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Red Velvet Smackdown: SMS vs. CSB

You may remember a post from just a few weeks ago involving red velvet cupcakes. The recipe, which came from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott, was our Cake Slice Bakers assignment for the month of January. And the cupcakes were a huge hit, not only with my own family, but with the friends I shared them with. The cupcakes were moist and tangy, with just a hint of chocolate flavor, and a deep, luscious red color. When I saw that our Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe for this week was Red Velvet Cake, I thought about skipping it, since we enjoyed the others so much just a few weeks ago. But then it occurred to me that this was the perfect opportunity to have the recipes go head-to-head, and to choose a go-to Red Velvet recipe.

The recipe for Red Velvet Cake from the Sweet Melissa Baking Book is quite unique: it contains cinnamon. I’ve never had any other red velvet anything with cinnamon in it. While it was a pleasant flavor, the cinnamon made these cupcakes not very red velvet-y, in my opinion. At the same time, they weren’t spicy enough to be a spice cake; they were more like a red velvet-spice cake hybrid. The cupcakes were moist and light, and they actually baked up nice and tall, quite a feat for from-scratch cupcakes. And everyone who ate one enjoyed it, and lots of people ate more than one, so they enjoyed it twice over! In the end, however, while both cupcakes were tasty, those from Southern Cakes handily beat those from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book. Every single person who tasted both thought the cupcakes from Southern Cakes were a better example of classic red velvet cake.

Many thanks to Rosy of Rosy Lips and Lavender for choosing this week’s recipe from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book. If you are interested in the recipe, please visit Rosy’s blog!


12 thoughts on “Red Velvet Smackdown: SMS vs. CSB

  1. Curious. Melissa seems to have quite a few recipes that are not complete successes nor classic even though she says so. This is quite interesting. I’m glad that everyone loved them regardless if they were typical Red Velvet or not!

  2. Both cupcakes look great. I will have to try the other recipe. I don’t make red velvet much. Usually it’s just chocolate all the way. šŸ™‚

  3. Both cupcake decorating schemes look SO CUTE. I love the sprinkles and conversation hearts! And the ones with the little red dot on top – simplistically, classically, cupcakily cute. Nice job! I always love doing recipe taste tests.

  4. Love your cupcakes – they’re so festive! Thanks for the comparison on the red velvet recipes. I’ve only had red velvet a few times so I wasn’t sure how to review these. I’ll have to try the other recipe for sure! šŸ™‚

  5. Your cupcakes are so cute! This is my first time baking Red Velvet and I didn’t love this recipe. I may have to try the CSB one.

    I wished I’d had some conversation hearts for mine but didn’t want to make a trip to the store.

  6. Interesting to see the comparison and to find out what makes a classic red velvet as they’re so rare over here! They look so pretty and thank you for baking along with me this week. R x

  7. I’ll have to compare the two recipes since the SMS one was a dud for me. It wasn’t horrible… but it wasn’t quite liberating either. Oh well. Love the decorating job you did though šŸ™‚

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