Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

I will be the first to admit that I am opinionated about cake. But with most types of cake I believe there is wiggle room as to what makes a perfect cake. Chocolate can be dense and rich or light and moist, vanilla can be open crumbed and fluffy or tender and compact. When it comes to Red Velvet Cake though, I believe there is one gold standard of perfection and this recipe achieves just that.

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Red Velvet cake should be light and moist and tender with a noticeable buttermilk flavor and a lingering complexity brought about by a splash of vinegar and a touch (and just a touch) of natural cocoa powder. Some bakers overwhelm Red with chocolate flavor but with too much cocoa all of the lovely nuances are lost.

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This recipe was developed over years of Red Velvet Cake making. My cake binder is loaded with recipes I have tried and variations I have mixed up. But I believe this recipe encompasses the best of what Red Velvet should be.A-red-double-web

Here are the reasons this recipe makes an excellent Red Velvet Cake:

  • A combination of all-purpose and cake flour to achieve a tender and light but also open texture.
  • Both butter and oil are included to aid in moistness and improved texture as well as the flavor of this cake.
  • A full tablespoon of cider vinegar not only provides flavor but acts as a reactive agent with baking soda for a very light, tender cake.
  • Natural cocoa powder adds a mild and subtle chocolate essence while contributing acidity to leavening processes as well.
  • The dairy component includes buttermilk and sour cream which provide the ideal combination of flavor and moisture.

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I mixed up a simple sweet White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting to top off this not-so-overly-sweet cake but if you prefer less sweet desserts you may want to add Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

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This would make a lovely treat for your Valentine as the lovey holiday approaches. When my son was three he used to call this cake Red Vomit Cake. I think he misheard me say the name and was more accustomed to the word “vomit” than “velvet”. So, if you don’t have a Valentine, make this cake for yourself and I won’t be offended if you call it Red Vomit Cake in opposition to all things dealing with love.

Happy Baking!

Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons (6 ounces, or 170 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup (4 ounces, 115 grams) vegetable oil
  • 14 ounces (400 grams) granulated sugar-2 cups
  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 ounces (170 grams) all-purpose flour-1 ¼ cups
  • 5 ounces (140 grams) cake flour- 1 ¼ cups* (see end of recipe for substitute)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) natural cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons (7 ½ milliliters) baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon (3 ¾ milliliters) salt
  • 1 cup (240 milliliters) buttermilk
  • ½ cup (120 grams) sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) red food coloring
  • For the White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 12 ounces (340 grams) cream cheese
  • 8 ounces (230 grams) good quality white chocolate, chopped or callets
  • 24 ounces (680 grams) unsalted butter, softened-3 cups or 6 sticks
  • 24 ounces (680 grams) powdered sugar-6 cups
  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with Baker’s Joy or grease and flour.
  2. Beat butter, oil and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated.
  3. In a 2 cup measuring cup combine buttermilk, sour cream, vinegar and vanilla and whisk to blend.
  4. Whisk together flours, baking soda, salt and cocoa (sift if there are noticeable lumps of cocoa or flour after whisking). Add dry mixture to butter mixture and stir on low until the dry ingredients just start to get moistened. Add half of buttermilk mixture and stir until it is just incorporated. Add remaining liquids and stir to combine. Gently stir in red food coloring and mix for about 30 seconds, scraping down once until the batter is uniform and smooth.
  5. Pour into prepared pans and bake for about 25-30 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. Be sure this rich tender batter is fully done or you could encounter structural problems Cool 20 minutes in pan and then turn out to a cooling rack. Cool completely if using immediately, or wrap in two layers of plastic wrap if using later. I suggest working with this cake when it is chilled since it is very fragile. Frost the cooled cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream or your buttercream of choice. Enjoy!
  6. *Cake flour substitute: Use 125 grams all-purpose plain flour and 15 grams cornstarch or potato starch in place of cake flour.
  7. For the White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:
  8. In a medium microwave-safe bowl soften the cream cheese until warm. Stir in the white chocolate and microwave on high for 45 seconds and stir to melt the white chocolate into the cream cheese. If needed heat in 15 second intervals and stir until the chocolate is melted. Place in the refrigerator or freezer to cool while you prepare the rest of the frosting.
  9. Beat the butter with the paddle attachment of a standing mixer for 3 minutes until very light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and mix slowly, increasing speed when the sugar is incorporated, until all the powdered sugar is added. Add the vanilla and beat on high for 30 seconds to lighten.
  10. When the cream cheese mixture is cool, gradually add it to the frosting in the mixer bowl with the speed set to medium low. When all the cream cheese mixture is added beat for one minute on medium high. Use immediately or rebeat for one minute on medium high before using.
https://www.cakepaperparty.com/2015/01/red-velvet-cake/

 

 

195 thoughts on “Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting”

    1. I actually use a liquid double red from Cash and Carry by First Street. It has the least offensive flavor that I have tried too.

  1. Hi Summer, I’m in Australia and while we’ve vaguely embraced the red velvet phenomenon, it’s nowhere near as big here as it is in the US.

    I’m a little in the dark on why people love it so much, possibly I’ve never had a good one? A fairly neutral tasting cake with artificial red colouring purely for the look of it, I don’t really get it!

    Your recipe has way less food colouring than others I’ve seen, but it’s still a lot more than I’m used to, and which as you said can really affect the taste.

    Firstly, what am I missing? It’s very pretty but so would other things if we dyed them red!!
    Secondly, have you tried beetroot-enhanced ones perhaps with gel colour to minimise the artificial colouring?

    I’m trying SO hard not to be a hater as I love (and re-bake) every one of your recipes that I’ve tried so far, which is pretty much all of them 🙂 Help!!

    1. Haha Angela! Yes it is gaudy craziness. I have not tried the beetroot color. I cannot taste the red in this cake so I have not found a reason to veer from this color that I have used. Aside from the color, I truly love the flavor of this cake! It is far more complex than a basic buttermilk cake and the vinegar adds a tender, lightness that is unique to Red Velvet. If you find the color ridiculous you can by all means leave it out and have lovely pale beige yumminess. Give it try and let me know what you think of the flavor. 🙂

      1. Thanks! I will definitely give it a whirl and let you know how I go. It does look quite lush 🙂
        I am also keen to do some red velvet cupcakes for Valentine’s Day, do you have any suggestions for amendments I should make to the recipe to make it work better for cupcakes?

        1. My favorite Red Velvet cupcakes are made from Rebecca Rather’s recipe (The Pastry Queen) in her Christmas cookbook, but if you want to adjust this recipe for cupcakes this would be my recommendation; increase the flour by 1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) and reduce the baking soda to one teaspoon. That should give you enough structure. Let me know how it goes!

          1. Thanks for taking the time to reply to your crazy fans (speaking only for myself in terms of the crazy bit!) and for sharing your cake geekery. I love your posts and I really appreciate your precise and logical instructions. It makes my internal cake OCD very happy 🙂
            I’ll let you know how my cupcakes go!

          2. I am so excited to try this as a cupcake version! Do I increase both cake and all purpose flour? Thank you. 🙂

          3. I would just increase the all-purpose flour. You will get better structure support that way. Good luck! 🙂

        2. Hi Angela, just wondering if you got around to making the cupcakes and if they worked out ok? I’ve made the cake several times and it’s always turned out perfect, but have never tried them as cupcakes. Thanks for your help!

    2. Hi Angela
      I am in Australia too.

      It is possible to buy flavourless food colouring from cake decoration suppliers or online. Wilton makes Red (no taste ) gel in a 1oz/ 28 gram pot. It usually costs about $5-6. BakeBoss also sells an intense gel colour range so you do not use as much as you might with supermarket brands.

      I am with you on the flavour of most red velvet cakes – rich dark chocolate any day please. However I think as a nation, we tend to go for strong well defined flavours ( like pavlova with passionfruit and strawberries) and red velvet is a bit sweet and wishy washy by comparison.
      Perhaps we have not tried the perfect red velvet cake yet.

    3. I have tried beetroot powder from the health food store, and it didn’t work out well. Maybe dark cherry concentrate? You would have to alter the recipe. A LOT of children are sensitive to artificial red food coloring – I watched one child’s cheeks flush in a few minutes after eating maraschino cherries. Red velvet cake is popular, though…it would be great to have an alternative version. Very nice blog!

  2. I’m very new to your site and while I was baking your vanilla cake — you were playing this! The cake smells delicious and looks and feels so moist! I will be using our simple buttercream icing tomorrow night and I can’t wait to try the red velvet!

    1. Update: I tried it and it was lovely. The red food coloring wasn’t overpowering at all. The texture and taste came out perfect. This will be my go to red velvet cake. Thanks for sharing.
      Ps: I only had cake flour and so I added one tablespoon for every one cup of flour.
      Thanks again.

  3. Hi Summer, I too am Aussie and agree with Angela that red velvet has not been popular here. I am so excited to try this one though as I suspect it’s because a good recipe has eluded me. I also am grateful for your cake flour substitution note as it’s not available here. Thanks Summer x

  4. Oooh, just noticed that it’s the same base as your White Velvet Cake, which I’ve been using with cocoa and coloring to make Red Velvet! 😀 I totally agree, it’s the best Red Velvet cake ever. Thank you for perfecting this 🙂

  5. Hi Summer! This cake looks amazing! Have you ever tried using the Red Velvet emulsion? I was just wondering if it could be used in this cake. Either way, I can’t wait to give it a try!

  6. I have been looking for the secret to people’s love for red velvet cake and I may have just found it! Cannot wait for a free weekend to try this cake!

  7. I’m very interested in the red velvet emulsion too, instead of food coloring. I have it but haven’t tried it yet. Stayed away from red velvet for the same reasons as stated from Australia. Thanks ! So far all the recipes I’ve tried have been amazing

  8. Summer – Can I use this icing to pipe onto cupcakes? – I’ll send you pic and updates of how the vanilla cake turns out – 1/22 & 1/24 are the two dates I am baking for work and my cousin’s baby shower.

    1. Yes, this is loosely based on a cupcake icing recipe so it will work great. Just be sure to pipe it after it is freshly whipped for the best structure. 🙂

  9. I love all of your recipes. I am a bit of a devotee of Rose Beranbaum because of the care and attention and full explanations of ingredients that she has in her books. You have the same approach in terms of explaining why things work and I love it. Thank you thank you for publishing your recipes in cups and weights. I have lived in North America for 40 years and still cannot get my head around cup measures. I find it time consuming and inaccurate for baking purposes. I am making your chocolate mud cake this weekend. Would this cream cheese icing taste good with it or should I use the Swiss Meringue white chocolate recipe? I was thinking of using the white choc for filling and outer coating of the chocolate sour cream. Thanks too to Jessica Harris for leading me to your site.

    1. I made the mud cake last week and used the chocolate sour cream frosting, covered cake in chocolate ganache and fondant (a mix of vanilla and chocolate )- it was a knitting basket cake which necessitated the fondant . Anyway – the day I made the cake- we tasted it and we’re so sad it had no taste and made a different recipe. However …. The 2nd day it was fabulous!!! It must need to settle a day to develop its flavor ? And the choc. Sour cream Christi g, I was also a bit worried about when tasting alone. Again – it was perfect with the mud cake ! OMG- Everyone went crazy over the taste of this cake and it is now their favorite- and they taste my new cake recipes every month .What a perfect pairing.

      1. Awesome! Yes, the mud cake does develop flavor over time. It is a bit of a flavor mystery but it develops even over a few days. The nice thing is that it gives you time to decorate 🙂 Glad you persevered and gave it a chance!

    2. Hi Lesley, This frosting is a bit light and fluffy in texture compared to the density of Mud Cake. I would probably opt for the SMBC recipe. Best of luck!

  10. Hi Summer! This Red Velvet looks Delish and I can’t wait to bake it this weekend! My question is.. is this cake dense enough for stacking (multiple tiers) and for carving? Or is it too fluffy and airy? I currently use a doctored box mix for my red velvet but I really want a scratch recipe.. And also I’m wondering if I can use my Loranne Ted Velvet Emulsion with this? Thanks as always! :0)

    1. Hi Gladys, When it is at room temperature it is a bit soft for carving but if you work with it cold the crumb is tight enough that it will carve well. And it stacks fine. I haven’t had problems with bulging as long as it is supported if stacked on. I think you should be totally fine using the Red Velvet Emulsion. I have not used that one but I imagine that if you are happy with the flavor it provides that it will only improve the flavor. Best of luck!

    1. I think as long as you used all low-fat sour cream you would be fine. I think that you will end up with too much fat using full-fat sour cream. This cake already pushes the envelope on fat/moisture and it could seem greasy and less stable with the fat increase. 🙂

  11. Well, this is great! I was just thinking about Red Velvet and how come you don’t have a post on this! And there you are, right in my inbox! Lovely!!!! I always trust your recipes and all your advice!!!! Can’t wait to try it!

  12. Beautiful colour!!! That is always the problem I have with Red Velvet recipes that have too much cocoa in. The colour really isn’t pretty and RED! I can’t wait to try your recipe, the colour is stunning!

    I have a problem: I live in South Africa and we don’t have all-purpose flour!!! We have bread flour, self-raising flour and cake-flour. What should I use to replace the all-purpose flour in your recipes? And what is the difference between all-purpose and cake-flour and all-purpose and bread flour?

    Thank you so much for everything we learn from you!

  13. Hi Summer, I am going to make this cake, but here’s a question. I enjoy applying a simple syrup to most of my cakes and infusing it with a liqueur – ( Coconut Rum liqueur, Kahlua, Grand Marnier, Chocolate liqueur simple syrups). I have only had red velvet cake once before. Any thoughts as to what might compliment it? It’s a pretty light touch, but makes it quite special i dimensional flavors. Thought I’d ask your opinion before I start making a bunch to try and save that effort with your taste experience. Excited to make this. Thank you. Perfect timing as others have said.

      1. Oh absolutely. I add a Frangelico simple syrup to it. Everyone LOVES it! Frangelico and chocolate are a perfect combination. I also add it to the Mud Cake. Not that they need more moisture. I just love to add under layers of flavors. And.. everyone always comments how moist they are! Just did the red velvet 2 weeks ago for a bridal shower. They loved it! I did a vanilla bean paste SMB on the outside. And the leftover trimmings or pans make amazing cake balls.

  14. Hi Summer, this cake is in my oven right now!! Cant wait to try it! But just wanted to let you know that I think you left out where to add the vinegar. Unless it’s supposed to be where “Add remaining liquids” is. I didn’t catch it until the very end, so I added it at the same time as the red food coloring. I hope it’ll still come out ok!

    I’ve been searching for the past few weeks for the perfect red velvet cake to make for the grooms cake for my wedding! So glad you posted this because your mud cake recipe is my go-to chocolate cake recipe so I know this one will be delicious too! I’ll also be using your mud cake recipe as 2 of the tiers for my wedding cake! 🙂

  15. Hello again! Made the cake- Wow! I also used the Red velvet Emulsion. Not as red as your cake but acceptable. This cake is so fluffy and delicate and baked perfectly! Light cocoa flavor. I’ll make the frosting tomorrow, but it tasted excellent with my white choc. cream cheese frosting recipe too. And we did a taste test with the Frangelico simple syrup and the Godiva ss. The Frangelico won- subtle extra hint of background flavor. Another winner. Thank you very much!

  16. I want to make an eggless red velvet cake. What should I do? Can I tweek this recipe? Should I try it without the eggs?

        1. Ener-G makes a powdered egg substitute or you can something like xanthan gum to help hold things together. You can also find simple substitute recipes online. Best of luck!

  17. This cake sounds amazing, Summer! Trying it tonight. But would also like to make some cupcakes, would you know how many to expect from this batch? Thank you for sharing!!

  18. Hi Summer, I’ve been hanging out for a red velvet cake recipe and I am so grateful that you’ve shared your recipe as I find your recipes to be of sound practices.

    I want to know if natural cocoa means Dutch processed or just regular baking cocoa, as I often get confused and I know the Dutch processed cocoa tends to be more alkaline.

    Vincent

    1. You can store it in the refrigerator for three days or freeze it just be sure to bring it to almost room temperature and beat it before using.

  19. Hi the cake was super super moist was not able to pick up also stacking was also very difficult PLS suggest what went wrong all ingredients were as per mentioned

    1. This cake is very moist and fragile. I chill mine well before stacking. They should firm up perfectly at refrigerator temperature but you can also freeze them to work with. I hope that helps! It is a bit of the nature of Red Velvet.

  20. Dear Summer, I came across your site by chance whilst searching for fixes for broken MC 🙂 I love your page and also the science sides of things. Will definitely be baking some of your cake creations, especially this gorgeous Red Velvet Cake. Thank you for sharing. Best wishes from Germany. Nadia

  21. Hi Summer, made the red velvet cake on the weekend and it was brilliant. Just made cupcakes with the adjustments you recommended and they were also brilliant! Thank you so much for sharing your amazing recipes. You rock!

  22. Hi Summer, love your website. So much to try and so little time! Can you tell me what AP Flour you use? I use King Arthur Unbleached AP flour and it weighs in at 4.25 oz. per cup. I noticed that your flour is 4.8 oz. per cup. I don’t have an aversion to changing brands, but if I can’t, could you tell me how to adjust your recipes please?

    1. Thank you Ben! I use a variety of different flours so that I can get a feel across the gamut for what works. I have not found huge differences in the out come. I often use Gold Medal flour but sometimes use King Arthur as well. If you can measure by weight this will be your best bet. I always weigh out my flour so the weights are consistent. If you are measuring by cup, I would follow cup-for-cup. The weight differences often have to do with the way the flour is handled. Just don’t sift first and you should be fine. Let me know if I can help in any other way! 🙂

  23. Update- the red velvet cake is fabulous and I have made the extra cake ( I made it twice) into cake balls- everyone went crazy over them- even those who said I have never had a red velvet cake that I like- and he now ordered 2 dozen red velvet cupcakes. Thank you for making me look so good. And I, too now love red velvet cake!

  24. Could I use srf ( self rising flour) and what about shortening in place of the butter or do you prefer butter and do you perfer the cider over the regular vinger. I stop making red velvet could never get it right or find the right one this looks great.

    1. Yes you can use srf, just be sure to compensate in leavening. I would stick with butter and I do prefer the cider vinegar. It offers a more complex flavor. 🙂

  25. I made cupcakes of this and they were totally divine – and that was before reading about the sugested recipe amendement. I just want to eat more 🙂
    Can I ask your advise. I have a 10″ tin and would like to make a big in that for valentines day. WIll the cake hold up to being baked all in one go? And how long do you think I cook it for?
    I also dont have all purpose flour so can I use self raising and cake flour?
    Thank you – I love your blog!

  26. I had major baby brain and mixed the sugar in with other dry ingredients instead of with the butter mixture, will this wreck the cake?:(

  27. I’ve made several red velvet cakes and this is by far the best. Thank you again. 3 out of 3 recipes that I’ve tried and I have loved each one of them. Essential vanilla cupcakes, banana cupcakes and now this! Total success!!!!!!!!!!

  28. Hi Summer, want to try this recipe, but dont have 3 8″ round tins, however I have an 8″ round tin that will hold a deepth of 3″ how long should I bake it for? I wasvthinkingbif one 8″ tin takes 30-35 minsvthen a tin TT his size would take approx one and a half hours is that right?

  29. Hi Summer,
    I usually only use Dutch processed cocoa powder in my cakes. Do you think it will work in this excellent Red Velvet cake also? Thank you. You are so talented & amazing!

  30. Hi Summer! I can’t believe it took me that long to comment on your amazing blog! I love your recipes! I love your theories, tips and the science behind everything. Just a quick question, could this recipe be made in a deep pan instead of sandwich tins? Thanks a million! xx

  31. Hi Summer,
    I made your red velvet cake the other day, and can I say it taste perfect.
    The only downside that I have is that when I took it out of the oven, it had clasped in the middle already, (mind you once I had levelled it it was perfect). I did also use an 8″ tin that was 3″ tall, could of that been my problem? And I do think I had over filled it a bit as well. I also have a fan assisted oven so turned my temp down by 20 degrees.

    you also said that you put your cakes into 3 separate tins for 30 -35mins, as I did one big one I just added the 3 tin times together is that right.

    Any help you can give me would be much appreciated. Many thanks for taking the time to read this, gill x

  32. Hi Summer,
    This cake looks and sounds delicious. Earlier in your comments you posted you bought the liquid double red from Cash and Carry by First Street. I was wondering whether they have a web site or address. I have never heard of First Street before. Is it a Supermarket chain

  33. Hi there,
    As I live in the UK It is very hard to get natural coco powder. Is it at all possible to replace with Dutch processed coco as if so would I need to change any of the other ingredients to reflect the new acid levels??
    Thanks for your help

  34. I have tried many of Your recipes and All are perfect!!! I baked this cake on a sheet pan to make small cakes an I had to freeze it because it is so soft and moist but people loved it, it is the best red velvet cake!!!! I used a diff buttercream recipe but I will try yours next time. My dream is to have time to try all of your recipes one day. You are the best thing that could happen to me and my family, thank you thank you thank you!!! I still need

  35. Hi summer ! I’ve been loving your blog since forever and I was just wondering if I want to make these into cupcakes how would you change the recipe to suit it please reply!! Thank you!

  36. Hi Summer,

    Will this work with blue coloring? I wanted to use this recipe for a blue velvet baby shower cake. What color would you recommend I buy from a general grocery store like Wal-mart?

    Thanks for your help.

  37. Hi Summer , thank you so much , once more your recipe hit the spot 🙂 my Southern friend LOVE your red velvet cake . If you ever write a book about baking 🙂 I’ll be in line to buy it 🙂 . Many blessings .

  38. Hi Summer, I was hoping to use this recipe with the Cream Cheese SMB for a stacked cake covered in fondant, but does it need to stay refridgerated with the cream cheese in it? My cake was going to be made 3 days prior to eating so I can decorate it. Thanks!

  39. Hi Summer! How did you frost with this icing? I am struggling with it so much…so do soft…btw..the red velvet cake is to die for!

  40. Hi Summer, So of course I can’t get that red food coloring. Not available online other than eBay which won’t work for me. I have made this recipe and love it, but this client wants a red color like yours to go with her theme. Any suggestions, anything else work for you before you started using this one? I use the Lorann’s, but yes, not very red cake.

  41. Hi Summer! Bless you for sharing all your amazing recipes! I’ve done this recipe 3 times now and definitely the best red velvet cake ever! This time I need to make a 2 layer fondant cake for 40th birthday. Can I use this recipe for that? Will it hold well for fondant? Many thanks. Priscilla

      1. It will hold up well under fondant. Just be sure to have a stable buttercream like SMBC or ganache to ensure a solid foundation. 🙂

  42. I found red food coloring from Adams Extract – “the original red velvet recipe” people. – apparently. Worked well.

  43. I made the cake yesterday and the texture and flavor are right on. Is there any way I can use this recipe for other flavors like lemon or plain vanilla? Do I just cut out the cocoa and coloring? Thanks in advance!

  44. Hi Summer, please I have a question what happen if I made this cake in one pan instead of 3 pans, BTW I made this cake and its to die for love it.

    1. It depends on the pan ;). You can do one large pan, like a 12″ round or 9×13, but this cake will not likely do well in a tall 8″ because of the way it is formulated. I hope that helps! So glad you like it.:)

        1. Hello,
          I sent a question but did not get a reply. Do you happen to know how much I should use No taste Wilton red food coloring 2 Tablespoons? Thank you

  45. Hi. I just baked this cake today, tripled the recipe as I am making a large tiered cake. It seemed to bake perfectly, and now I am moving onto the frosting… Could you please tell me how much frosting your recipe yields for this cake? Because I had to triple the cake part.. I’m really hoping I won’t have to triple the frosting

    1. I’m not sure on the exact volume but I would guess about 4 cups. I would triple it to be safe. There is nothing worse than coming up short on frosting!

      1. Ok thank you! I was able to get a taste in and it is delicious!!! Not too sweet, texture is perfect! Which I am shocked cuz I had to triple it, well actually I ended up baking a sheet cake for the bottom of the 3 large rounds so I ended up with 5 times the recipe. I’m not filling, just out side of layers… So I’m still wondering on how much frosting to make… I’ll decide in the morning though. Thank you again for your quick response.

  46. I use Wilton red gel food color-no taste because regular red food color tastes incredibly bitter to me and ruins whatever it’s been added to.

    My husband’s favorite birthday cake is red velvet. I’d never heard of it before; apparently it is a Southern specialty and at the time we were married, it was virtually unknown in the rest of the country.

    My husband’s grandmother taught me how to make red velvet cake and insists that cream cheese frosting is NOT the correct frosting and filling for it. Instead, a special buttercream frosting called “flour frosting” or “ermine frosting” is correct and traditional for red velvet cake.

    To make this frosting, you cook flour and milk to a thick paste and chill it thoroughly. Then you whip butter and sugar until light and fluffy; add vanilla; and add the chilled flour-milk paste in dollops, beating at high speed until frosting increases in volume and is very light and creamy, with a texture like whipped cream. Absolutely delicious, and relatively low-fat!

    RECIPE FOR A 2-LAYER 9″ CAKE
    MAKES ABOUT 5 CUPS

    9 tablespoons flour
    pinch of salt
    1 1/2 cups milk
    1 tablespoon vanilla
    1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened slightly (dent will remain when you press with butter with a finger)
    1 1/2 cups sugar

    In a small saucepan over a Flame-Tamer, whisk flour and salt into milk until smooth. Bring to a simmer over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until very thick (whisk will lift paste as you whisk). Cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap touching surface of paste (to prevent skin from forming) and chill 1 hour..

    Whip butter until pale and fluffy; gradually add sugar and beat until completely smooth (without sugar grit), about 5 minutes, scraping bowl as needed; add vanilla and blend well. Gradually add chilled paste (I add about 2 tablespoons at a time), beating at medium speed. Thoroughly blend first portion of paste into butter mixture before adding next portion. Whip at high speed until frosting has increased in volume and is very light and creamy in texture, like whipped cream.

    Spread about 1-1/2 cups between the 2 layers, then spread the rest over the top and sides of the cake.

    This frosting pipes beautifully and doesn’t soften at room temperature.

    1. Thanks Christine! Yes, the Wilton no-taste is a good option. I find even less taste from the First Street brand that I use but I don’t know how widely it is available.

      I actually love ermine frosting! It can be found with my Fresh Strawberry Cake recipe and is an awesome and yes, more traditional, pairing for Red Velvet. Thank you for pointing out that alternative! 🙂

      1. Hello,
        I was tasked with making a 12″ grooms cake for my future son in law for the wedding in a few weeks and he only likes Red Velvet. Can’t wait to try this. Should I use 2 Tablespoons of the Wilton no taste gel? Please let me know. Thank you.

        Tsili

    2. You will find all most all red velvet cakes have cocoa in them. This is not to give a cocoa flavor but to cut the bitterness of the red food color. You shouldn’t have a problem using regular food color as long as the cocoa is present. My personal recipe calls for 2 oz. regular coloring and there is no bitter flavor.

  47. Excellent recipe! The cake was very moist and delicate..did not have cider vinegar so substituted with white vinegar. That’s the only change i made otherwise followed your recipe to the T. Did your sm cream cheese frosting to go with the cake. Everybody just loved the cake and wiped it out in no time. Thanks for such a great recipe!!

  48. Hi Summer! I need an advice, my brother and my father in law are diabetics; Both loves eating cakes, Who doesn’t ? My questions is, What can I do to reduce the sugar without sacrificing the structure? What do you recommend me? Can you, please, publish a recipe whit less sugar or a substitute?
    Thank you! I love your blog 🙂

    1. Hi Minerva! I know how sad it can be to miss out on cake when you are avoiding sugar. Generally I only eat sugar in Saturday’s and special occasions so I am always looking for ways to substitute sugar alternatives. When I bake low sugar I usually use half Splenda measure or Stevia (with volume equivalent to sugar) and half fructose. Fructose works well because it will actually reduce the glycemic index of what you are eating and reduce effects on blood sugar. It also holds onto water better than sucrose so it makes for a moist cake. I find it compensates for the sucrose loss with the sugar substitute. If you are worried about moisture though you can add a couple tablespoons more of fat or liquid. For buttercream, try the ermine frosting given with the Fresh Strawberry Cake and use the same half and half substitute I noted above. I hope that helps!

  49. Hi Summer
    Thanks again for yet another great recipe, want to make a red velvet cheesecake for a friend’s wedding, using this fab looking recipe. Please advise what frosting to use, as I plan to frost it for the happy occasion. Will be travelling quite a distance to the venue, and we are heading into very hot and humid weather here in South Africa. Many thanks Kathy

  50. Just found your blog recently and love your recipes. I have you vanilla cake in the oven at the moment. I am practicing for my son’s upcoming 18th birthday and my daughter’s 21st. I noticed you have not posted since January this year. I hope you have more recipe coming! I look forward to them!

    1. Thank you! I have a huge desire to continue posting. I even have a couple of cakes baked and photographed to share! I’m this past year I have gotten married, had surgery and am now working to prepare my husband’s house to sell. So, I have just had trouble finding the time to write. I truly miss it and all of my awesome readers so I hope to share more soon. Smiles!

      1. I am glad to hear you are ok. I was also worried about you as you hadn’t posted in so long. Congratulations on getting married. So exciting. You take care of yourself (and your hubby) and we will look forward to hearing from you soon!! Thanks for all the recipe help. You are amazing!

  51. Hi. If I want to add Grand Marnier to the batter, can you recommend an amount and where in the process to add it so I won’t either destroy the integrity or flavor of the cake? Thank you!

  52. I tried this recipe for my partners birthday cake.. it was a hit everyone loved it! this is by far the best red velvet cake recipe I have found! thank you. Il be making this for my wedding cake! quick question I have to make my cake in advance I am wondering how long it will keep if wrapped and stored before iced.

    1. It would be fine for maybe two days at room temp but you can refrigerate for longer and freeze it for quite some time. I have been known to freeze fully frosted and fondanted cakes. I just thaw for a couple of days in the fridge before the event.

  53. Hi summer I made this recipe today and baked part of it in normal pans and the other part as cup cakes and it was beyond amazing the texture and the taste and the flavor every thing about it was absolutely divine, thank u so much I mean I used to bake a wonderful red velvet recipe which was always a big hit but I never liked eating red velvet but your recipe just broke all my feelings towards the red velvet it is just heavenly thank u so much for such wonderful recipe

    1. Hi Tala, Good Red Velvet is one of my favorite cakes. I think the complexity of flavors is wonderful but they often come across too muted in many recipes. I am so glad you are happy with this recipe.:)

  54. Hi Summer I just made this red velvet cake and it flaten, why did you think it happened? I follow all directions exactly. Thanks for the recipe I am gonna taste it in a few hours!!!

  55. Hi,
    This recipe looks awesome. I read ur suggestion about cupcakes. How many cupcakes does this yield? And can I substitute sour cream with yogurt. I can’t find sour cream where I live
    One more question can the recipe be halved?
    Thanks

  56. This looks yum!
    Some questions
    Can this be halved?
    How many cupcakes does this yield?
    Can I substitute sour cream with yougurt?
    Thanks 🙂

  57. Hi, this cake looks great – You mentioned that it is fragile, would it be suitable to use for a fondant covered stacked cake?

    1. Cream cheese frosting is notoriously soft and not a friend to fondant. I would fill the cake cream cheese frosting and use SMBC for the outside of the cake. You can use the swirl in method that I used on the Mocha Almond Fudge Cake if you are concerned about stability at all. 🙂

  58. Hello, I have the cake in the fridge chilling as I write this, it smells wonderful cooling! 🙂 My daughter requested a Red Velvet cake for her birthday, today, and this recipe caught my eye because of the white chocolate cream cheese frosting….which I have a question about. Is the recipe correct in using 6 sticks of unsalted butter in the frosting?? My recipe for regular butter cream frosting and my cream cheese frosting only calls for two? Why so much? Also, I made two layers which I plan on slicing each in half to make a four layer naked cake, have you tried that with this cake?

    1. Hi Sheila! I hope all of your daughter’s birthday plans are going well. Yes, the recipe is correct. I know this seems like a lot but it does make a very nice, smooth, balanced frosting. If you prefer it sweeter you can always add more powdered sugar. There is a great deal of butter but also cream cheese. Without all the butter the frosting becomes too soft with all the cream cheese. Give it a try.

      I haven’t split the layers on the red velvet but I did on my White Velvet cake and it worked well so you should be fine. Just be sure to do it when the cakes are cold. It will be beautiful as a naked cake too. Best of luck!
      I

  59. Hello Summer
    I am about to make this cake for the top layer of my son’s wedding cake. They want the cake decorated with fresh flowers etc
    Will this frosting be too soft to support decorations? Will they sink in or does the white chocolate make the frosting firm?
    Thanks
    Helen (Australia)

    1. This frosting is still a bit on the soft side and since weddings are such an important occasion I would stick with a buttercream that is coonsistently stable like Easy Foolproof SMBC or another European buttercream. You could fill the cake with it though. For safety sake I would use the swirl in method I used in the Mocha Almond Fudge Cake. I hope it is a blessed celebration!

  60. Hi! This recipe looks amazing! I’m making this for the bottom tier for my sons birthday party this week and was wondering if I have to triple the recipe or make adjustments. Will this recipe work on 3-8×3 pans? Wondering if this red velvet is very chocolately? If I use 1 1/2 tbs of cocoa powder instead of 2 tbs of cocoa powder, do I have to substitute with something else? Id really appreciate your prompt reply! Can’t wait to try this! Thanks in advance

  61. Hello summer,

    I am planning to make cupcakes with this recipe. Can we make this eggless ? If yes then what should I use to substitute eggs ? I have to bake it today 🙁

    Thanks

  62. Hello Summer, I tried your red velvet cake for a birthday cake. I used SMBC with some cream cheese as the filling and white chocolate ganache to frost it. And then covered it in fondant. While the taste of the cake was excellent, i wasn’t able to cut the cake – it crumbled and we had to use a spoon to scoop it out and serve. im wonering if that was beacuse it was an oil based cake and beacuse it uses cake flour? If i switched those two ingredients for same quanity butter and plain flour do you think it would lend a more stable structure to withstand the weight of the fondant? Any thoughts? Thanks again.

    1. Hi! Sorry for your crumbles. Butter will not help a whole lot with the crumbling effect it it may make a more compact cake which may seem less crumbly. The flour change could help some but I added cake flour here to improve the texture and you may miss out on that benefit. I would add an egg or two egg whites. That should definitely help with structure and holding things together. Let me know if you try it out! Smiles.

    1. You will need to find a conversion or substitute recipe and then subtract the amount of leavening per cup that is in self rising flour from the recipe. Sometimes the self rising flour will have more leavening than is required. In this case you may need to add some plain flour to dilute the leavening. 🙂

  63. Hi Summer!
    Im totally new to your blog and wanna try your red velvet recipe this weekend. Never tried anything like it so it should be an interesting challenge. 😉 Plus Im based in Germany so Ill have to make some adjustments (metric system, make my own cake flour and such). Ive just ordered an 8 inch PME seamless aluminium tin (about four inch high) and am hoping to make a high layered drip cake version.
    Do you have any tips for me regarding adjusting the amounts for the layers and how to bake them? I read in one of your comments that it might be difficult to bake the full tin and cut it, so Im wondering if I should try to bake three (or six…) separate thin layers?!
    And last but not least – do you think this frosting will be a hard enough base to add the “drip cake factor” on top (Im planning to use a red colored white chocolate ganache for dripping).
    Thanks so much and regards from Berlin, Germany!
    Marie

    1. Welcome Marie! I would bake these cakes as three layers and torte them after they are baked and well chilled if you would like 6 layers. The cake is tender and does best when split or stacked when it’s cold. If this frosting is quite chilled you should be fine for dropping. I would rechill it after the drop to be sure it all stays where it should. Best of luck!

  64. Hi Summer, I have made this cake before and it is delicious. I am using it as the top 6″ tier for a friends wedding, and need to make 4 layers, I just wanted to see if this recipe would work ok in a 6″ pan, weather you think I should do 4 small cakes or whether it would be OK to do 2 deeper cakes that I could then cut in half? Thanks for your advice 🙂 Debbie

    1. Hi Debbie! This cake will work well as a 6-inch. I would bake four layers though rather than 2 deep ones. With its delicate texture I think that the four layers will hold up better and there will be less risk of sinking after baking. I hope your friend is greatly blessed by this treat you are making for her!

  65. Thanks for the tipps, Summer!
    I tried it with the six layers, but it just didn’t hold – I think the weight of the added layers just was too much for the cake to hold. Two layers basically just ripped in the cake and more or less oozed out on the sides. I then stopped and left it in the fridge overnight. The next day I could at least salvage four layers and stacked them. The cake was quite uneven as a result (looked more like a skiing hill with valleys and hills ;)), but the taste was still alright. In the future Id probably choose a less sweet frosting, but otherwise a great recipe, thank you!
    Marie

    1. Oh no! This cake is tender because of the acidity from the vinegar and sour cream. Working while it’s very cold or frozen and with a European buttercream would be more manageable. You can also add an egg for binding sake. Sorry for it’s sloped demise 🙁

  66. Could you use your SMBC cream cheese resipy and add some white chocolate to it instead of this resipy? Would it be more stable for filling / coating a cake and would it be safe to have outside for a few hours?

    1. Yes Mikayla that would be a great option! When I add white chocolate to SMBC (or any other buttercream) I melt it and cool it a bit then add about 1/2 cup of buttercream to the white chocokate. Then I add this mix to the rest of the buttercream. It helps prevent chocolate clumps from forming. And yes, the SMBC will be more stable. Good luck!

  67. Hi Summer, I’ve stopped using cake flour for health reasons, but I do have unbleached pastry flour. Should I use all pastry flour to make this cake or do half pastry/half ap as per your recipe, or make my own cake flour? I find DIY cake flour has a coarser texture since AP is not as finely milled, and my pastry flour is more finely milled but probably has a higher protein content than cake flour (not sure what % exactly as it doesn’t say.) Thanks so much for your help! 🙂

    1. Hi Myrth! Pastry flour should work great. I agree that homemade cake flour isn’t quite the same. I don’t know where you are located but if you can get Bob’s Red Mill unbleached cake flour, it is wonderful! I avoid bleached cake flour as much as possible. King Arthur also has an unbleached cake flour but the Bob’s product is better. Here is a post on cake flours that I wrote if to would like more info:
      Which Flour is Best

  68. Hi, I am thinking of making this recipe for a cake order I have. Will this frosting survive if I make it 6 days in advance? the cake will be covered in fondant. I think it will due to the sugar content, but would like a second opinion. Thanks Melissa

    1. This will last the six days fine. I generally freeze this cake ahead because it is a bit tender and is easier to stack and fill when it’s very cold. Good luck!

      …Ok I just reread your comment and realized you meant the frosting! Yes, it will hold up for 6 days too. I would keep it in the fridge until you are ready to use it. Let it come to room temperature for a couple of hours and rebeat it before using. It will be fine if you cover the cake in fondant with this under it and chill it for a couple of days too. Sorry for the confusion!

  69. Hi Rossa! I have not tried substituting gluten-free flour in this recipe but it should work. I would add an egg and remove 2 tablespoons of buttermilk. I think that will help with stability. Best of luck!

      1. Yes, I would add a teaspoon of xanthan gum. I like a combination of very fine rice flour, potato starch, and superfine sorgum flour (in small quatities my favorite is from Authentic Foods). You could also try a cup-for-cup type flour that contains xanthan gum already but I don’t have vast experience with those enough to recommend one. 🙂

  70. (in case my other posting didn’t work) “…In 2005 I also realized that Sam was reacting to Red Dye #40. She would get a bright red, painful rash in her private area and experience extreme hyperactivity. To this day she can have very limited exposure to Red Dye #40 when we are out without a reaction.” This was from another parent’s blog – just to be aware. Most artificial colors are coal tar dyes http://www.healthychild.org/easy-steps/dont-use-products-made-with-coal-tar-dyes/ Any alternative ideas? Thanks!

  71. I have a Callebaut Dutch process cocoa that I absolutely love, how would I adjust the leavening ingredients to use it?

  72. Hi Summer, I came across your site and it was my lucky day… your recipes look amazing. I’m going to be baking your red velvet cake for a wedding that’s coming up next week. I will adjust the recipe per your chart and will use a 16×2″ pan for the bottom tier of a 4 tier cake. Will it work in this size pan? And do I have to adjust any of the ingredients? I am truly hooked on your site, you are amazing….

  73. I made this cake for my niece’s birthday and it was the most perfect red velvet cake I have ever had!!! I doubled the recipe and made 4 – 9 inch cake layers.

    Thank you for such an amazing recipe. I also made the white velvet and it was also so good. Thank you.

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