 15-20 minutes then remove from pan and place on cooling rack to finish cooling completely.
  7. Frost and decorate cake once cooled completely. We recommend a white chocolate buttercream or ganache, chocolate frosting (you can add some black food dye if you’re wanting a black velvet frosting look). You can even do a red velvet frosting too if you are doing a red and black cake.
  8. **For the food dye: If you use the black cocoa powder, you probably won’t need additional black food dye but if you choose to use regular cocoa powder in this recipe you can make your cake black velvet by adding 1-2 tsp of natural black food dye, or 1/4 cup of charcoal powder (you may need to add another 1/4 cup of water or milk to compensate for the additional powder).

Recipe Inspired by Heather Christo

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