In the days before cupcakes upstaged cakes, red velvet cake was different from what it is now. It used to be a cake with a great layer of cocoa powder adding depth of flavor beneath all that red dye, and the frosting was meant to complement the cake, not upstage it. Back then, my mom even frosted hers with a seven-minute icing, coated in coconut, instead of cream cheese frosting.
Nowadays, the cocoa has disappeared, and, thanks to cupcakes, it’s more about the inches of cream cheese frosting on top than anything else.
So, when I first saw that Ben & Jerry’s introduced Red Velvet Cake ice cream, I never questioned whether I would buy it. The pint just jumped into my shopping basket.
But the question was, which style of red velvet cake would it be? Unfortunately, the answer was the latter. In fact, the supersweet ice cream was more about the cream cheese frosting, which was presented with a cheesecake flavor. It also featured bits of a cocoa-free cake batter, but the cake wasn’t the focus.
Yet, even if this ice cream didn’t match my preferred style of red velvet cake, I was won over to it after just a couple of spoonfuls. And that means whenever I want red velvet cake, I’ll make Mom’s old-fashioned recipe. But if I want a quick hit, I’ll take Ben & Jerry’s ice cream version over a modern cupcake version any time.
The price was $3.50 a pint at H-E-B.