Those who are concerned with healthy eating should be wary of red velvet cake. Red food dye (also known as FD&C #40 (this dye can be used in food, drugs and cosmetics, hence the name FD&C)) has been linked to hyperactivity in children, can cause rashes, liver and kidney damage, cancer, and are generally considered to be toxic. Evidently, the consumption of red dyes should be limited, especially in children.
But red velvet cakes are pretty! What's a baker to do when they want red velvet cake but don't want any artificial food coloring? Make the cake batter with beets, strawberries, pomegranate juice, or raspberries of course (as discussed in my post on natural food dyes). Fruit juices and purees make great natural food dyes. I recently came across this blog post on red velvet pancakes that are made with beets.
Look at how beautiful a naturally colored, red velvet (pan)cake can be!
Image source: The Edible Perspective