While chocolate may claim the spotlight on Valentine’s Day (and for good reason: molten. lava. cake.), there’s another holiday-worthy treat that’s just as decadent and rosy-colored to boot. Red velvet desserts are pretty to look at, and they also boast a flavor all their own, with just a subtle bit of cocoa and plenty of rich moisture from the classic pairing of cream cheese frosting. Check out some of our favorite red velvet showstoppers, including a towering layer cake, fluffy whoopie pies, a crimson cocktail and a warming hot chocolate.
Red Velvet Bread Pudding
If you’re pressed for time when prepping this recipe, take it from the chefs in Food Network Kitchen: “You can start with cupcakes and frosting made from scratch as instructed … or use frosted cupcakes from the bakery.” This rich dessert casserole is baked with a sweetened custard, as well as crunchy pecans for a textured bite.
Red Velvet-Cherry Cake Roll
Food Network Magazine brings together a tried-and-true flavor pairing of cherry and almond in this surprisingly simple red velvet cake. When it comes to rolling the cake around the sweetened cream cheese filling, it’s best to trim the crisp edges beforehand to avoid cracking.
Red Velvet-Blueberry Ice Cream Pie
It takes just five ingredients to turn out this big-batch frozen dessert, and since most of the ingredients are store-bought, it all comes down to assembly when prepping. Start with a layer of crumbled prepared red velvet cupcakes, then pile on rich vanilla ice cream and cool blueberry sorbet; finish the pie with a light whipped cream topping.
Red Velvet Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow Whipped Cream
Follow Bobby Flay’s lead and opt for a mix of semisweet chocolate and cocoa powder to create the most-luxurious hot chocolate, which he dots with red food coloring for a red velvet effect. For an extra-special topping, he adds a dollop of marshmallow cream to his frothy cup.
Red Velvet Cake
Consider this recipe, featured in Food Network Magazine, the red velvet layer cake you’ve been looking for all this time. The two cocoa-laced cake layers are sliced in half to create four levels of impressive results, then blanketed with a classic cream cheese frosting.
Red Velvet Sheet Cake with Classic Red Velvet Frosting
When you don’t want to build upward with a traditional layer cake, spread outward with The Pioneer Woman’s fuss-free sheet cake, which yields a whopping 24 servings.
Red Velvet Pancakes
On Valentine’s Day morning, or any other morning, treat your special someone — or yourself — to this next-level stack of flapjacks. The pancakes are made with a splash of buttermilk for welcome tang, while toppings like maple syrup and a smooth cream cheese drizzle promise a decadent finish.
While there’s no chocolate or cream cheese in Geoffrey Zakarian’s fan-favorite cocktail, this five-minute sipper, made with Champagne and raspberry beer, indeed boasts the cherry hue you expect.
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
Tender in the center with a slightly crispy outside, Food Network Magazine’s red velvet cookies sandwich a buttery cream cheese mixture to create an eat-with-your-hands dessert.
Red Velvet Swirl Brownies
Sunny Anderson brings the beloved combo of red velvet cake and cream cheese to fuss-free brownies by swirling the layers together for an easy-yet-elegant presentation.