Food & BeverageCategory|

Hilton Chefs Share Recipes for Red Velvet Cake Day

Red Velvet Cake Waldorf Astoria
From the classic cake to a creamy cocktail and a savory breakfast spin, check out these Red Velvet recipes from Hilton chefs

To commemorate Red Velvet Cake Day today, Hilton is sharing details on one of the most iconic food and beverage firsts from the global hospitality company – the red velvet cake.

While the famous cake’s true origin is up for debate, its popularity can be traced back to Waldorf Astoria New York, where legend says the chef had a recipe he kept secret until a guest requested it. The chef sent the recipe to the guest along with a pricey invoice. As possible retribution, the guest shared the recipe far and wide, helping the cake become known across the U.S. and the world for its red color and rich flavor. 

"Innovation has always been a part of Hilton’s DNA and thanks to creative hotel culinary teams throughout history, Hilton is known for many iconic firsts."

Tom Walters

Senior vice president, food and beverage, Americas, Hilton

“Innovation has always been a part of Hilton’s DNA and thanks to creative hotel culinary teams throughout history, Hilton is known for many iconic firsts. Some of the most famous creations were born in hotel kitchens across Hilton’s Americas portfolio, from the vacation-inspired piña colada at Caribe Hilton and the delightful brownie enjoyed at The Palmer House Hilton, to the beloved and decadent red velvet cake from Waldorf Astoria New York,” said Tom Walters, senior vice president, food & beverage, Americas, Hilton. “Diners have come to know and love this classic deep red extra indulgent dessert, and most would say it’s just like Waldorf Astoria New York – both are the greatest of them all.”

Since its origin, red velvet has evolved from its traditional inclusion in a cake and can now be seen in everything from cookies and macaroons to cocktails and savory dishes. In addition to the original recipe below from Waldorf Astoria New York, here are some reinterpretations and twists on this decadent classic dessert from Hilton properties across the Americas.

Jump to recipe:

The Original

Waldorf Astoria New York

Red Velvet Cake Waldorf Astoria

Red Velvet Cake from Waldorf Astoria New York

One cake



  • 3 oz unsweetened chocolate (chopped)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1.5 cups vegetable oil
  • 1.5 tsp pure vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2.25 tsp baking soda
  • 0.25 tsp salt
  • 36 oz canned beets (drained and pureed)
  • 1 tsp red food coloring
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 12 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 12 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups powdered sugar (sifted)


  1. For the Cake
  2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. 
  3. Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl and set over a saucepan of boiling water or in the top of a double boiler (or melt in a microwave for 20-30 seconds). 
  4. Meanwhile, place the sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla in a bowl and mix for about one minute on low speed. 
  5. In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. 
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and continue to mix on low speed until well incorporated.
  7. Add the melted chocolate and mix on low speed, then add the pureed beets and food coloring.
  8. Continue to mix on low speed until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  9. Divide the batter evenly between 3 greased and floured pans, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cake springs back when touched, or when a toothpick comes up clean.
  10. Cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then turn the layers out onto a rack to cool completely.
  11. For the Icing
  12. Pour the heavy cream into a small bowl and whip to soft peaks. Refrigerate.
  13. Place the cream cheese in a bowl and mix on low speed until soft and smooth.
  14. Add mascarpone and mix until combined.
  15. Add half of the vanilla and powdered sugar and mix well.
  16. Fold in the whipped cream by hand with a spatula.
  17. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.

Photo Credit: Hennem08/Wikimedia Commons

Reinterpretations & twists

Red Velvet Cake reimagined

Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills

"Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills artfully blends the iconic culinary innovations of the Waldorf Astoria brand with this classic reimagining of Red Velvet Cake. Although not always on the menu, guests who celebrate their birthday or other special occasions with us at The Rooftop by JG are surprised with a classic red velvet cake for dessert that's immanent of a piece of art adorned with chocolate and gold leaf," said Peleg Miron, executive chef, Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills.

Red Velvet Cake Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills

Red Velvet Cake reimagined from Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills

24 cakes



  • For the cake
  • 345g cake flour
  • 4g baking soda
  • 10g cocoa powder
  • 2g salt
  • 400g sugar
  • 115g butter, soft
  • 225g canola oil
  • 20g liquid red food color
  • 4 eggs
  • 15g vanilla paste
  • 5g white vinegar
  • 225g buttermilk
  • For the chocolate dip
  • 445g 70% Bittersweet Chocolate
  • 445g Cocoa Butter
  • For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 445g Butter, softened
  • 445g Cream Cheese, softened
  • 890g Powdered Sugar
  • 30g Vanilla Paste
  • 4g Salt


  1. For the Cake
  2. Sift the flour, baking soda, cocoa, salt and sugar into the bowl of a mixer.
  3. Add the soft butter and paddle until there are no visible pieces of butter.
  4. Add the oil and red food color and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the paste, vinegar and buttermilk.
  6. Scoop and bake in hemisphere molds at 325F for 15 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool completely before unmolding. Freeze solid.
  8. For the Chocolate Dip
  9. Melt the two ingredients separately then combine.
  10. Allow to cool to 90F.
  11. Dip the frozen cakes into the glaze, it will set immediately.
  12. For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  13. Combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment and mix until light and fluffy.
  14. Pipe onto the chocolate dipped cakes.

Chicken and Red Velvet Waffles

Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead

From executive chef Christophe Le Matayer, guests at Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead’s newest restaurant, Brassica, can indulge in the restaurant’s Chicken and Red Velvet Waffles featuring springer mountain chicken, fried egg, peach and pecan.

Chicken and Red Velvet cake Waffles Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead

Chicken and Red Velvet Waffles from Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead

8-10 servings



  • For the Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into tenders
  • 1 tbsp chipotle powder
  • A quarter tsp of cumin
  • Smoked paprika
  • A half tsp of onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1-quart buttermilk
  • For the Flour Mixture with Seasonings
  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 4 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • A half tsp of onion powder
  • 1 tsp of sea salt
  • For the Waffles with Red Velvet Filling
  • 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour, organic
  • 1 tbsp baking powder plus 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup melted and cooled butter
  • 2 organic big brown eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (organic)
  • 1/2 tsp organic white vinegar, distilled
  • 2 tsp red gel food coloring
  • For the Syrup with Spicy Butter Pecans
  • 1/2 cup toasted and chopped pecans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tsp bourbon
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/8 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • For the Peach Jam
  • 12 fresh peaches, pitted and chopped
  • 4.5 cups white sugar
  • 2oz package dry pectin


  1. For the Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken
  2. In a large mixing basin, combine the chicken tenders, spices, and buttermilk. Massage the marinade into the chicken and refrigerate the covered bowl for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours. After the chicken has marinated, take the bowl from the fridge and let it aside for at least 30 minutes at room temperature.
  3. Combine the flour and spices in a resealable bag. Mix everything. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, then return it to the marinade. Finally, coat the chicken in flour and place it on a rack to allow the crust to stick to the bird. Heat 2-3 inches of oil over medium-high heat in a big cast iron skillet.
  4. Finally, coat the chicken in flour again and place it on a rack to allow the crust to stick to the chicken. In a large cast iron skillet, heat 2-3 inches of oil over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 350°F. Cook for 5 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Put over a sheet pan on a wire rack and drain the chicken.
  5. For the Red Velvet Waffles
  6. To make the Red Velvet Waffles, whisk together the unbleached all-purpose flour, organic whole white wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl. Thoroughly combine the melted butter, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla essence, and white vinegar in a separate basin.
  7. Whisk the gel food coloring into the buttermilk mixture with care. Then, stir the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients until smooth and well combined. Allow the batter to rest for at least 10 minutes to allow the wheat flour to hydrate.
  8. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for heating your waffle iron. After spraying the waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray, add roughly 1 cup of batter. Close the iron and cook the waffle for at least 3 minutes, until the outside is dry and somewhat crispy. Place the waffles on a wire rack over a sheet pan to prevent them from becoming soggy. Repeat until the batter has been used up.
  9. For the Syrup with Spicy Butter Pecans
  10. Boil the water and evaporated cane juice (sugar) in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the toasted and chopped pecans to the syrup. Simmer for around 10 minutes on low heat. Whisk in the butter, bourbon, cayenne pepper, and chipotle powder after removing the skillet from the heat. Serve with the chicken and waffles.
  11. For the Peach Jam
  12. Crush 1 cup of chopped peaches in the bottom of a large saucepan. Add remaining peaches and set the pan over medium-low heat. Bring to a low boil and cook until peaches become liquid with a few bits of peach left, about 20 minutes. Pour cooked peaches into a bowl, then measure 6 cups peaches back into the pan. Add sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat. Gradually stir in dry pectin; boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and transfer to hot, sterilized jars. Top with lids and screw rings on tightly. Process in a hot water bath canner for 10 minutes. Let cool, then store on a shelf in a cool, dark place.

Cook’s Note

Spraying waffle iron tips

The Red Velvet cocktail

Hilton Panama

Available at Bar Blue at Hilton Panama and created by members of the hotel’s beverage team Alejandro Jordan and Luis Perez, this creamy cocktail features Cognac Hennessy, Baileys Irish Cream, chocolate liquor, white chocolate and heavy cream and is topped with cake crumbles.

The Red Velvet cake cocktail Hilton Panama

The Red Velvet from Hilton Panama

One drink



  • 1.5 oz Baileys
  • 1 oz Cognac Hennessy VS
  • 0.5 oz Chocolate liquor
  • 1 oz white chocolate
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp red velvet cake crumbles


  1. Draw a line in the martini cup with the heavy cream from one end down to the middle and then up to the other end.
  2. In a shaker, incorporate all the liquids, cream, chocolate and red velvet crumbles until you obtain the proper red velvet color.
  3. Add to a blender with ice and blend.
  4. Gently pour into the middle of the martini glass.
  5. Garnish with red velvet crumbles from red velvet cake.