Red velvet cake is a classic holiday dessert, but is it safe for pregnant women to eat?
You are not alone if you have wondered: Can I eat red velvet cake while pregnant?
Here’s the spoiler yes you can eat red velvet cake while pregnant as long as you follow a few simple safety precautions.
First, we need to talk about what is it about red velvet cake that makes it a questionable food for you to eat during pregnancy.
Secondly, we will give you some tips on how to stay safe while eating red velvet cake during pregnancy.
And lastly, we will talk about some of the holidays that might be coming up where red velvet cake would be a perfect choice!
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
Can I eat red velvet cake while pregnant?
Yes, you can eat red velvet cake while pregnant.
Red velvet cake is made with simple ingredients such as flour, sugar, butter, eggs, food coloring, and cocoa powder.
Some recipes use vinegar as well.
There is no alcohol in red velvet cake ingredients, so it’s safe for you to enjoy.
Just be sure to eat it in moderation, as red velvet cake often has more than 18 grams of fat per slice!
That’s a lot of fat and during pregnancy, it’s important not to overeat and not gain too much weight.
Excessive weight gain in pregnancy increases your chances of high blood pressure and gestational diabetes.
However, you might want to be aware of a couple more things before deciding on the slice of red velvet cake.
Red velvet cake is made with cocoa powder, which contains a small amount of caffeine.
Caffeine is generally considered safe in moderation during pregnancy, but if you are avoiding it completely, you may want to skip the red velvet cake.
The amount of caffeine in a slice of red velvet cake is going to depend on how much cocoa powder is used in the recipe.
During pregnancy, you should limit your caffeine to 200 mg per day
It is very unlikely that a single slice of red velvet cake is going to have anywhere near 200 mg of caffeine.
So hopefully that puts your mind at ease a little bit.
Additionally, red velvet cake often contains red food dye.
If you are concerned about consuming red food coloring during pregnancy you should discuss it with your OB/GYN or midwife.
And there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that food coloring is unsafe to consume during pregnancy.
But again if you are unsure the best thing to do is to skip it and choose another dessert and wait until you can discuss it with your OB/GYN or midwife
Red velvet cake is usually frosted with cream cheese icing.
Cream cheese is safe to eat during pregnancy, but it is important to make sure that the cream cheese you are using is pasteurized.
Red velvet cake may also be frosted with a traditional boiled-milk frosting or buttercream frosting, which are also safe to eat during pregnancy.
So, now that we’ve answered the question, “Can I eat red velvet cake while pregnant,” let’s talk about some recipes that are specifically designed for pregnant women.
Is Red Velvet Cake healthy?
A slice of red velvet cake can contain around 350-400 calories and 16-20 grams of fat.
It also contains around 35-45 grams of sugar and 3-4 grams of protein.
Red velvet cake is not a “health” food, it is a decadent dessert to be enjoyed on a rare occasion during pregnancy.
You will want to skip the red velvet cake if you have gestational diabetes or high blood pressure or if your OB/GYN or midwife has told you to watch your weight gain during pregnancy.
Can you eat cream cheese frosting while pregnant?
Yes, you can eat cream cheese frosting while pregnant as long as it is made with pasteurized cream cheese.
Recipes for Red Velvet Cake While Pregnant:
There are a few recipes out there for red velvet cake that are healthier than others.
One option is this recipe from Food53, which uses beet puree to give the cake it is signature red color.
You can try this red velvet cake recipe from sAlly’s baking addiction, which uses food coloring to achieve the desired hue.
Both of these recipes are safe for pregnant women to consume, and they are also delicious!
If you are looking for a red velvet cake that is a little bit healthier, then we recommend either of these two options.
Tips for Staying Safe While Eating Red Velvet Cake During Pregnancy:
Even though there are some safe recipes out there for pregnant women to enjoy, there are also a few things that you should keep in mind while preparing and eating red velvet cake.
First of all, make sure that you avoid any recipe that calls for raw eggs.
This is because raw eggs can potentially contain harmful bacteria that could make you sick.
Secondly, be sure to cook the cake all the way through.
This means that if you stick a toothpick in the middle it comes out clean.
You are more susceptible to food-borne illnesses during pregnancy, so it is important to make sure that your cake is cooked all the way through.
And lastly, avoid eating any frosting that contains raw eggs or unpasteurized milk.
These ingredients can also contain harmful bacteria, so it is best to avoid them entirely.
If you are looking for a safe and delicious frosting recipe, we recommend this one from The Kitchn.
Holidays and Red Velvet Cake:
There are a few holidays coming up where red velvet cake would be a perfect choice!
Christmas is obviously one of them, but we also think that red velvet cake would be a great choice for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or Father’s Day.
If you are looking for a show-stopping dessert to make for either of these holidays, then we recommend this recipe from Bon Appetit.
Tips for choosing safe holiday desserts during pregnancy:
When it comes to choosing safe holiday desserts during pregnancy, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.
First of all, as we mentioned earlier, avoid any recipe that calls for raw eggs.
Secondly, steer clear of any desserts that contain unpasteurized milk or cream.
And lastly, make sure that the cake is cooked all the way through before you serve it.
- Foods that are not pasteurized– certain types of cheese like soft cheeses, Brie, Blue Cheese, etc.
- Certain types of fish– shark, swordfish, anything high in mercury
- Raw eggs including hollandaise sauce, homemade mayonnaise, homemade eggnog, and runny eggs.
- Undercooked meats– lunch meats. Deli meats.
- Hot foods that are not “hot”, avoid hot foods that have been sitting out without a warming source. Same for foods that should be eaten cold. If no ice or refrigeration source is keeping the food cold, take a pass.
- Caffeine– soda, chocolate, and energy drinks. (Limit your caffeine to less than 200 mg a day)
- Herbal Teas (There are so many ingredients in herbal teas so it is best to avoid them simply. Green tea is OK.)
What should I eat every day while pregnant?
A pregnant woman needs to consume various nutrients every day to support her health and the development of her baby.
Protein is essential for building new tissue and can be found in meat, poultry, fish, legumes, and eggs.
Calcium is necessary for strong bones and teeth and is especially important during the third trimester when the baby’s skeleton is rapidly developing.
Pregnant women should aim to get 1000 mg of calcium per day from low-fat dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese.
Iron is also important for the formation of new blood cells, and pregnant women need about 27 mg of iron per day.
Pregnancy doesn’t have to mean saying goodbye to all your favorite holiday traditions.
With a little creativity, you can find ways to enjoy all your favorite festive foods and desserts while still keeping yourself and your baby safe and healthy.
Red velvet cake and fruitcake are two great options for pregnant women who are looking for safe and healthy holiday desserts.
So go ahead and enjoy a slice of red velvet cake or a slice of fruitcake this holiday season!