Red Velvet Cake Recipe

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Red velvet cake is a type of light chocolate cake with red food coloring. It is named for its color and has a cream cheese frosting. It is a classic Southern cake dessert.

A plate with a slice of layer cake.
Moist Red Velvet Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This moist, red velvet cake is one of the most popular cakes and it is loved by young and old. Baking soda and vinegar are both used for cleaning. When mixed with sugar, cocoa powder, and red food coloring, the two ingredients create a creamy red cake that’s surprisingly delicious. The flavor of cream cheese is a classic frosting with red velvet cakes or cupcakes.

Ingredients and substitutes

  • Flour – I like cake flour for my cake recipes because it lends a wonderful soft cake with a tender crumb. However, I do prefer all-purpose for my red velvet cake as it prevents the cake from becoming too crumbly. I think gives more stability to the layer cake.
  • Buttermilk – This recipe calls for buttermilk, which is a tasty ingredient, but can often be hard to find. You can make a buttermilk substitute yourself in just 5 minutes.
  • Vanilla – I think vanilla bean paste is perfect to use for this cake but you can certainly use vanilla extract or substitute some of the sugar for vanilla sugar.
  • Fat – a combination of butter and oil makes this cake stable as well as light and airy.
A layer of red velvet cake with cream cheese.
Red Velvet Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Frequently asked questions

How long will this cake keep?

Unfrosted this cake will keep at room temperature for 3 to 4 days. Well wrapped in the fridge it will keep for a week. It can also be frozen for up to a month. Once frosted, it will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. In the fridge for a week and can be frozen for up to a month.

How to freeze cakes?

If you can’t use a cake immediately, I always recommend freezing rather than chilling. I find the freeze does a better job of locking in moisture as compared to the fridge.
Wrap the cake well in plastic wrap, then in parchment paper. If you plan to freeze it for longer, wrap it in aluminum foil again. The parchment will prevent freezer burns while the aluminum will keep the smell of other foods from getting into the cake.

Can I use this to make 8-inch cakes?

Absolutely! the recipe card below will calculate this recipe from 6 to 16 inches round cake pans for you. Just use the automatic calculator below
1 x makes 2 x 6-inch round cakes
2x makes 2 x 8-inch round cakes
3x makes 2 – 10 inch round cakes
4x makes 2 x 12-inch round cakes, etc

A plate with a slice of layer cake.

Red Velvet Cake Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Calories: 547kcal
Adjust Servings Here: 12 servings


Red velvet cake is a type of light chocolate cake with red food coloring. It is named for its color and has a cream cheese frosting. It is a classic Southern cake dessert.


Cake batter

  • cups (160 g) All-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp Baking powder
  • ½ tsp Baking soda
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ¼ cup (60 g) Unsalted butter room temperature
  • ¾ cup (150 g) Sugar white superfine sugar
  • 1 large Eggs room temperature
  • ½ cup (120 ml) Vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp White vinegar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (120 ml) Buttermilk
  • ¼ tsp Red gel food coloring with 2 tbsp water


  • 1 cup (226 g) Cream cheese 38% fat room temperature
  • ½ cup (113 g) Unsalted butter room temperature
  • 4 cups (480 g) Powdered sugar confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract

Simple syrup



Cake batter

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F /165°C/ Gas Mark – 3
  • Grease and line the baking pans with parchment paper. The original recipe
    – 1X makes 2 x 6-inch round cakes
    – 2X makes 2 x 8-inch round cakes
    – 3X makes 2 x 10-inch round cakes
    – 4X makes 2 x 12-inch round cakes
    – 5X makes 2 x 14-inch round cakes
  • Dry ingredients – In a large , sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Wet ingredients – In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and oil. Whip for 2 to 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Next, add the egg (one at a time). Followed by vanilla extract, vinegar, and red food coloring.
    Pro tip– adding eggs one at a time will prevent the eggs from curdling. If the batter does curdle just add a tablespoon of flour to help stabilize it.
  • Next, add the flour mixture and batches in three batches. Combine well but do not over-mix. Scrape the sides of the bowl
    Pro tip – we do not want to activate the gluten in the flour so work gently once you add the flour.
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pans.
    Pro tip – using baking/ cake strips for your pans will prevent a dome and excess caramelization around the edges which looks better for layer cakes.
  • Bake on the middle rack until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.
    – 2 x 6-inch round cakes for about 20 to 25 minutes
    – 2 x 8-inch round cakes about 25 to 30 mins
    – 2 x 10-inch round cakes for about 45 to 55 mins
    – 2 x 12-inch round cakes for about 60 to 70 mins
  • Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
    Pro tip – always cool cakes completely before decorating otherwise the frosting will melt on warm cakes.

Simple syrup

  • To prepare the simple syrup, boil the sugar, orange juice, and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Once all the sugar is dissolved, boil a minute more – then cool completely.

Cream cheese frosting

  • In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream together the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla extract. Then, add the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Once all the powdered sugar is in whip for 2 to 3 minutes until light and fluffy.


  • Using a bread knife or cake leveler, level each cake layer by cutting the domes off. Brush each layer with simple syrup.
    Pro tip – Watch a video on how to level, torte, and fill cake like a pro.
  • Place the first layer on the cake board or cake stand. Add a dollop of frosting and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Then, place the second layer on top. Chill the cake for 15 minutes.
    Pro tip – chilling the cake will help hold the two layers together and prevent them from moving while frosting the outside.
  • Add more frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Smooth the cream cheese frosting as best you can.
    Pro tip – an offset spatula for the top and a straight-edged spatula for the sides of the cake does a better job of smoothing. You can also dip a bench scraper in warm water for final smoothing
  • Transfer any remaining frosting to a piping bag with a piping tip. Pipe a border on the top and bottom of the cake. Alternatively, this cake can be coved with fondant as well.

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Nutrition Information
Nutrition Facts
Red Velvet Cake Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 547 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Fat 28g43%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 66mg22%
Sodium 174mg8%
Potassium 79mg2%
Carbohydrates 73g24%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 61g68%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 648IU13%
Calcium 43mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you

Keywords – cake recipes, red velvet, red velvet cake
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  1. Veena, your Red Velvet Cake recipe is a gem! Your step-by-step instructions make it approachable for bakers of all levels. I appreciate the natural food coloring suggestion – it’s a great way to add a unique touch. Chilling the cake between layers is a pro move, and fondant is a fantastic option for creative decorations. Thank you for sharing this classic Southern delight with such helpful tips! I can’t wait to try it out and indulge in that creamy cream cheese frosting. 🍰🎂👩‍🍳

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