Black Velvet Cake

filed under: Surprise Inside Cakes on August 21, 2013

Hi!  My name is Amanda and I am addicted to cake stands.  I have pinterest boards about them and an entire closet in my house  full of them and yes, I have even dreamt of them.

4.5 from 2 votes
Black Velvet Cake
Black Velvet Cake
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins

Usually when I see a stand that I adore I try to imagine a cake that would compliment it. And usually I want the cake to be the focal point… not the stand.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Black Velvet Cake
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Amanda Rettke
  • 2 1/2 c cake flour not self-rising
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c dark cocoa powder the darker the powder the less food coloring needed
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 1/2 c canola oil
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. black food coloring
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. white vinegar
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk cake flour, salt, and cocoa; set aside.
  2. Combine the sugar and oil on medium speed until well combined. With mixer on low, add in room temperature eggs one at a time.

  3. Add food coloring and vanilla, and beat until well combined. Add flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, and mix until fully combined.

  4. In a small bowl, mix baking soda and vinegar until combined. Add to batter, and beat for a few seconds.
  5. Pour batter into two prepared 8-inch pans. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and allow cakes to cool to room temperature.


Michael Aram inspired cake

Usually when I see a stand that I adore I try to imagine a cake that would compliment it.  And usually I want the cake to be the focal point… not the stand.

Not this cake.  How could I possible compete with that majestic stand?

Black Velvet Cake inspired by Michael Aram

So I piped out flowers in the richest chocolate buttercream I could fathom (posting a recipe soon!) and hoped they would hold a candle up to the intricate and flawlessly designed flowers on the cake stand.

The dark chocolate flowers are attempting to mimic the white orchid design on the cake platter- which is a signature collection of Michael Aram.

Cake inspired by Michael Aram designs


I cannot hold a candle to the stand, and thats ok!  I dont mind taking a back seat to something so truly pretty.

The beauty of bring a cake baker is that I get to eat the evidence.  The cake is a rich black velvet cake to contrast the bright white vanilla buttercream frosting.   I loved the flavor as much as the bold design choice!

This black velvet cake is a simple adaptation of Martha Stewarts Red Velvet Cake. Soooooooo good!

Black Velvet Cake on a Michael Aram side plate

Just look at those matching side plates!  Its a food photographers dream.

Black Velvet Cake inspired by Michael Aram

Like this cake?  I have more you will love!  Check out all my CAKES!

And be sure to grab a copy of Surprise-Inside Cakes!  My best selling book is a cake lovers dream!

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  • Annette H. says:

    I’d say you did the cake stand proud. They compliment each other wonderfully. I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  • sharnee says:

    Have youtube or video provide?

  • Teresa says:

    I made it was so delicious!! I made a chocolate buttercream frosting instead of the white frosting. Wish I could add a picture…

  • Dalia says:

    Beautiful !!!

  • Alkesha Rogers says:

    Can this recipe be doubled?

  • Timico L Brown says:

    Quite beautiful, both the stand and the cake…is their a particular reason chocolate icing is between the top two layers?

    • Amanda says:

      Just a whim. 🙂

  • Nancy Weidner says:

    Where do you buy black food coloring? I want to make this. Also can you make this in a 13 by 9 long cake pan?

  • Dawn Davis says:

    Would like to know if this can be done in a 9 by 13 pan? Also baking time? Thanks Dawn

  • Patricia says:

    What brand of black food coloring did you use?

  • Marysue says:

    Filling / frosting?

  • Christina says:

    Awesome recipe! Sorry, I’m really bad about leaving comments. I just had to let you know that I used your recipe for my Halloween cakelet pans from Williams Sonoma and they came out great. I reduced the time to 18 minutes and it worked out great. I had never made or ate red or black velvet cake before. The first recipe I used was blah. Your recipe was my second attempt and it was amazing. Super soft and fluffy. Thanks so much my cakelets were a hit.

  • Neha Khandelwal says:

    Can this cake be made eggless?

  • Alex Mercedes says:

    Can’t wait to try the recipe. Thanks for posting. Also, you wrote “The beauty of bring a cake baker is that I get to eat the evidence” and I think you mean “The beauty of being”?

  • Louis Torres says:

    What is recipe for frosting for the cake black Velvet Cake

  • Chris says:

    I made this cake yesterday for my anniversary and my husband loved it. the cake is moist and a bit dense but tasty. the frosting is another thing, It has a peculiar taste and texture to it that I’m not fond of and probably wounldnt use it again. do you ever use weight measurements in your recipes?

  • Pamela Grove says:

    My mother is a red velvet fanatic but I think its time to do a new velvet for her. I have reciped for white velvet, blue velvet and another black velvet cake. I’m curious, I can’t remember reading anywhere, what makes a cake a “velvet” cake? Is it simply a specific combination of ingredients? But other cakes use the buttermilk and other ingredients in a red velvet. And by the way, I adore cake stands too and would have more but the prices have become insane seeing they aren’t Wedgewood or Waterford or even Lennox or other good names most of them. I can’t help it. I think $80 or $90 at Hobby Lobby for a 6 or 8-inch stand or EVEN smaller is insane. But the right cake stand can make or break a cake. Its especially vital with wedding cakes. I lucked out at a Hobby Lobby earlier this year. They had the cake stands that LOOK like silver ones marked down to almost nothing. I think it was a mistake but they gave them to me at that price anyway. Always on the look for a bargain. I visit auctions and other places with used items and find them at times. A lot of people, thankfully, have no interest in cake stands, especially on a pillar. Just like I find springform pans ALL the time at Goodwill stores. I’m known for my cheesecake and I like to send it in the pan. I don’t always know if its coming home again so I buy ones for a $1 or $2 whch you can tell people often have used only once or twice and then tire of it. Most aren’t aware there are many cakes which are baked in springforms.

  • Bettina Halpern says:

    Let me start by saying I love your recipes and look forward to opening your emails to see what we are baking today! Also, I thought my daughter and I were the only ones who were totally addicted to cake stands! How wonderful to no longer be alone. It doesn’t matter what I am shopping for, I will always find my way to cake stands and cannot resist the temptation. I have always noticed your stands but never really thought about whether you actually owned them or not. In case you did not know, estate sales are a wonderful place to pick up unique cake stands. When I had a bakery, I would have “dummy” cakes on my collection of stands and it seemed customers were more interested in the stands than the cakes! Maybe that is why I no longer have a business. Love your stuff, Amanda.