Red Velvet Buttercream

filed under: Rose + Rosette Cakes on February 11, 2015
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  • Red Velvet Buttercream should have a depth of flavor and a gorgeous red color. This recipe achieves that and is actually really easy! If you love American buttercream frosting as much as I do, be sure to try this recipe!

    Red Velvet Buttercream Rose Cake

    Red Velvet Cake Frosting

    Or, Red Velvet Buttercream. Deep, rich, vibrant, and tasty red velvet frosting that reminds you of a red velvet cake. This recipe offers up the color you want, the flavor you love (chocolate!) and the ability to pipe and create beautiful designs with. It’s just plain fun!

    I wanted to show off this red awesomeness with my Rose Cake technique because there is nothing quite as beautiful as a deep red rose. Right? Right.

    Red Velvet Buttercream Rose Cake


    How to Make Red Velvet Buttercream

    The most popular question I get whenever I share something red velvet is, “How do you get it so red?” Well, it’s easy. Red food coloring. The more you add, the redder it will be. One reason I like this recipe is because there is SO much cocoa, you do not need a huge amount of food coloring.

    Red food coloring will darken considerably the longer it sits! If you feel like your frosting is too ‘pinkish’, put it in an airtight container (PRO TIP: I like to store frosting right in plastic disposable pastry bags) and let it sit for a few hours or overnight. You will see the color deepen.

    Yes, you can use all natural food coloring like India Tree. I recommend using the entire bottle .75 ounce bottle for this size recipe. The color will be a bit more mauve, but still in the red family.

    To achieve the rosette look I have a picture tutorial here and a video here. This cake specifically uses a CLOSED star tip. Using a closed star tip gets the very delicate ruffle edges that you can see above.

    The red velvet buttercream recipe will be enough to cover a 2-layer cake.

    To get a nice clean cut, make sure that your cake is very chilled. If you don’t care about looks and prefer a light and moist crumb, then room-temperature is a great way to go!

    Red Velvet Buttercream
    Prep Time
    30 mins
    Total Time
    30 mins

    Seriously unique and always stunning!

    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: red velvet buttercream
    Servings: 8 servings
    Author: Amanda Rettke
    • 4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
    • 1 cup cocoa powder
    • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks or 170g) unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
    • 1 one-ounce bottle Red food color
    • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
    1. In a small bowl, sift together the confectioner's sugar and cocoa powder.

    2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, add butter and whisk for 2 minutes on high speed.

    3. Turn the mixer off and add in sugar/cocoa mixture.
    4. With the mixer on low speed, add in milk, red food coloring, and vinegar. (Carefully pour in food coloring into the center of the butter mixture)

    5. Whisk on low/medium low speed until smooth and glossy.

    Recipe Video

    Adapted from Perfect Chocolate Buttercream.


    Red Velvet Buttercream Rose Cake

    I paired the frosting with a white cake simply because I love the look and idea of a delicate white cake with a rich bold red velvet.

    I can imagine that this red velvet frosting would be absolutely stunning with a red velvet cake! Or even a chocolate cake! You really can’t go wrong.

    As a matter of fact, everything about this is so, so right.

    To see more Red Velvet creations click here!

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  • Julia @ Sprinkled With Jules says:


  • Lindsay @ Life, Love and Sugar says:

    Love this!! So beautiful! And I can imagine that the buttercream tastes just like red velvet – yum!

  • Kerry at Kerry Cooks says:

    This is SO beautiful Amanda, and I love that you had the idea to reverse a typical red/white red velvet cake – so original!

  • Lisa F. says:

    Omg I had never heard/thought of a red velvet buttercream! I don’t know how long I’ve missed this in my life. I love red velvet cake but this frosting on chocolate cake is definitely happening this weekend. More than likely very often. And this color? Goegeous! You are also correct the deeper red the rose the more beautiful it is! Have a great day:)

  • Jen @ Baked by an Introvert says:

    Gorgeous, Amanda! The idea of reversing the red and white is so creative. I bet that frosting is good enough to eat with a spoon!

  • Georgia says:

    Does the McCormick’s liquid red color have a “taste”? Have you ever made regular white buttercream and used McCormick’s to color it red? Delete that same amount of liquid from the milk? Though Super Red, No Taste Red, and Tulip Red have less taste, it would be nice to know you could pick up a simple bottle of McCormick’s.

  • Amy @Very Culinary says:

    Almost too pretty to eat! …. although, I would totally eat it. DUH.

  • Shannon @ Bake.Frost.Repeat. says:

    Simply stunning and completely beautiful. Pinning! 🙂

  • Made With Pink says:

    This cake is just gorgeous. And I love the white cake recipe too. The Red Velvet buttercream is just brilliant.

  • Jean | says:

    Amanda, that’s some beeeautiful piping! Just gorgeous!

  • Angelina says:

    You have officially blown any other contrast cakes out of the water. Now that I’ve seen this stunner, I call the black and white combo out and the red and white in! That fluffiness of the cake looks like angel food cake…what a beauty!

  • Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures says:


  • Laureen says:

    Terrific looking buttercream, I curious about the apple cider vinegar?

  • Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom says:

    Amanda, hahaha. . I LOVE that Meghan Trainor song! Because you know I’m all about that bass,
    ‘Bout that bass, no treble 😛 oh the buttercream.. . LOVE!!! gorgeous!!!

  • Kelly says:

    This cake is stunning with your red velvet buttercream! Your rose swirl is my always my favorite way to decorate any cake now. Pure perfection!

  • Beth @ bethcakes says:

    I am obsessed with this frosting and I will be making it asap. 🙂

  • Laine says:

    Wow! Those red roses look amazing. I wish I had just a fraction of frosting skills!

  • [email protected] The Homeschooled Hoosier says:

    Oh. My. Goodness. This looks divine!!

  • Lara @ Thegirlcaneat says:

    Love your blog and I also love this post!!! The red frosting is so strikingly different from the white cake inside. It looks stunning. I absolutely must make this for my next cake! Thanks for sharing!

  • Thalia @ butter and brioche says:

    I am obsessed with how beautiful this cake is. Your icing skills are incredible! pinned!

  • ChiO says:

    Ah this frosting looks rich, sinful and delicious!!! Lovely. Welldone.

  • McKenna Jones says:

    What tip did you use for these rosettes? I always use 1M and in your tutorial you say use a 1M; however the roses are different on this cake than on the other ones! I love these ones and would love to know how to make these ones!

    • Amanda says:

      IT is the 1M. I just applied more pressure while piiping. 🙂

      • JanetB says:

        But the 1M isn’t a closed tip. Now I’m confused!!! I think the 4D is closed maybe? You can get it in a set with the 1M and the big plain round one.

        • Amanda says:

          I have purchased 1M tips that are both open and closed. It seems that they are pretty inconsistent that way! If yours happens to be fully open, try just gently pressing in the edges so that they touch. (Recommended for your second 1M tip, it’s good to have at least 2!)

  • JanetB says:

    I love the ruffly edges on the roses.

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