RECIPE: Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This cake is a beauty when it is finished. My sister and I have debated what exactly red velvet cake is-she thinks the name is deceiving and doesn't get the almost cult following for this cake. I love the contrast of the deep red color of the cake with the white of the frosting. I also love the buttery, velvet texture of this cake. What I do know is when I make this cake for guests, it is gobbled up in seconds. This recipe is different from others I have looked at because the color is a deep red-versus other ones that come out more pink. I think it is on account of the cocoa and 2 whole oz. of red food coloring mixed together before going in the batter. The combination of the buttermilk and vinegar helps give the velvet texture (vinegar relaxes gluten in flour) as well as an ever so slight tang to the cake. I bake the cake the night before and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. I then make the frosting and assemble it the next day and serve that night. Cakes take time, but they are worth it.

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick of butter, softened
2 eggs
2 oz. red food coloring (don't skimp)
2 heaping Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350˚. Use baking spray and spray 3 9" cake pans, and then tap
some flour in them to coat lightly.

In a bowl, mix flour and salt, set aside. In a large bowl, use your electric mixer
to cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well.

In a large glass measuring cup, mix the red food coloring with the cocoa.

Add to the creamed mixture while the mixer is going. In that same glass
measuring cup, add the buttermilk. There will be red food coloring left
over in the glass, and mix it in with the buttermilk so you use every drop.

Add the buttermilk alternately with the flour mixture to the butter. Be
careful not to over mix. I stop the mixer often and use a spatula to work
the sides in as I add the ingredients-over mixing can toughen your cake.
After the batter is smooth and combined, take the bowl off the mixer,
and stir in the vanilla with a spatula. In a small bowl, add baking soda
and vinegar. This will foam. Stir vinegar mixture into batter, careful
not to over mix.

Pour batter evenly into three pans and bake on the middle rack for
25-30 minutes, or until wooden toothpick come out clean. Cool cakes
on a wire rack for ten minutes, then invert them out on the racks to
cool completely.

Fill and frost the cake with cream cheese frosting. (When frosting,
it is important with this cake to do a "crumb layer" of frosting
because the red cake is so conspicuous against the white. The thin
layer of frosting traps all the crumbs, enabling you to have a clean,
white, frosted cake at the finish.)

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese, softened at room temp.
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. milk

Whip cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy. Add
vanilla and continue beating. Turn mixer to low and add powdered
sugar by first adding 2 cups and mixing. Then add milk, and then add
the rest of the powdered sugar. When sugar is all combined, beat on
high again to get a lot of air and lightness into the frosting for a couple
of minutes. Fills and frosts one 3 layer, 9 inch cake.


  1. looks yummy!cant wait to make it tonite!!!mmmm

  2. Question- can I bake the cake in one glass bowl? I need to have shaped like half circle!

  3. I would assume so! You would have to adjust cooking time and I would lower your oven temp slightly so that the middle cooks evenly. I would also keep the cake on a lower middle rack to help facilitate the even cooking in the middle. Pampered chef has a great cake dome bowl that is oven proof and I hear bakes beautifully. I was going to buy it to make a Super Mario Mushroom top for my daughter's birthday, but I decided not to. Here is the link to the reviews on the bowel and some user's comments.

    Thanks for stopping by! Good luck!

  4. Thank you!
    Made the cake; love it!
    Thank you for your help and the recipe. The cake came out perfect and yummy!
    Perfect cake thanks to you!

  5. Glad I could help. If you think of it, send me pics! It sounds like its going to be awesome and very creative. I am excited to see it.
    Take care! Bake on!

  6. Made your cake for second time and it was wonderful again! I got to decorate it and make it to look like a ladybug. I would love to send you pictures of it, but this post set up doesn't let me. If there is way, let me know please.
    Thanks again!

  7. can we make cupcakes out of these?

  8. Absolutly I don't see why not. Just keep an eye on the length of your bake time. They may not take quite as long. You might even want to try a cream cheese filling from another cupcake recipe I have that would compliment the cream cheese frosting.
    Recipe for filling is

    1 8 oz pckg cream cheese, softened
    1/2 cup powdered sugar
    1 egg white, beaten
    1/2 tsp. vanilla

    whisk until smooth and fluffy. Fill cupcakes 1/3, add a Tbsp. of filling, add the rest of the better on top. Bake as usual.
    Happy Baking, and Thank you for stopping by!


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