Top Five Red Velvet Revamps

Philly bakers are recasting the Southern specialty cake as everything from waffles to whoopie pies

Red velvet waffle / Supper
It may be the most decadent brunch entrée in town: Chef Mitch Prensky thins his cocoa-powder-based red velvet cake mix into a waffle batter, then tops it with cream cheese mousse, Jack Daniels syrup, Linvilla Orchard cherries and toasted pecans. $14 at 926 South Street, 215-592-8180,

Black velvet cake / Betty’s Speakeasy
Local blackberries, rather than food dye, are used for color, lending this cocoa-based cake a nontraditional purple hue and a mild berry flavor. It’s frosted with cream cheese icing and can be eaten in cake or cupcake form. Cupcakes, $2.50 each, and cakes, from $22, both at 2241 Gray’s Ferry Avenue, 215-735-9060,

Red velvet cupcake / Whipped Bakeshop
Many red velvet batters call for just a few tablespoons of cocoa, but baker Rebecca Haupman uses one pound for her best-selling cupcakes, which lends them a deep mahogany hue. They’re frosted with buttercream that’s amped up with cream cheese. $2.75 each at 636 Belgrade Street, 215-598-5449,

Red velvet whoopie pie / Beiler’s Bakery

It’s not a traditional red velvet recipe, but Reading Terminal Market’s tooth-shatteringly sweet Amish treat — homemade vanilla cream sandwiched between a pair of dyed yellow cake-cookies — is still delicious and fun to eat. $1.25 each at 51 North 12th Street, 215-351-0735.

Red velvet cake / Percy Street Barbecue

This classic quadruple-layer confection is made with butter-milk, as is the cream cheese icing. Chef Erin O’Shea tested seven different recipes before settling on this lush, moist version, and it was worth it — it’s the best we’ve had. $6 a slice at 900 South Street, 215-625-8510,