Boxed cake mixes are a great way to satiate your sweet tooth when you are short on time. And Betty Crocker’s Red Velvet Cake Mix is easily one of the superior options available. But store-bought cake mixes can after some time get boring. So, how can you make Betty Crocker Red Velvet Cake Mix better and still save time?
You can make Red Velvet Cake Mix better by adding an extra egg, replacing water with buttermilk, splashing a few drops of vanilla extracts can elevate the standard red velvet cake mix. Moreover, you can incorporate add-ins to give the cake a personal touch such as toasted coconuts and almonds, spices, chocolate chips, etc.
Betty Crocker’s red velvet cake is a delightful dessert on its own merit. But there is always room for improvement. And in this article, we are going to be looking at some nifty tricks to achieve this improvement in taste and texture.
How to Improve Betty Crocker Red Velvet Cake Mix?
The common complaint about most boxed mixes is that their flavors can feel a bit artificial. Many of them can leave an awful chemical taste on the palate after you eat it.
Now, Betty Crocker’s red velvet avoids many of these issues. But there is a warmth and sweetness in homemade cakes that just cannot be matched by their commercial counterparts. So, the trick is to alter the recipe in small but noticeable ways to elevate the cake beyond your typical boxed cakes.
With that in mind, here are some ways you can make Betty Crocker’s red velvet cake mix even better.
Substitute Water With Buttermilk
The very first ingredient in the Betty Crocker red velvet instruction calls for 1 and a quarter cups of water. But simple water cannot make your cake richer in terms of taste or texture.
Instead, substitute the water with equal parts buttermilk. Buttermilk will give your cake a pleasant tanginess. It will also make the cake richer and softer compared to if you just use water. The tanginess goes particularly well with a red velvet recipe. Alternatively, you can replace half the water with sour cream to achieve the tang.
Buttermilk is fairly easy to make at home. You can also try non-dairy buttermilk to better suit your particular diet. Just add 3 parts almond yogurt and 1-part almond milk with a teaspoon of vinegar. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes and your dairy-free buttermilk will be ready.
Spare an Extra Egg
Similar to most cake recipes, Betty Crocker calls for 3 eggs in the batter. But an additional egg in the mix goes a long way in making the cake taste sweeter and hold more moisture. Essentially, the egg yolk acts as an emulsifier to hold water and fat together. This increases volume and makes the cake moister.
You can opt to use just the egg whites to create a white cake or you can use the whole egg. Additionally, you can whisk in the egg whites separately to give it more air, which will make the mixture lighter.
Enhance the Chocolate Flavor
You would not realize this simply from the name but red velvet cakes are supposed to have a chocolaty taste. Of course, the chocolate in red velvet is much more subdued compared to full-on chocolate cakes. But the flavor is noticeable if slightly underwhelming.
Betty Crocker’s red velvet is no different. It also contains certain amounts of cocoa in the mix. And like with other boxed velvets, the chocolate plays a minor role in the overall picture.
Well, there is a quick and simple way you can amplify the taste of chocolate in your velvet cake. All you require is just one ingredient – coffee. Espresso powder can also do a similar job. Just a teaspoon of grounded coffee or espresso powder in the batter can drastically enhance the chocolate flavor.
No Oil, Just Butter
The next ingredient we are going to look at is oil. In any case, the role of fat is to provide tenderness, richness as well as to make the cake moist and soft.
Betty Crocker’s recipe instructs the use of ½ cup of vegetable oil. But vegetable oil has a pretty neutral flavor. It can make the cake soft and moist but not much else. That is good if you are looking to limit your calorie intake. But if you want to give your velvet cake an edge and are not worried about the calorie count, butter is the way to go.
Since vegetable oil is so neutral, you can easily replace it with butter without worrying about any clash of flavors. Make sure to melt the butter in a microwave or pan and let it cool down to room temperature first.
Of course, too much fat can make your cake feel heavy and dense. So, it is best to follow a one-to-one ratio when using butter. So, for a single velvet cake, replace ½ cup of vegetable oil with ½ cup of melted butter.
Get the Right Temperature
Temperature is key in baking. It is ideal to have the melted butter, buttermilk, etc. at room temperature. So, if you take these ingredients out of the fridge, you need to give it time to get to a normal temperature. This will ensure that your cake has the right consistency and texture.
A Little Vanilla Extract Goes a Long Way
It is impressive just how much smell can affect our experiences with food. It can take a good recipe and turn it into something memorable. And for cakes, vanilla extract is the best way to achieve this result.
When making the cream cheese, pour in 1 or 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extracts. You can even add a splash to the batter before mixing.
Make Your Own Cream Cheese Frosting
Speaking of cream cheese frosting, no velvet cake can be complete without it. But store-bought frosting can have a nasty texture and artificial flavors. So, if you have some extra time, you can whip up your own cream cheese to the top of the cake.
For the frosting, you will need cream cheese, unsalted butter, vanilla extracts, and a bit of brown sugar. Beat the cream, butter, and vanilla in a large enough bowl until it evens out. Then slowly add the sugar and keep whisking. And now you have delicious homemade frosting ready to go. Use it right away or store it in the fridge to use in the future.
Put Some Add-Ins
Here is where you can make this velvet your own by giving it a significant distinction. Some popular choices for add-ins are shredded coconut, roasted almond or cashew, pudding mix, chocolate chips. But you can add whatever combination of ingredients that you feel will improve the test. My personal best addition is a thin layer of melted chocolate in the cream cheese frosting.
You can add the extras in two ways. You can incorporate them into the batter. For example, putting rainbow sprinkles in the batter to make a Funfetti cake for a children’s party. Or you can use them at the end to top off the cake. Drizzling some chocolate syrup on the cake is never a bad idea.
Again, you can mix and match your desired add-ins to get the perfect combination. You can put pudding mix and shredded coconut into the batter. And after you apply the frosting, decorate the cake with toasted nuts and drizzle some chocolate syrup.
To conclude, having a delicious velvet cake so conveniently in a single mix is undoubtedly useful. And with some simple adjustments, you can make the experience that much sweeter.