Is your Red Velvet sponge turning out an unappetising shade of brown? Solve your baking conundrums with our most frequently asked red food colouring questions.
At The Hummingbird Bakery our bestselling cupcake is Red Velvet and our bestselling cake is… you guessed it, Red Velvet!
So we know a thing or two about getting this deep red Southern USA sponge recipe just right. Read on, dear baker, for tips on how to get your red sponges perfectly vibrant every time!
Q. My Red Velvet is turning out brown, what can I do?
A. This happens when you use non-artificial food colourings. We recommend using a gel food colouring which keeps its true shade once baked.
Q. How do I use gel food colouring?
A. Gel food colouring comes in little pots and you use it much like you would any colouring paste. Add with a toothpick little by little, stirring into the mixture until you reach the desired shade.
Q. Can I substitute gel food colouring for liquid food colouring?
A. Yes, you can. Although it is important to be aware that baking is an exact science, so it is advisable to add a little additional liquid in the recipe (e.g. water or buttermilk) to make up for the swap from liquid to gel. This is usually only a small quantity but it should help to keep the sponge moist.
Q. Your recipe says to use liquid food colouring, is this correct?
A. Unfortunately, since developing our Red Velvet recipes with food colourings that were once widely available, food colouring manufacturers have decided that home bakers want only natural food colourings.
We are disappointed as this decision limits the choice for home bakers. However, there are edible artificial gel food colourings that will do a great job of getting your Red Velvet sponges red.
Q. What brands make gel food colouring?
A. Brands such as Sugarflair and Wilton make gel food colouring, amongst lots of others. There are many gel food colourings, which we have yet to test in our own kitchens, so use whichever you prefer to bake with.
Q. Where can I buy gel food colouring?
A. Specialist shops for home bakers are the best places to look. Various online suppliers stock gel food colouring, such as Cakes, Cookies and Crafts. For more baking advice visit our Baking FAQs pages.
Our cakes are baked fresh on-site at all of our London bakeries and are available to pre-order for collection in-store or delivery to selected London postcodes.