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Salute to Shortcuts(Recipe: Red Velvet Brownies with Cream Cheese Icing)

June 30, 2012
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Red Velvet cake is a Southern standard.  Aside from the stunning color, the cake blends powerful flavors that mingle and mesh like old friends at a high school reunion ,to make a spectacular, unforgettable eating experience.

Chocolate, buttermilk, vinegar and vanilla are responsible for transforming a good cake into something as treasured as a teacher’s pet.

Instead of a traditional cake, I thought Red Velvet Brownies would be nice.  I wanted to take advantage of a shortcut and use  a premium brownie mix.   I don’t use a tremendous amount of convenience foods.  Most of my cooking is  from scratch. But it’s my opinion that a premium brownie mix is just as good as homemade.

Simply adding red food coloring to a brownie recipe doesn’t give it authentic status.  Red Velvet Cake has a particular flavor that can only  be achieved by recognizing buttermilk, vinegar and vanilla  as honored guests at  the party.

I used special vinegar  I made several weeks ago from blackberries and lavender. This lovely lady had been waiting patiently for the perfect opportunity to get all dressed up. I keep the bottle sitting in my kitchen window so I can see it everyday.  The color is ravishing.  I’ll use it  to make a vinaigrette for a green salad that has added fruit, too.  Don’t feel like you need to go to the trouble of making lavender blackberry vinegar. Use whatever you have on hand. Or sitting in your kitchen window.

Grab a box of brownie mix and get started on a journey to bliss. The trip is nice and easy and rewards are smooth as velvet.

Y’all come see us!



Red Velvet Brownies

Using a boxed brownie mix makes these delights almost effortless.

For brownies:

1 box premium brownie mix (I used Betty Crocker Original Supreme Premium Brownie Mix with Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup)

1 ounce red food coloring

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon vinegar

1 egg

Place brownie mix in bowl. Add chocolate syrup included in mix. In small bowl, mix remaining ingredient and add to bowl with brownie mix. Stir until blended well.

Pour mix into an 8×8 that has been oiled and floured or sprayed with Baker’s Joy.

Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes or until tooth pick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out clean.  Let cool in pan.

For icing:

1 (8 ounce package) cream cheese, softened

4 tablespoons butter, softened

3 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter and cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth.   Add vanilla and slowly add powdered sugar.  Mix until blended.

Spread on brownies while still in the pan.

You might also enjoy:

Double Chocolate Brownies

Red Velvet Cake

Chocolate Fudge Pie


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25 Comments leave one →
  1. July 1, 2012 2:03 am

    These beauties from a box? Where do I sign up!

    Perfect for the 4th celebration.

  2. Jean permalink
    July 1, 2012 10:55 am

    I’m getting in the van now!!!!

  3. trish permalink
    July 1, 2012 2:58 pm

    I love me some red velvet cake, I am definitely trying this recipe! How simple and I know if Jackie posted it, it has to be delicious!

  4. July 2, 2012 12:03 am

    Jackie, these are gorgeous. I have never heard of red velvet brownies. I’m in love. Happy 4th to you!

  5. Mary permalink
    July 2, 2012 12:40 am

    These sound and look sooooooo goooood!!!! Wish I had some of your special vinegar, I’ll have to make do with what I have on hand, because I’ll be making these soon. Thanks for sharing. Have a great and safe 4th of July.

    • July 2, 2012 7:48 pm


      I hope you enjoy! I’d love to be able to share some of my special vinegar with you.

      Happy 4th!

  6. July 2, 2012 11:30 pm

    There is something special about brownie mix, some get so moist. What a fun recipe, people would totally dig this flavorful recipe:-) Hugs, Terra

    • July 3, 2012 6:56 am

      I think brownie mix is one of the best convenient items out there.

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  7. July 3, 2012 1:51 pm

    cute and festive!

  8. July 7, 2012 1:43 am

    These look so good 🙂

  9. Lourd permalink
    December 23, 2013 9:07 am

    Are those the actual photos? Does the food coloring really turned the brown color of the brownie into red?

    • December 23, 2013 9:23 am


      These are actual photos. Use the full amount of food coloring that I specified and you’ll have the same results. 🙂

  10. Claudia permalink
    March 17, 2014 10:30 pm

    If you use a different brownie mix that calls for 2 eggs, 1/4 cup of water and 3/4 cups of oil, how would you alter the recipe?

    • March 18, 2014 12:02 pm


      Replace the water with the same amount of buttermilk. I think that’s the only adjustment you’d need to make. Add the amount of vinegar and food coloring specified in the original recipe.

  11. July 20, 2014 8:36 pm

    This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you!!


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