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Dense and fudgy brownies swirled with red velvet cake– everything is made from scratch!
First week of February and we’re comin’ in hot with not only our second red velvet recipe this week (and third overall in Fresh April Flours’ red velvet week!), but also February’s Brownie of The Month!
Did you see yesterday’s red velvet blossom cookies? So adorable and so necessary for a holiday that doesn’t get much more than “chocolate” slapped on it as a staple treat for gifting.
Last month, I kicked off my monthly brownie series with homemade fudgy brownies. I told you there that we’d be building upon that base recipe each month to add 11 more brownie recipes to our collection, so I’m excited to get the ball rolling with our first “remix” brownie recipe!
I have to tell you that I really truly debated internally making these red velvet brownies with cake mix for the red velvet component of them, but I decided on a firm “no” when I seriously thought about it.
And here’s why…
MADE WITHOUT ANY BOX MIXES
I even have a recipe coming later this week that includes red velvet cake mix (here is that red velvet puppy chow!).
But today, when we’re making scratch brownies, and I preach and preach and preach about scratch brownies being better than a box mix, it felt sacrilegious to throw red velvet cake mix into these beautiful scratch brownies.
But fear not! The red velvet cake component from scratch is simple, and it doesn’t require a whole lot of extra ingredients than the brownie component does, so don’t panic when you see the long ingredient list.
One ingredient you will need, however, is buttermilk.
And recall (!!!!) that earlier this week, I kicked things off with a homemade buttermilk recipe, which is really as simple as milk + lemon juice or white vinegar, so take a peek at that post if you’re looking to eliminate something from your ingredient shopping list!
HOMEMADE RED VELVET CAKE BATTER BRINGS THE RED VELVET COMPONENT
When it came to deciding exactly how to go about the red velvet swirl of these brownies, I turned to my beloved red velvet cupcakes. I worked hard to develop a light and fluffy cupcake recipe with those cuties, and I’m really proud of the end result.
Have you tried them?
I am not, however, into any kind of “cakey” business when it comes to these brownies, so I had to do a little tweaking of the recipe in order to bring red velvet cake, but leave behind the cakey-ness.
I typically use whipped egg whites in my red velvet cupcakes to incorporate air. I also cream my butter and sugar to bring air to the batter as well.
Since I didn’t want to encourage much more lift than what the little bit of flour I use in my brownies, I decided to use a full egg in the red velvet cake batter and melt the butter.
I also went with 1/3 of the recipe for my cupcakes, and it turned out to be the perfect amount of red velvet batter to complement all the gooey, fudgy brownie batter.
The end result of these red velvet brownies was to die for. There’s certainly a cake-like texture going on in there, but I was able to completely eliminate the cakey-ness of the cupcake batter with the sheer density of the brownie batter.
I shared a brownie with my younger toddler (who kept signing and asking for more), gave two away to the older toddler’s preschool bestie and her mom, and left the rest of the batch with my former coworkers on Friday afternoon.
I got a text on Friday evening asking for a pre-release of the recipe so one of them could make the brownies for the Super Bowl. She actually said “I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever eaten.”
And that’s coming from a scientist. She knows proper research.
So there you have it, the best red velvet brownie. It must be, right?
I hope you love this month’s brownie recipe, and I urge you to give some love to red velvet at other times of the year. In fact, I’m thinking these would make an adorable Christmas brownie, especially with some festive sprinkles.
Red velvet brownies all year, y’all!
Red Velvet Brownies
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter cut into 6-8 slices
- 8 ounces (227g) semi-sweet chocolate coarsely chopped
- ¾ cup (150g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs room temperature preferred*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (90g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
RED VELVET BROWNIE BATTER
- 6 Tablespoons (47g) all-purpose flour
- ½ Tablespoon (4g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- 3 Tablespoons (43g) unsalted butter melted and allowed to cool
- ⅓ cup (67g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon red gel coloring
- ¼ cup (60g) buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Line an 8" or 9" square baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and chopped chocolate, stirring frequently until completely smooth. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
- Whisk sugar into cooled chocolate mixture until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla. Add the flour and salt and stir gently until completely combined. Set aside and prepare the red velvet brownie batter.
RED VELVET BROWNIE BATTER
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cooled butter and sugar until no lumps remain. Add the egg and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and red food coloring and whisk until evenly dispersed. Finally, whisk in the buttermilk until everything is combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir with a large spatula until no flour pockets remain and batter is smooth.
COMBINE THE BATTERS
- Pour almost all of the the brownie batter into the prepared pan, reserving about ⅓ cup (this does not have to be exact). Pour the red velvet batter on top of the brownie batter, the dollop the reserved brownie batter on top of the red velvet layer. Use a knife to carefully swirl the batters together, taking care not to blend them completely. Bake brownies for 32-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Allow brownies to cool completely before cutting into squares.
- When you are ready to cut the brownies, remove the brownies by lifting the foil overhang straight up. Peel back remaining foil and place brownie block onto a large cutting board. Store leftover brownies at room temperature up to 1 week. Brownies freeze well, up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator overnight.