Food & dining

Short Order

The classic Red Velvet Cake turns purple

Susan Lozier Robert, owner of Frederick’s Pastries, has created an assortment of Purple Velvet treats.
Mark Lorenz for the Boston Globe
Susan Lozier Robert, owner of Frederick’s Pastries, has created an assortment of Purple Velvet treats.

Mark Lorenz for the Boston Globe
Susan Lozier Robert.
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You’ve never seen a purple cake? Then you’ve never been to Frederick’s Pastries, where that theme is the house specialty. A few years back, owner Susan Lozier Robert was getting a lot of requests for Red Velvet Cake, but, she says, “I’m not a fan.” She is a fan of the color purple (one peek inside the purple-painted shop confirms it), and she mused to her head baker, “Why can’t we do purple velvet?” Months of testing and tasting ensued — an “incredibly awesome process,” says Robert — and the end result was Purple Velvet, a look so distinctive the shop has trademarked the name.

On offer are Purple Velvet cupcakes, tortes, cheesecakes, cake truffles, and whoopie pies, all in a rich, startling shade rarely seen in the edible realm. They’re year-round items, especially popular for spring celebrations. Robert and manager Anne Walsh are both stumped when it comes to describing the taste: “It’s delicious,” says Walsh. “It’s got its own flavor.” Close your eyes and you could be eating high-quality yellow cake. But if you eat it with your eyes closed, you’ll miss all the fun. Frederick’s Pastries, 119 Main St., North Andover, 978-208-7806; 109 Route 101A, Amherst, N.H., 603-882-7725; 25 South River Road, Bedford, N.H., 603-647-2253.

JANE DORNBUSCH