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A large slice of red velvet cake on a white plate.

Red Velvet Cake

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Dessert
Keyword: Cake, Christmas Cake, Holiday Dessert Recipe, Red Velvet
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Cooling and then icing: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 567kcal
Nothing is better at the holidays than a stunning Red Velvet Cake. We offer two different types of icing, we love them both! These also make wonderful cupcakes, too! See NOTES for baking time.
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  • 2 straight-edge cake pans, with foil strips on the outside (see post and video for explanation)



  • 2 ¼ cups cake flour
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter 1 stick, softened, plus a little more for greasing the pans.
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 oz red food coloring
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla


  • 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter 1 stick, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt


  • 5 tsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¾ cups softened unsalted butter 1½ sticks - room temp
  • 1 cup sugar



  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Liberally grease the pans with butter (or shortening), and then dust with flour. Tap the pans to remove excess flour.
  • In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream (beating on medium) the sugar with the butter until fluffy and a pale yellow, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  • Add ⅓ of the flour mixture. Mix until combined. Next, add ½ of the buttermilk, then another ⅓ of the flour mixture. Next, the other half of the buttermilk, and then the rest of the flour mixture.
  • Beat in the food coloring, and vinegar, then add the vanilla
  • Spread the batter into the prepared pans.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool on a baking rack for 10 minutes. Use a sharp knife to loosen the edges of the cake from the sides of the pan. Invert the pans and tap on them with the end of a knife or fork to help release the cakes. Carefully remove the pans. Let cool completely on the rack before icing.


  • Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth.
  • Beat in powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Continue beating for about 2 to 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy.


  • Mix flour, milk, and vanilla in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until thick, stirring often.
  • Remove from heat, and cool completely in the refrigerator.
  • While the mixture is cooling, in a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat 1 ½ sticks of softened butter and sugar.
  • Add the cooled flour/milk mixture to the creamed butter-sugar mixture.
  • Beat until fluffy. Cool in the refrigerator until ready to frost the cake.



If you don't have cake flour, use 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, minus two tablespoons.  And then to this add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
Don't overly pack the flour when measuring out.  Sift the measured flour together with the cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.
Make the foil baking strips by placing a wet strip of paper towels in a piece of foil that is approx. 2-feet long.  Fold the edges in lengthwise to form a belt-like strip.  Secure around the sides of the pan and fold the edges over each other.  Tuck the bottom of the foil strips under the pan.  See video for visual reference. 
If you like an extra layer of icing on your cake (we do), then increase the cream cheese recipe by 50%, and double the silky sugar icing.  Measurements for the cream cheese would be: 
  • 12 ounces cream cheese (1 & 1/2 bars)
  • 12 tbsp softened butter (1 & 1/2 sticks)
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar (aka: confectioner's sugar)
  • 1 1/2 teasoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
The cake can be made up to 2 days before serving.  We recommend storing the cake in an air-tight cake holder or stand with cover. 
To make red velvet cupcakes, follow the recipe as is, but pour batter into cupcake tins lined with paper and bake for 17 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. 


Calories: 567kcal | Carbohydrates: 111g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: -42g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 530mg | Potassium: 180mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 89g | Vitamin A: 1012IU | Calcium: 111mg | Iron: 1mg