Saturday, August 16, 2014

Creamy vegan red velvet white hot chocolate

creamy vegan red velvet white hot chocolate

Writing this post is giving me a lot of feels.

You know red velvet? That not-quite-vanilla, not-quite-chocolate cake flavor filled with red 40 and often topped with cream cheese frosting? That other pet poodle of the food blog world which can be and has been added to everything from brownies to blondies to cookies to cheesecakes to pies to ungodly cool whip-cream cheese-cake mix shitdips to heaven knows what else?

Yeah. That red velvet.

Right now, you probably know what’s coming. The inevitable cynicism-ridden holier-than-thou word vomit declaring my scorn for such a plebeian pseudo-flavor—and you would be right in thinking that, because for a long time I have deemed such food coloring-inspired baked goods to be beneath my sensibilities. I argued that it wasn’t a flavor so much as a color. I argued that there was good reason so many “red velvet”-flavored recipes called for cake mix: because only commercial manufacturers had access to the elusive and top-secret red velvet powder harvested in Madagascar that gave the cake its unique flavor, thus ensuring that amateurs like myself couldn’t replicate it outside of a store-bought mix. I believed in a conspiracy.

But one day, while I was perusing Pinterest, I stumbled across a mug of thick, creamy, luscious red velvet hot chocolate. It was love at first sight.

There is only one other hot chocolate recipe on this blog (and a pretty mediocre one at that), but do not doubt Baby June’s love of hot chocolate. That magical beverage is what causes me to gain a hundred pounds and my wallet to run dry in the colder seasons—you know, since you can’t really stay away from Dunkin Donuts’ hot cocoa selection when winter rolls around. And don’t even get me started on Starbucks. That little green lady loves it when you spend five bucks on sixteen ounces of sugar. 

starbucks logo
Haha FUCK YOU. source

Needless to say, I have never passed up the opportunity to try a new flavor of hot chocolate. I even tried that red velvet latte at Dunkin Donuts once (and as expected, it tasted like liquid sugar).

dunkin donuts actually came out with a red velvet hot latte no I'm not kidding
No, I wasn't kidding. This is how we roll in America. source

I didn’t end up making that recipe I saw a while back, but it did put a spark in my mind. How could I capture the magical flavor of the Malagasy red velvet bean using the supplies in my own pantry? How to make a beverage that tastes like cake in a glass?

Well, we all know that red velvet is somewhat chocolaty and somewhat vanilla-y, not too strong either way; so it was a simple enough decision to use a white hot chocolate recipe (given that white chocolate mostly tastes like vanilla anyway). I then added a little bit of cocoa powder and a shit-ton of red food coloring to finish it off.

And you know what? It ain’t half bad. Pretty damn good actually.

creamy vegan red velvet white hot chocolate
Even though it kinda looks like a murder scene.

I wouldn’t say it tastes like liquid cake, per se, but it does capture the “red velvet” flavor pretty well. The texture is nice and velvety thanks to the coconut milk, and even more so if you add a dollop of coconut whipped cream as I did.

Now, if you really wanted it to taste like cake, you could stir in some cake crumbs or whatever. But I’m just speculating. Don’t take my word for it.

Here’s the recipe.
Red velvet white hot chocolate

Adapted from Gimme Some Oven


244 grams • nondairy milk • 1 cup

240 grams • full-fat coconut milk • 1 cup

113 grams • nondairy white chocolate, chopped • 4 ounces

5 grams • cocoa powder • 1 tablespoon

4 grams • red food coloring • 1 teaspoon

4 grams • vanilla extract • 1 teaspoon


Combine nondairy milk, coconut milk, chopped white chocolate, and cocoa powder in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer—do NOT boil—and cook until the white chocolate has melted and ingredients are well-combined. Let cool for a minute after removing from heat, then stir in vanilla and red food coloring. Adjust the amount of food coloring to your taste. Serve with coconut whipped cream. Try not to drink the whole batch at once.

creamy vegan red velvet white hot chocolate
Notice how the presidential signature mug makes me look well-educated and worldly.

Wait. So you wanna know why else this post is giving me the feels?

Because it’s hot chocolate. Which means it’s hot. Which means it is not a cool, refreshing beverage for those steamy summer days when you could be stark naked and sweating and you have really awkward sandal tans and sunburns behind your ears. Not so.

This is the beginning of winter, people. Hide yo kids, because I know I’m going to.

Unless you’re in the southern hemisphere, in which case you can ignore the three preceding paragraphs.


  1. Mmmm, hot chocolate is THE best! The murder scene comment made me lol into my coffee ; ) Makes me look forward to the cooler weather that's coming.

    1. Thanks!! And I mean that joke was begging to be told :P

  2. Ahhh! This looks great!
    I know what you mean about the whole red-velvety-ness, it's almost impossible to get it right. I once tried to make red velvet cupcakes, but they were basically just brownie with so much red food colouring in it that my teeth were probably pink like the panther after a single bite. But this..or that..up that cup, that looks fantastic :D And just a handful of ingredients too!
    I would never have thought of making a red velvet hot chocolate, but when I've seen it come to be, I wanna get my paws on it!

    I hope you've had a fandabbydosey weekend so far! xx

    1. Thanks so much! I can totally relate to the disappointment with red velvet recipes, maybe I will have to keep looking for one to post on the blog... :) And I hope you try this recipe, it is so simple and good! You have a great rest of your weekend too! :D

  3. Love that you captured the red velvet flavor in liquid form! I agree that most red velvet recipes out there are disappointing...but there are a few gems out there! They are just the exception rather than the norm.

    1. Thank you! Hopefully someday I will find one of those gems :)

  4. We're definitely on the same page. Red velvet is just so strange to me. Half of the time, I end up eating a cake that tastes like straight up chemicals. But when it's done right, holy hell that's some good stuff.

    This.... looks like the good stuff. :)

    1. Thanks! Nothing but good ingredients in here! :)

  5. An interesting drink. Not sure I'd like it though (too much food coloring...). ;-)



    1. Yeah, I suppose it does have a lot of food coloring. That's okay, thanks for reading anyway! :)

  6. I must admit that I have never attempted to make anything "red velvet" before but your recipe sounds quite intriguing and the first photo in this post is just outstanding! What a fun idea - perfect for the cooler weather around here.

  7. You must be seriously hot chocolate-dependent if you're already drinking it in August. No judgement. It used to be one of my favorite beverages before, you know, my stomach became defective. So, coconut milk it is. I feel like a pathetic person for not thinking of that sooner. Anyway, this looks awesome.

    1. Oh noes! Well at least you can have this. This would totally work with coconut / any kind of milk :)