The History of the Famous Red Velvet Waffle
Updated: Jan 24
The Red Velvet Waffle is nothing short of a Masterpiece. It is a heavenly indulgence that once you get a taste you can not seem to forget about. When I started planning the menu for Johnny D’s Waffles six years ago, I knew I needed a show stopping waffle. A waffle that when you take that first bite, you have to put your fork down to savor the entire bite. At the time, social media and Pinterest was buzzing hard over Red Velvet anything. I just knew that the excitement for this timeless classic was not going anyplace.
A Little Back Story:
A few more years before Johnny D's Waffles was even a thought and I was a pretty busy cake maker. I remember discussing with a pastry chef friend of mine that I had customers wanted red velvet cake. At the time, I thought my recipe could be a little better. Then she gave me her secret to her success for Red Velvet Cake Batter. So I took her advice and I went back to my bake shop to give it a go. Wouldn’t you know, I was so very happy with it.
Traditionally, Red Velvet Cake batter recipes were like vanilla cake but with some cocoa powder swapped out for the flour. This is what gave it its light chocolate flavor. What I ended up doing is mixing a chocolate and vanilla cake batter together with a little color. This left me with a delicious, chocolaty, fluffy cake. Since my vanilla and chocolate cake batter recipes, I had been using forever, were so good, my end product was awesome.
Time to plan the Menu:
Fast forward back to 6 years ago when I was menu planning, I had an epiphany. I will create the perfect ratio of cake batter to waffle batter. I ended up developing what now is the Famous Red Velvet Waffle.
Now If I honest with you, at first it was slow to take off. We almost thought we would have to remove it from the menu, but I refused. It was delicious and I knew that the customers would cross their threshold of what they know and what they are comfortable with and give it a try.
Slowly they did, but it wasn’t until Sam Champion and Jim Cantore, from the Weather Channel, where in town to do a vacation segment when the Red Velvet Waffle went from small town to the big league. Their producer asked to have the waffles brought down to the boulevard so the guys could eat them on their live segment and they did and after that day the Red Velvet Waffle at Johnny D’s was known across the country. People visiting Myrtle Beach came to eat, looking for the waffle they saw on the Weather Channel. I was so happy, finally, I just knew it would take off, but never like it did.
Then about 2 years later, Food Network contacted us asking about our Red Velvet Waffle. It seemed that one of the outside marketing companies that work with the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce wrote in telling them about my Red Velvet Waffle for their article “50 States, 50 Waffles” and they wanted to know more and asked for a few photos.
Naturally, I was so super excited and gave them everything they needed and maybe more but I heard back saying we were in! They voted my Red Velvet Waffle #1 in South Carolina. Can you believe it? I was so excited, I could hardly contain myself.
Once word was out that our waffle was voted #1, customers poured in again from near and far to give us a try. I felt so grateful. We couldn’t make the waffle batter fast enough. Now we have two locations across the Grand Strand serving up waffles, benedicts and much much more. It has truly been an experience watching something I created grow to such a big deal. Grow to something our customers love so much and gives them such a great memory when they dine with us.
I know I have many "Best Sellers" on my menu, but the Red Velvet Waffle created an experience for me. It is a recipe will always be one of prize possessions. Visit Johnny D's to check out my full menu and stop by and see us the next time you are in Myrtle Beach.
Follow the link to Food Network to check out their article.