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! We've also included information on making a fire and ice or fire and blood black velvet cake!
I first saw this black velvet cake recipe on Heather Christo's website and was intrigued. It was a beautiful recipe and the cake turned out gorgeous. It was all natural. But it isn't Halloween anymore.
What Are the Origins Behind Fire and Ice, Fire and Blood and Black Velvet Cake?
Origins and History:
It is difficult to find the true origin and history behind the fire and ice, fire and blood or black velvet cake. The origins of red velvet cake came about during World War II when bakers began to use beets to color the cakes. Perhaps accessible items like charcoal were used to color the cakes black?
What are the Best Times to Serve Black Velvet Cake?
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 and would be perfect for Valentine's Day!
What is the Difference Between Fire and Ice, Fire and Blood and Black Velvet Cake?
- A fire and ice cake usually includes a very stark contrast in colors. Think warm reds offset by silver, black or blue. This Fire and Ice Christmas Cake was served at Christmas time. And this one from Taste.com 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. It was served for a dragon themed birthday party but fire and blood cake could go for a number of different themes. Think divorce cakes, birthday cakes, etc.
- Black Velvet: Black velvet really can be served at any time of the year. Valentines, Christmas, birthdays...it's a great substitution for red velvet. It pairs well with a cream cheese frosting or buttercream.
What Kind of Natural Dyes Can You Use to Make Black Velvet Cakes?
- 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 ¼ 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 ¼ cup water or milk to the recipe as well.
Can This Recipe Be Adapted for Different Food Allergies?
We included all of the substitutions in the recipe for you so you could easily enjoy it vegan, gluten free, dairy free, etc.
Fire and Ice (Fire and Blood) Black Velvet Cake
- 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
- For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a standard sized bundt pan, 9x13 inch pan or 2 8x8 inch rounds.
- In a small bowl, combine the milk and vinegar and set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- Once all ingredients are mixed well, pour the cakes into the chosen pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-28 minutes for 8x8 inch pans, 30-35 minutes for 9x13 inch pan, or 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean.
- 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.
- 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.
- **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 ¼ cup of charcoal powder (you may need to add another ¼ cup of water or milk to compensate for the additional powder).
Recipe Inspired by Heather Christo