Velvet cake is thought to originate in the Victorian era. During that era velvet cake was served as a fancy dessert. The term "velvet" was a description used to let consumers know the dessert was a soft and velvety crumb cake. During that same time devil's food cake was introduced, which is how some believe that red velvet cake came about. The difference between the two cakes is that devil's food cake uses chocolate and red velvet cake uses cocoa.