Red velvet cake is often an appalling maroon color that can really only be achieved with copious amounts of red food coloring – not that appetizing. However, this iteration of red velvet apparently only surfaced during the Great Depression, when an extract company created a food coloring-heavy recipe in an attempt to boost sales. Before that, it was a much more natural color, with the “velvet” term referring to the smooth texture. In fact, the key characteristics of red velvet are buttermilk, cocoa, and vinegar – not red dye.
Be that as it may, there is something luscious about the color red, especially when Valentine’s Day is coming up. So I decided to give these pancakes a slightly redder tint with sustainably-harvested red palm oil, a buttery-tasting oil with a lovely hue that is high in Vitamins A and E. This also has the added benefit of making them dairy-free!
Finally, just in case you wanted to make these for a Valentine’s Day breakfast, I wanted to give you a recipe that didn’t leave you slaving over the stove frying pancakes on a weekday morning. Thus, the batter for these pancakes is actually made the night before and is simply poured out onto a sheet tray and baked the next morning. You can then use your favorite cookie cutters to make pretty little dainty pancakes, that – slathered with a “red velvet butter” and fresh strawberries – make for an elegant breakfast.
And yet, despite their elegance, there’s a heartiness about these too. They are made with whole grains like teff and sorghum that will give you an excellent morning boost.