• Red Velvet Cake

    filed under: Chocolate Cakes on December 7, 2017

    This red velvet cake is moist and flavorful and always a show stopper! If you have never made a red velvet cake from scratch, now is the time!

    NO-FAIL Red Velvet Cake! Always delicious! #cake #redvelvetcake #redvelvet #iambaker

    I love this cake for a number of reasons, but mostly because of the taste. It’s just darn delicious! A real good Red Velvet Cake.

    What is red velvet cake?

    This cake has been around forever and started out with simple ingredients like cocoa, buttermilk, and vinegar. Red color was added later, resulting in the vibrant colors we see today. It is traditionally paired with cream cheese frosting, but red velvet cake purists often prefer an ermine (what I call cake gravy) frosting.


    Obsessed with the EXTRA rich cream cheese frosting on a red velvet cake!

    What does red velvet cake taste like?

    These days (in most recipes) it tastes like a chocolate cake. But it shouldn’t taste AS rich as a traditional chocolate cake because of the addition of buttermilk and vinegar, which cut into the richness of the cocoa. However, all of that depends on the quality and selection of the ingredients. You could use a special dark cocoa or apple cider vinegar or extra rich vanilla which would all impact the flavor.

    I walked the middle road with my red velvet cake recipe, using buttermilk and vinegar, but also food color. I also paired it with my favorite cream cheese frosting and think it’s all quite magical!


    The Only red velvet cake recipe you will ever need!

    How do you decorate a Red Velvet Cake?

    I decorated this cake with a few simple tools.

    First was a piping bag fitted with a 2A (large open round) tip. I used this tip to create the dollops around the edged of the cake. It is not essential to use a 2A tip, you can achieve a similar effect by just cutting off the tip of the piping bag. It IS important to use a piping bag to control the flow of frosting when piping the dollops.

    Next is the large offset spatula. This was used to create the pattern on top of the cake where I simply pressed the tip of the spatula down into the dollop and dragged towards the center of the cake. It’s so simple and forgiving yet a really beautiful way to decorate.

    Seriously moist and rich red velvet cake! #redvelvet #redvelvetcake #cake #iambaker

    Tips, tricks, and Variations

    You can make your cream cheese frosting in advance, just make sure it comes to room temperature before you spread it on the cake.

    When cutting this cake use a long sharp knife. I like to cut cake chilled for more precise pieces, but for this cake specifically, I prefer to serve it at room temperature. At room temperature it is soft and using a sharp knife will help ensure your pieces stay together and look beautiful.

    Want to turn this recipe into brownies? Add an additional egg (so 3 total) and remove the baking powder. It’s dense and fudgy red velvet brownie fabulousness!

    Super moist and crazy delicious red velvet cake!

    This is one SUPER moist red velvet cake! I couldn’t stop taking pictures of it. Well, I did actually because then I got to eat it. 🙂

    Red Velvet Cake

    The most moist red velvet cake!

    • Prep Time:10m
    • Cook Time:30m
    • Total Time:40m
    • Serves: 8
    • Yield: 8 pieces


    • 1 c (240g) buttermilk, room temperature
    • 1 tsp. McCormick vanilla
    • 1 tsp. vinegar
    • 1 oz red food color
    • 2 c (450g) granulated sugar
    • 1 c (224g) vegetable oil (can use olive oil)
    • 2 large eggs, room temperature
    • 2 1/2 c (320g)cake flour
    • 1/4 c (32g) good quality cocoa powder
    • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder


    1. Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare three 8-inch round baking pans by spraying with baking and lining with parchment or spreading GOOP and lining with parchment.
    2. In a 2 cup measuring cup (or medium bowl) pour buttermilk.
    3. Add the vanilla, vinegar, and red food color to buttermilk and whisk to fully combine. Set aside.
    4. In a large bowl add sugar, oil, and eggs and whisk together by hand until it is smooth and light yellow.
    5. Add cake flour, cocoa, and baking powder to the sugar mixture and whisk until just combined.
    6. Now add the buttermilk mixture and whisk until just combined. You do not want any lumps, but I do recommend being gentle with this batter.
    7. Pour about 1 3/4 cup batter into each pan and bake for 22-32 minutes. When using my convection oven I will bake these at 325°F for 22 minutes. The cake is done when it does not appear wet on the top and if you press your finger gently in the center of the cake it feels firm.
    8. Allow to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack. Chill cakes until ready to assemble.

    Cream Cheese Frosting

    The BEST Cream Cheese frosting!

    • Prep Time:15m
    • Total Time:15m


      • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened and cut into small pieces
      • 1/2 c (1 stick, 113g) unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
      • 2 tsp. McCormick vanilla extract
      • 5 c confectioner’s sugar


      1. Combine all ingredients except the sugar into the bowl of stand mixer and mix on medium speed until smooth, about 3 to 4 minutes.
      2. Reduce the mixer speed to medium low and add the confectioner’s sugar one cup at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl often.
      3. Once all sugar is added, beat until fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes.

      After additional testing, this recipe has been updated to use CAKE FLOUR instead of all-purpose.

      Cake design from Chiarapassion.com.

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      HI! I AM SO HAPPY I GOT TO FOLLOW YOUR VLOG! THANKS SO MUCH for sharing your expertise! However I have no idea how i can get buttermilk because we don’t sell it here in Norway. Any ideas,suggestions with replacemewnt for it? I tried googling however it would be BEST to hear it from an expert like you! Again,thanks and hoping to hear from you!

        Hi! Yes, you can make your own buttermilk! Take 1 cup of whole milk and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Let sit for about 5 minutes and you have buttermilk! 🙂

      Thank u for ur recipe .i love ur chocolate cake recipe its really superb .i’ll try this tooo

      How to make butter topping. What are the ingredients aside from butter.

      Looked delicious! If I use gel food coloring instead of the red liquid, would it change the way the recipe turns out? I already have the gel type, and would prefer to use what I have on hand. Thanks for the recipe!

      Made this and the layers came out as the smallest cake layers ever. Not impressed whatsoever.

        Did you use 9-inch pans? That would result in a thinner layer and not be as visually appealing.

      I am ready to make this beautiful cake but just realized I only have 9 inch pans. Snowed in so I can’t go buy them. I suppose I can make only two layers unless anyone has another suggestion?

        Yup, I would make 2 layers. 🙂

          I just did and the 2 layers look amazing! I can’t wait to serve for Xmas eve dessert. I will be sure to buy 8 inch pans for next time around. Thanks for the great recipe!

      Does this recipe call for regular or dutch cocoa powder?

        I used regular unsweetened cocoa 😀

        Natural (regular) cocoa. 🙂

      Hello! I love th recipes you share. I try and share almost all of them.

      I ❤️❤️❤️ Red velvet cake, but had never made one from scratch, so I was excited to try this recipe. I’m not sure what happened, but my cake layers didn’t rise; they are very dense and skimpy. They are a little dry too. Otherwise, the flavor is excellent.

      Does the type of cocoa matter? Could that be what made it dry? I’m definitely trying the recipe again and see if it what some fluke.

        If you used Dutch Process cocoa, that could make a minor difference, but not enough to make the cake skimpy and dense.
        My apologies for the dryness, I never ran into that in all my testing of this recipe. I’m at a loss as to why there were any issues. This recipe was tested and tested… always with great results. I will do some research and see if I can determine why you had these specific issues.

      Can tbisbrexioe be doubled or even tripled? I need to make a half sheet cake.

      How many cupcakes do you suppose this recipe would make?

        I just made this recipe with cupcakes and it made 24 as is. Very impressed!! Beautiful color and they have a pretty domed top instead of pancake flat like other cupcake recipes turn out.

      This cake is amazing! I made it for New Year’s Eve and it was a big hit. Thank you for the recipe! I used 9-inch pans but it still looked very professional.

      when you said CAKE FLOUR, it can be any flour? or it should be a specific cake flour
      thsnks 🙂

      Looking forward to trying this one. Very pretty as well!

      Nice one

      Can you use butter instead of oil?

      I love baking and would like to try new recipes.

      Hi all i had a question about the variation to make it into a brownie mixture.

      My question is what size cake tin would you use if you were to make brownies??


      I’m not sure what went wrong, but it turned out dry and tasteless. Disappointed.

        Do you need to add anything for high altitude ?

      I have never liked red velvet cake. It is usually too crumbly and just a red cake. However, my daughter requested one, and I tried yours. It is truly delicious, and perfect with the frosting. Thanks for the recipe.

      Can you use all purpose flour instead of cake flour

      Don't Pass on Dessert!