Pink Velvet Cake

filed under: Cakes · Dessert on March 1, 2015

Pink Velvet Cake is a soft vanilla cake with food coloring to give it the pink color and topped with vanilla buttercream. Be sure to check out all my Cake Recipes!

Pink Velvet Cake

The texture of this cake justifies the velvet name in the title. Unlike my red velvet cake, which is really a chocolate cake, this is a vanilla cake with some food coloring for that pink color. 


Pink Velvet Cake Recipe

Cake Ingredients

There are two parts to this cake–the cake and the buttercream.

Room Temperature Ingredients: I can’t stress enough that this cake needs to be made with room temperature ingredients. This will ensure easier mixing and helps achieve that perfect crumb.

Cake FlourCake flour brings a finer crumb to cakes. It is lower in protein than all-purpose flour, which gives baked goods a delicate, tender crumb. You can make your own homemade cake flour if you don’t have any on hand.

Food Coloring: I needed 6-7 drops of red food coloring to blend with the ingredients to result in a soft pink color. You can add as much or as little as you prefer.

Confectioners’ Sugar: Yes, the whipped buttercream calls for 7 cups of sugar. However, you could use as little as 3 1/2 cups if you want to use less sugar.


Pink Velvet Cake

Can I Make the Pink Velvet Cake Ahead of Time?

Yes! If you are making this cake in advance, try adding Simple Syrup to make sure the cake stays perfectly moist and delicious! When the cake is done baking and cooled, level the cake and then add simple syrup. About 1-2 tablespoons per layer. Chill until ready to frost or frost immediately. 

Can I Make the Buttercream Ahead of Time?

Just like you can make the cake ahead of time, you can also make the buttercream in advance. It will last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Can I Make this Without Food Coloring?

You can definitely make this cake without food coloring. Or, you could use your favorite color to fit your mood or occasion.

Pink Velvet Cake with Whipped Buttercream


4.41 from 20 votes
pink-velvetcake (1)
Pink Velvet Cake
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
45 mins

Pink Velvet Cake is a soft vanilla cake with food coloring to give it the pink color and topped with vanilla buttercream.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pink velvet cake
Servings: 12 people
Author: Amanda
  • ½ cup (1 stick, 113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups (300g) cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup (245g) whole milk, room temperature
  • ½ cup (109g) vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • red food coloring, 6-7 drops
Vanilla Buttercream
  • 1 cup (2 sticks, 227g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 32 ounces (7 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 5 tablespoons whole milk, or enough to reach desired consistency
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray 2, 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray or line each with parchment paper. Set aside.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the butter and cream until pale in color (about 2 minutes).

  3. Add the sugar to the creamed butter and mix for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.

  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each egg is incorporated before adding the next one.

  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder.

  6. In another bowl, combine the milk, oil, and vanilla.

  7. With the mixer on low speed, alternate between adding the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until the ingredients are fully incorporated, adding your desired amount of food coloring.

  8. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer.

  9. Pour the batter equally between the two cake pans. Bake the cakes for 30-35 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

  10. Allow cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning them over onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Buttercream
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, cream the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).

  2. Add vanilla and almond extract.

  3. With the mixer on low, slowly add confectioners' sugar, milk, and salt, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.

  4. Once the ingredients have been incorporated, whip the frosting on medium-high to high for 3-7 minutes.

  5. If frosting is too thick to spread, gradually beat in additional milk until it reaches your desired consistency.

  6. Frost cooled cakes. Store leftovers buttercream in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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  • Trish says:

    In the video for the Pink Velvet cake recipe. After the butter and milk you added another liquid but that liquid is not listed in your recipe ingredients. Also during the video the name of every ingredient was at the top of the screen but not for this liquid. I’m assuming it was the liquid sweetener you wrote in your description of this cake. Please share hwhat this additional liquid you added to cake mix in video but did not put in the ingredient list for us.
    Thank you

  • Kelley Butler says:

    We loved the cake. I made it in a sheet pan and it was delightful. I liked the crum density, it had body and it was beautiful.

  • Karen L says:

    Do you think this recipe could be made with an all purpose gluten free flour?

  • Angie says:

    I think it is the egg whites.

  • Carla Flamm says:

    I would love to make this cake but after reading the comments I hate to waste all the ingredients in it not turn out good. My main question is when do you add the simple syrup and how much do you add? Please reply as I’m waiting on your reply to bake this cake I watch your videos every day. Thank you

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      I add the simple syrup after I have leveled the cakes (level if necessary) or after they have cooled for 10 minutes out of the oven.

  • Megan says:

    Could I replace the milk with full fat coconut milk, and the bitter fir Earth Balance butter substitutes to make this dairy free?

  • Les says:

    I made this recipe and I only have 8” pans. It barely filled the bottom of the pans. Not nearly enough batter for 2. The cakes turned out about an inch thick. 😩

  • Mary says:

    Can you use egg whites out of a carton to make this recipe? How much would you use for the pink cake .

  • cerise says:

    hi!i think you should REALLY be more precise about the egg whites because a lot of people like me is wondering if we have to beat them first or not…

  • Ashlry C says:

    I made this yesterday and it was quite dense and spongy. I’m guessing the egg whites were supposed to be beaten but that wasn’t stated in the recipe. If you’re reading this and haven’t made it yet, beat the egg whites.

  • Claire says:

    Hi, can this cake be frozen?

  • Cathy says:

    Hi Amanda. Because my younger son and my older son’s girlfriend’s birthday are a day apart, we celebrate on the same day. I’m going to make your chocolate cake for my son and use a peanut butter filling and chocolate buttercream icing. For my son’s girlfriend I want to make your one bowl pink velvet cake with whipped cream icing. Do you have any suggestions for the filling. She doesn’t go for very sweet cakes. With the pink velvet cake is there a substitution for the whole milk (I never have whole milk in the house) and would egg whites from a carton work in this recipe? Thank you got always sharing your great recipes and advice. I truly appreciate it.

  • Shelly says:

    This cake for me was an epic failure. Cake turned out hard and tough around the edges but raw in the middle. I followed instruction exact, but the instructions are different from the video. Tooth pick came out clean so not sure why it was raw in the middle. The frosting was amazing though!! Sadly it Went in the garbage.

  • Noeline says:

    Hi Amanda,
    In die video, the Runny liquid , after The butter and milk?
    What is it?
    Do I need to beat the egg whites? Before incorporating it?
    Should I add Water?
    I made it for my girl 3yr old bday…
    delicious, only the cake did not rise much…
    could it be the oven… to high…
    Or the egg whites should be beaten?
    Like to hear from you

  • Susan says:

    I’m dying to make this pink velvet cake recipe but I like the others who had questions am wondering about whether or not to beat the egg whites first? And not sure either about the simple syrup also mentioned in the questions. Hell?!?

  • Cheryl says:

    I have been baking for 70 + yrs and knew better than to follow this recipe. Just for giggles I did. Please don’t make and follow this recipe. It was 1 in thick and spongy. I threw it away and created my own.

  • Mary says:

    Cerise- in step 2 it states to whip the egg whites and set aside in another bowl. Seems pretty clear to me! Also, Amanda states to brush on the simple syrup AFTER the cakes are leveled prior to frosting.

  • Marsha says:

    I can’t wait to try this pink velvet cake., would you please share your icing recipe?

  • Gayathri Jeyahar says:

    Couldn’t find the recipe for the frosting ?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Gayathri! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Here is the whipped buttercream recipe you are looking for. I hope this helps, and have a wonderful day!

  • Michelle Wallenfelsz says:

    I have all the ingredients, except the almond extract. And no time to run to the store. Is it possible to omit that ingredient?

  • Tara says:

    I made this today as cupcakes and they turned out PERFECT. It made about 18. Great recipe!

    A lot of the comments I read that didn’t turn out well sounds like they didn’t read the directions OR don’t know how to properly make a genoise cake (which is what this is). Some tips:

    – Make sure EVERYTHING is room temperature. Milk, butter, and eggs. (Let eggs sit in warm water for a few minutes to get them to room temp before separating them).
    – Weight everything! especially the egg whites. 4 egg whites could easily become 150g if you don’t weigh them. I ended up using 3 and it was enough by weight!
    – Whip your egg whites long enough! They should be stiff and sticky, not runny at all. When you fold them in, make sure you use a proper folding technique. Look on Youtube for video examples of how to fold in egg whites. If you knock all the air out while mixing, the cake will be dense and gummy.

  • Amanda says:

    Probably the best cake I’ve ever made!! Strawberries and cream in between and a buttercream icing made it sublime!

  • Jacquelyn Potter says:

    Amanda, thank you for sharing your expertise. I am getting married during Christmas and will be blending three families. My daughter loves pink. My other daughter loves vanilla cake. I want to do a layer in each of their favorite flavors. Combine a top layer with all of the flavors together.

  • Liz says:

    I baked this cake and thought the instructions were very clear! However, I pulled the 2- 9inch pans after 25 minutes, and a clean toothpick, and one of the cakes was still raw in the middle. I’ve never had a cake be raw after the toothpick test. Is there a better way to test these?

  • I Am Baker Logo

    Brand new recipes that people find kinda acceptable.