Typically made with just 1 or 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, traditional red velvet cake has a mild chocolate flavor and a deep red color. You can choose an ice cream that adds a stronger chocolate, ice cream that complements a mild chocolate flavor, or pick a flavor that highlights the offbeat, reddish tinge of the cake. Red velvet cakes get their color from either crushed or grated fruits or vegetables or a generous amount of red food coloring.
Tangy Ice Creams
If your cake doesn't already have a cream cheese frosting, cream cheese-flavored ice cream adds tanginess and brightness to the mild-flavored cake.
Cheesecake-flavored ice cream adds the same zing as cream cheese icing, as would an ice cream with candied ginger, candied citrus peel or even a dash of chili powder along with a dash of cinnamon. For subdued spiciness or earthiness, add milder flavors into the ice cream, such as cardamom or malted milk powder.
Chocolate On Chocolate
Intensely-flavored chocolate ice creams make up for the lack of deep chocolate flavor in a red velvet cake. Choose any rich chocolate ice cream, such as chocolate fudge or chocolate brownie, or choose a chocolate ice cream with an added tang, such as cheesecake brownie. A white chocolate ice cream would also be a good choice because its more subtle flavor would match the subtle chocolate of the cake.
Ice creams with bright red colors intensify the red tinge of the cake in a way that creates visual interest on your plate before you even taste the ice cream and cake combination. An intensely-flavored strawberry or raspberry ice cream gives the cake extra visual and flavor appeal. For the 4th of July, create a visual celebration by serving a flavorful vanilla ice cream with the red cake and scatter blueberries on the side.
Eat Your Fruits and Veggies
Bright fruit flavors or red beets to match the red in the cake pair well with the chocolate in a red velvet cake. Choose a fruit-flavored ice cream with bright red fruit swirls, such as a cherry ice cream, a banana split-flavored ice cream with chunks of bananas and strawberries, or a pina colada-flavored variety with pineapple chunks and bits of coconut. Beet ice cream, with tangy mascarpone cheese and orange zest, brings fresh flavor and an interesting pink-red color.
- Food Timeline: FAQs: Cakes
- Food & Wine: Red Velvet Cake With Cream Cheese Ice Cream
- The Flavor Bible; Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg
- Food & Wine: Red, White and Blue Desserts
- Saveur: Beet Ice Cream With Mascarpone, Orange Zest, and Poppy Seeds
- Photo Credit Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images