Red Velvet Cake

Sunday, June 29, 2008
The BEST and only red velvet cake recipe you'll ever need.  

Red Velvet Cake

2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup oil
2 ounces red food coloring
2 teaspoons vinegar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature

Hint of Cream Cheese-White Frosting

1 cup milk
1 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup ( 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces (1/2 a package) cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

To bake the cake: preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 3 (8-inch) round cake pans.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt; sift again.

In a small mixing bowl, stir together buttermilk, oil, red food coloring, and vinegar.

In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together butter and sugar until creamy and light, about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla and eggs until well combined, about 1 minute. Gradually beat in flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk mixture, scraping down sides of bowl, until well combined.

Divide batter into prepared cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees F, for 35-40 minutes, or until center of cake springs back when lightly touched, and outer edges pull away from pan. Cool pans on a wire rack for 12 minutes; run a knife around outside edges, and invert cakes onto wire racks to cool completely.

To make the frosting: whisk together milk, sugar, flour and salt, in a medium sized saucepan; bring to a boil, over medium heat, whisking frequently. Continue to boil for 1-2 minutes, or until thickened. Cool in the refrigerator or freezer until completely chilled.

In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together butter and cream cheese until creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract and chilled milk mixture, until well combined and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Spread frosting over cake.

Yield: 10-12 servings

53 comments on "Red Velvet Cake"
  1. Yum, I love red velvet cake! You're a great big sis. I hope you get that microplane for your birthday - its one of my favorite kitchen tools.

    Can't wait to see your own birthday cake.

  2. What a sweet sister you are. That cake isnt to shabby looking either :-)Hope you get everything on your birthday list.

  3. Those layers look delicious! Love the color!

  4. oh my gosh. Megan and I have been talking about red velvet cake. I had this AMAZING red velvet cupcake that had frosting and oreo crumbles in the center, and then more sugar coma inducing frosting on top. this looks delicious!

  5. This is my favorite, favorite kind of cake!

    I have honestly never seen such a beautiful one, though!

    I will have to order one from you for my birthday next year.

  6. Ok... this is secret that will tarnish me. I've never had red velvet cake. Maybe it's because of the color or something. It reminds me of 'Saturday Night Fever', or shag carpeting, or fuzzy speakers.

    So I guess what I'm asking is what does it taste like? I see there's a little bit of chocolate, but too much... maybe it has it's own unique flavor?

    Congrats on your sister's bday, and also yours coming up soon. I can't believe you actually make your own cake, but hey you're the best person you know for the job :)

  7. Great birthday list :D! A camera just happens to be at the top of my list :)!

    I think it's amazing that you came up with your own red velvet cake recipe. It looks really moist and very red velvety - seems like you really captured the cake's spirit :D.

  8. Happy birthday to your sister!

    so confession...hated red velvet cake until i had this amazing cupcake I'm hooked...I was going to make a cake for work before I quit...mmm...this may be a winner! I'll let you know! :)

  9. The colour is amazing. Wish I had a sister like you (I haven't got a sister, only a brother who doesn't really cook and he lives in OZ now anyway!!)

  10. Looking pretty good! Can't wait to see a cut slice

  11. Looking gooood. Happy BD to your sis.Oh and good luck getting that camera :)

  12. i, too, am deterred by that much red food coloring. the saving grace of the red velvet cake is the cocoa powder. without that, i wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole. beautiful!

  13. I've never had red velvet cake, but I've always been intrigued by it. I intend to make one some day. I think this is going to be one of the many recipes of yours I have bookmarked.

    Am I the only one who can't help but think of that scene in "Steel Magnolias" with the armadillo-shaped red velvet cake with the gray frosting that looked like it was bleeding when you cut it? ;-)

    So when is your birthday? Mine is coming up in a couple of weeks and I'm on the edge of my seat about what my husband is planning for it. I know it's going to be dinner and a Broadway show, but I don't know where or what show.

  14. Oh by the way, the quinoa didn't kill me (though I wont be rushing back to it!). I just moved blogging platforms and its nearly killed me in the process!

    Now, where were we? I've never tried this cake or ever heard of it before. It sounds quite unique with all that red food colouring.

    And in regards to the camera. Get a Nikon. They're not as plasticky as those Canons.

  15. I've had red velvet cake on the mind. cook's country mag has one with patriotic berries on top. Looks so yummy. Lucky sister! happy Birthday to her.

  16. Red velvet is one of my favorites. And it's almost my husband's birthday...I wonder if you have the same birthday!

  17. Aren't you the sweetest sister ever?
    I have never had red velvet cake, but I can tell this is super yummy, Emiline!
    Happy Birthday to your sis!

  18. UPDATE: The cake was very good! Really, really, moist. Best red velvet I've made.
    However, I failed to get a picture of it sliced. :(

    Adam- It really does have a unique flavor. It tastes like a really moist, buttery cake. With a hint of cocoa powder, and a little tanginess from the buttermilk. You can't taste the vinegar, but I think I can taste the food coloring.
    And you're right! It reminds me of those things too. Saturday Night Fever...Shag carpeting...

    Rachel- A broadway show sounds fun!
    I'll probably end up drinking and shooting off fireworks.

    I haven't seen Steel Magnolias in a long time. I can't remember it!

  19. I have a coworker who has been pestering me about making a Red Velvet Cake. She may just get her wish!

  20. Ohhhhhhh I had just made a comment saying that I couldn't wait for the pictures of it opened, when I scrolled down to find out you didn't take pictures! Emiline you know I need my food porn, how can you do this to me? I'll only forgive you cause the cake looked great, gorgeous color!

  21. What an amazing shade of red! That cake looks really good.

  22. Wow, your sister is one lucky birthday girl!! That red velvet cake looks INSANELY good - yum!!

  23. OH Emiline! I am not even a red velvet fan, but this looks great! Those big chunky layers of vampy redness with the coveted icing. Beautiful!

  24. Red Velvet Cake seems to be the retro dessert of the moment. It's like, the Bomb!

    Yours looks good. What a nice sister you are.

  25. What a gorgeous cake! I've never been brave enough to make a red velvet cake but always love the way they look. You've showcased yours perfectly!!!!

    Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

  26. Why don't you tell us where to send your gifts? :)

    My birthday is soon, too! It's on the 13th, but stupid leap year skipped my Saturday birthday this year. >:(

    Happy birthday, Hannah!

  27. I'm curious to try this recipe. I've made beetroot cake and that was red enough already...The frosting is also new to me, but then again I am a novice cook.

  28. I've always wanted to try cooked frosting, but wasn't too sure about it. Now that you have, I might whip up a batch for cupcakes!

  29. i've gotta say, red velvet cake is one of the sexiest looking things ever! your's looks particularily red-hot! pun intended.

  30. come no one ever makes a blue velvet cake?

  31. I think I've only had red velvet cake once in my life and it was from a supermarket. I wasn't that trilled with it, but yours looks delicious.
    I think you could make liver and onions look good.

    I kind of feel the same way about the red food coloring. Although if its tasty, I could over look it. :)

  32. I've been trying to get over here and comment on your cake for 2 days. Every time the cake loads, my computer crashes. It's jealous, that's all...

    Red velvet is a staple in the south and my favorite favorite favorite cake. I have a piece every year on my birthday. Your looks fabulous and my grandmother is up in heaven nodding in sync with me on this, I'm sure.

  33. Lovely cake Miss E! Happy birthday to your sis and to you too in the not to distant future. Mine is coming up in less than 2 weeks maybe a list isn't such a bad idea!

  34. Can you believe I have never even had the pleasure of trying this Southern treat.

  35. Wow oh Wow, now that is one GORGEOUS Red Velvet Cake!! I have never made one of these and it's a cake I am dying to try. I think I will have to bake one for my birthday which is coming up in August!


  36. I think the red velvet cake is the the most beautiful cake there is, yours is no exception. I bet your sister was thrilled!

  37. This looks like a perfect version of one of my favorite types of cake. Lovely work!

  38. That cake looks so moist and delicious! Red Velvet is one of my all time fave cake flavors. I really should make one soon!

  39. I can't wait to see how you decorated it. Did you use the Wilton taseless colouring?

  40. I love your blog but I hate it too, bcause it reminds me of all the things I can no longer eat now that I am gluten free. Whaaaaa, boo hoo, I LOVED Red Velvet Cake.

  41. I have had an obsession with red velvet cake since i watched steel magnolia about 5 years ago but never had the courage to make it, think i'll give it a go now.........

    ur cake looks delishhhhh and i love the sound of ur frosting.

  42. Thanks anon!
    I hope you like it. I would make this again. Next time I might split the layers.

  43. AWESOME cake! i made it for a christmas party and EVERYONE raved about it, they couldnt believe that i made it from scratch. It's such an even better recipe because it doesnt use cake flour like most recipes call for. Very economical since cake flour is much more expensive. Thanks so much for a great recipe, its definately a keeper!

  44. Kristen, glad you liked it! Good point about the flour.

  45. This cake is absolutely amazing. I made it for an office party and church function. I usually hate to make red velvet cakes because it falls apart before i get it out of the pan but this one was perfect. Thank you thank you thank you!

  46. Your cake looks delicious!!! But ho=w do I make it it I don;t have buttermilk??? :-(

  47. To make your own buttermilk, just put 1 tablespoon of vinegar in not quite a cup of milk, let it stand for 5;ll have Buttermilk!!! Lots cheaper than buying it.

  48. I made this over Christmas. I was fed up after I purchased A RVC for $30 for Christmas and it was very dry and did not taste like a cake. I knew I could find a recipe and make it myself for much cheaper. So I went cruising on google and found this recipe.

    I loved it. The cake was so moist and rich! It wasn't too sweet and was just right. Perfect recipe.

    The only thing I didn't care for was the boiled icing. It was light and fluffy but I did not care much for the taste. I guess I prefer icing that is sweet. I think the next time I make this, I will pair it up with the Vanilla Bean icing recipe. Other than that I loved the cake and my family and friends can't stop gushing over it. Thanks for the recipe! It is definitely a keeper!

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  51. Best RVC recipe I've ever had. Made this for my grandson's B day. It was a huge hit. Sooooo moist. Made it with a white chocolate buttercream. It was devine. My new favorite cake recipe. Thanks for sharing.