Iconic for its appearance in Steel Magnolias, red velvet cake has been around since the turn of the 20th century. You’ll know it by its crimson color and cream cheese frosting, which brilliantly camouflage the main ingredient: chocolate. Now a fixture in patisseries around the world, including New York’s legendary Magnolia Bakery, red velvet serves as a constant craving for any sweet tooth.
While the soft, moist cake is a classic, new versions range from cookies and brownies to decadent truffles. And as that list continues to grow, so do the options for your mid-day cake break. Here are four red velvet desserts you should try with your afternoon coffee today. Arranged from easiest to most experimental, these recipes are all equally divine.
Red Velvet Doughnuts
Fact: nothing goes better with a steaming Americano than a simple doughnut. From Asia to the Americas, this perfect marriage is proven by every doughnut joint-turned-coffee shop you know. Think: Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’ Donuts, and so many more!
Instead of the usual glazed ring of goodness, try a tender red velvet doughnut. The cream cheese and chocolate combo will hit the spot and cut through the bitterness of your coffee. Baking these babies yourself is a cinch–with ingredients you already have at home, you can whip them up in about thirty minutes.
Red Velvet Profiteroles
Not only are they perfectly sized for a mid-day snack, these crimson cream puffs will look beautiful next to a cappuccino. And while a chocolate choux pastry stuffed with cream cheese might seem unconventional, trust us—it’s made for coffee breaks.
Red velvet profiteroles require a little more patience and skill in the kitchen. Creating the pastry and filling it with the cream will take around two hours, depending on how deftly you work. You can also get creative by customizing your filling and garnishes. For instance, if you’re a chocolate fanatic, the cream cheese filling can be switched out for Selecta Super Thick Super Chocolate Ice Cream, and the ermine frosting can be replaced with a drizzle of chocolate sauce or ganache on the side. Either way, you can look forward to all those dreamy profiterole textures: fluffy, puffy, crispy, and creamy.
Red Velvet Macarons
Dainty and elegant, these red velvet cookies will make your afternoon coffee feel like high tea. Not to be confused with macaroons, these bite-sized meringue sandwiches are the kind of dessert so special, they double as gifts.
Similar to profiteroles, making macarons is a kind of art that takes some practice. It'll also take some more time in the fridge waiting for the cookies to mature. But don’t be intimidated—the process has been mastered by beginners, home cooks, and baking enthusiasts the world over. To sweeten the deal, remember this: making your own red velvet macarons means you'll also have a midnight snack later on.
Red Velvet Molten Lava Cake
We’ve come to the most experimental dessert on the list: red velvet molten lava cake. By keeping the traditional idea of a cake but fiddling with its foundation, you get a whole gamechanger.
Here’s why this red velvet cake is a fabulous idea: it’s an individual portion size, has a vibrant aesthetic, and most of all, it serves you luxury. You have the crisp and airy exterior, the fudgy lava core, and the incredible visual of oozing chocolate breaking through the wall as your fork dissects the cake. Savored fresh out of the oven and paired with cold brew, this cake is easily the gilding on your golden hour.
With all these desserts in mind, one thing’s for sure: it’s time for a coffee and your red velvet plat du jour. See you at the grocery—we're prepping for these recipes as we speak.