Monday, February 22, 2010

Red Velvet Cake


After yesterday’s post, I thought it was only appropriate to follow up with the real thing. No purse this time. This is all cake.

Velvety and yes … red.


And delicious. And moist. And one of my favorites.


It’s covered in cream cheese frosting that’s to die for. Help me.


There’s something about a red velvet cake that always makes me feel good inside. And it’s not just the taste. It’s the memories it brings of family and holidays and home. But it doesn’t have to be saved for special occasions. I think it should be loved all year long.



Red Velvet Cake

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 oz. red food coloring

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease and flour two 8 inch cake pans.
  • Lightly stir eggs in a medium bowl with a wire whisk. Add remaining liquid ingredients and stir together with whisk until blended. Set aside.
  • Place all the dry ingredients in your mixing bowl and stir together really good with another wire whisk.
  • Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high for about a minute or until completely combined.
  • Pour into cake pans and then drop the pans on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • After about ten minutes, remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack. I also cover in plastic wrap while the cakes cool.
  • Then make the frosting.

Note: This cake has a pretty good amount of oil and is really moist. I haven’t tried this one with cake balls yet. But, if I did, I would either use less oil or less frosting to mix together. Next time I make it, I’ll do a little experimenting.


Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 cups confectioners’ sugar

  • Sift sugar and set aside.
  • Beat cream cheese and butter on high until creamy. Add vanilla.
  • Then, add the sugar in batches. Scrape down the sides in between each addition.
  • And frost away.


Please enjoy your heart out.

Michelle said...

thanks for the recipe! I was wondering if you’ve had a chance to try modifying this recipe for cakepops yet..

December 31, 2011 12:49 PM
jamie said...

red velvet cake

December 31, 2011 03:38 PM
Christine said...

Dear Bakerella,
I live in a country that does not have buttermilk in their supermarket. How can i substitute buttermilk?

January 7, 2012 01:02 PM
Karmela said...

hi! will the frosting be enough to frost generously an 8-inch layer cake? thank you so much bakerella! :)

January 19, 2012 04:58 AM
young baker said...

This recipe was beyond stressful. There is WAY too much oil and the consistency is all wrong. After the second batch I was ready to throw it at the wall.

January 28, 2012 03:48 AM
Abby said...

I JUST made this and one pan fell apart and they didn’t rise very much at all and I followed the recipe exactly. It tastes great (so does the frosting), I’m just not sure what I did wrong! Ideas? Tips? Hints?

February 1, 2012 03:27 PM
Debra said...

I made these as cupcakes today and they were much lighter than I thought they would be. I did have to adjust for high altitude, but they still came out well on the first try. DD and I sampled one without frosting and it was great. I could eat them all without frosting, but I think they will be awesome with frosting.

February 1, 2012 06:03 PM
C. said...

Have you ever tried this with a boiled frosting? I really liked it on my red velvet cupcakes ;)

February 12, 2012 09:07 AM
Zahra KSA said...

There is no baking powder with the ingredients …?


February 13, 2012 01:06 AM
Lauren Ann said...

Made this for my Valentine yesterday in a heart shaped pan. Said it was the best cake he has ever had! Thank you!!!!

February 14, 2012 08:15 AM
Isa said...

Hi, Bakerella! Can you reduce 1 1/2 cups of oil to 1 cup only? :)

February 18, 2012 03:40 AM
Sarah said...

I’m making the cake right now, but my layers are twice as thin :(, have you got an idea how this can happen?

February 21, 2012 08:38 AM
axel said...

I have a question.. the buttermilk is just milk or is whey of milk..?? I’m from mexico city.. xoxo

February 21, 2012 09:49 PM
bakingcakesnstuff said...

Is this transportable? I was wondering because I am SERIOUSLY considering using your recipe to take across the state to give to a relative. Oh, and do you know if this would work with a gluten free flour that mimics the properties of gluten flour? Thanks!

February 22, 2012 10:16 PM
Tabitha said...

It was tasty..

February 23, 2012 03:14 AM
Anne Ardoin said...

I made this cake today and it is DELICIOUS! The only change I made was to use the Red Velvet Bakers Emulsion from King Arthur Flour. Have you tried it? It adds both color and flavor….my cake was perfection in color and taste!

February 26, 2012 11:30 PM
Colleen said...

Hello! So this cake looks AMAZING!! I just put mine in the oven.. but am a bit nervous… I am in Colorado, so I followed that link you had to the recommendations for the high altitude baking and added the extra flour and what not.. but my batter didn’t exactly “poor” into the pan.. It is incredibly thick, I’m hoping it’s just because of the added flour.. but am a bit nervous… Any suggestions or comments??!

Thank you!!

March 3, 2012 03:49 PM
Linda said...

I….AM…IN…LOVE! I made the frosting just like you wrote. My daughter and I sampled it….ahhhhh. Absolute BLISS! Cant wait for the birthday girl to taste her cake tomorrow. Ty again for such a wonderful reciepe. And the pictures are MOUTH WATERING TOO!

March 3, 2012 07:49 PM
none said...

this is wonderful

March 9, 2012 04:26 PM
Isabel said...

Bakerella, can the oil be reduced to 1 cup like your recipe for the cupcakes? I found it a bit oily, but the cupcakes were amazing! I want the cake to have an even top. Is that possible even with the reduction of oil?

March 12, 2012 01:32 AM
none said...


March 12, 2012 04:03 PM
daniel said...

yummmy i love red velvet its my favorite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

March 12, 2012 04:20 PM
andrew said...

yummmmmmmmmmmm i love u

March 12, 2012 04:23 PM
ingrid said...

would it matter if i choose a dutch-processed cocoa or not in making red velvet cake?

March 27, 2012 04:37 AM
charlene said...

Made this cake for my sister’s b’day…very yummy but the cream chesse was lumpy. I did sift the icing sugar. Then once coated in frosting I covered the cake in sugarpaste and this resulted to be a total flop as the sugar paste was cracking and the frosting coming out from the cracks. should I ave left the cake in the fridge frosted to completly dry or should I not use that frosting under sugarpaste? help much appreciated. xx

April 3, 2012 03:58 AM
Sam said...

That worked better than when I attempted it on my own. My 13 year old mind can’t take this much deliciousness!

April 5, 2012 01:26 AM
Margarita said...

Great red velvet cake recipe! only problem i had was the frosting was really sweet! almost tasted like canned store bought frosting and idk if that’s the way its supposed to be but i would have preferred if the frosting was less sweet.

April 10, 2012 08:03 PM
Natasha said...

i LOVE LOVE LOVE your recipes and i’m finally going to try your red velvet cake but i can’t seem to find buttermilk ANYWHERE. is there anything else i can substitute it with?

April 13, 2012 06:35 PM
charlene said...

Natasha, I do not find buttercream so what I do is add 1 Tablespoon of lemonjuice to 1 cup of milk and let it stand for 4 minuets and voila…buttermilk substitute.

April 14, 2012 09:25 AM
Crystal said...

I want to use this recipe to make one 10-in cake. How long in the oven please?

April 23, 2012 06:25 AM
keke said...


April 23, 2012 10:20 AM
Zahra said...

Hi Bakerella, I wanted to find out how many cupcakes can be frosted using this cream cheese recipe?

April 23, 2012 02:15 PM
Ray said...

Hey Bakerella,
I use the same red velvet recipe for cupcakes and cake pops. The cake pops are good and moist but have a ton of oil and its annoying. Did you try this recipe for your cake balls/pops. I was wondering how they worked out for you.
Thanks a bunch

April 25, 2012 09:36 PM
Billy said...

No disrespect intended, but RV cake, as my cousin Susan says, “should have the cooked white fluffy icing (not cream cheese) and be eaten on fine china.” I agree totally with her. There is an elegance about the cake the deserves to be plated on only the best. Also, cream cheese icing tends to compete and not complement the cake. The “cooked white fluffy” icing is the perfect match. A bit more difficult and time consuming to make, but it goes much much better with a RV cake. Again, no disrespect intended to those cream cheese lovers. I like CC icing,but not on RV cake.

April 30, 2012 10:27 AM
Nooran said...

Hey Bakerella ! I looove all of your recipes ! Ur a genius !!! I just have a quick question though, What can I use as a substitute for butter milk because we don’t have any in the middle East !!!

Thank you :)

May 2, 2012 11:39 PM
Simply Swet said...

Hi! I love your page. Just wondering what kind of butter you use for this cake (salted/unsalted) also what kind of vinegar (balsamic/white)? Thank you in advance

May 3, 2012 12:09 PM
M.Henjum said...

I baked this cake yesterday and it came out dry, could you give me an idea what I did wrong? I have never baked a cake from scratch before.

May 7, 2012 04:10 PM
Jess said...

Hey guys I see a lot of you (like me) would like to make this recipe into cupcakes. Head over to this page looks like a slightly adapted version of this recipe :)

May 8, 2012 06:59 PM
tjsdk said...

by far one of the best red velvet cakes that i have ever made! thank you for sharing it!

May 10, 2012 08:05 AM
LoLita said...

I use cake flour and shortening in my RV and always the cooked frosting with the flour rue. I do cupcakes and mini’s and 6 inch ones for Christmas gifts and now have very spoiled friends who want it not only for Cristmas but also for their birthdays. I have found a site where I buy qt size red food coloring. Iany one wa ts my recipes or the site give a yell.

May 11, 2012 07:49 PM
Maria said...

Hi! This cake is impressive and I’m doing it for Mother’s Day. Can you please explain the process with the red food coloring? You request 2 ounces, and don’t mention at what point it should be mixed with the other ingredients. Thanks and congratulations! It’s a gorgeous cake!

May 12, 2012 11:54 AM
Jitka said...

To bych pot?ebovala p?eložit!

May 20, 2012 04:17 AM
Renata said...

i just made this for my sister birthday. thank you so much for sharing the recipe. i made red velvet before but not as good, light but also moist as this one. thank you, thank you!

May 30, 2012 02:08 PM
Dina said...

Can you please help me, I did the cake twice but it didn’t stay red, it stays in some parts brown and in other red, why?

May 31, 2012 11:51 AM
Kelly said...

Makes me want to move to South Carolina, sit on the porch, drink lemonade and eat cake :)

May 31, 2012 04:50 PM
Luke said...

Going to try and make this for baking class — how much does this recipe yield? :)

June 3, 2012 04:21 PM
Lydia said...

I made this cake last night. It’s fantastic. Thanks for sharing. Hooked on red velvet cake now. :)

June 6, 2012 03:19 PM
Katie said...

do you know how many people this recipe serves, I am making this cake for a birthday party. Thanks

June 7, 2012 09:55 PM
christy said...

I have made this cake twice. It is delicious. Thank you for the recipe :)

June 8, 2012 04:30 PM
Amna said...

baked this cake was yumm..super moist

June 17, 2012 06:38 PM
Emily said...

I made this cake for Father’s Day and it didn’t come out looking as nice as yours but man, did it taste amazing!! It was a huge hit. I was out of vinegar so I used lime juice instead and it still turned out delicious. Thanks for the recipe! I’ll be making this many more times after today, my dad loved it.

June 17, 2012 07:08 PM
adina said...

hello, can I make the recipe without red food coloring???? it can be a normal cake, not a red velvet cake???? thank you

June 18, 2012 06:11 AM
Zura Ghazalie said...

Hi Bakerella,

I have been baking this cake for thousands of timessss…LURVEEEE the cake….thank you for the awesome recipe shared.

i have a question to ask : can i keep the batter in the fridge if i’m baking in huge batch…my work place is organising a charity and i would like to contribute to the society am thinking to bake it as cupcakes and do it in batch…how long do you think it can be stored?


June 19, 2012 02:49 AM
Monica said...

I tried your receipe and it turned out great! Just wondering, do you think this would be a firm enough cake to cover in MM fondant?

June 24, 2012 11:26 PM
Jessica P. said...

I made this cake for my neighbors for their Anniversary. First time I have ever made a red velvet cake from scratch. They said its was excellent! (I didn’t try any) I didn’t put any food coloring in it. (I feel there is no need for it) So, 5 stars from the neighbors!

June 26, 2012 08:56 PM
Molly said...

Just so y’all know, if you want a creamier icing, make sure you add another 8oz package of room temperature cream cheese. It also tastes more like cream cheese frosting should, in my opinion. And I don’t think I’ll include the vinegar next time. I’d never used it in a Red Velvet recipe and it gave the cake a weird taste. To be honest, I’ve found recipes that produced better Red Velvet Cake. Probably won’t be using this one again.

June 28, 2012 10:52 AM
nadya said...

I made this over the weekend for my sons birthday and I thought it was pretty heavy and really sweet. Can’t say it blew my socks off.

July 16, 2012 01:35 PM
Flavia said...

Beautiful cake.. It looks REALLY yummy!

I wonder if it’s better served cold? After a overnight in the fridge? Have you ever tried that?


July 17, 2012 10:05 PM
Aline said...

Hey there!

Thanks for shering this recipe. It is amazing and soo yummi!! Here in Brazil, we don’t find buttermilk at all, but I tried regular milk with a little bit of lime juice, and I got it!
Thanks again!

July 18, 2012 02:14 PM
Keemie said...

I made this cake and it was great but it almost felt like it was missing something. I was wondering how it would turn out if I used butter instead of oil or maybe a combination of the two. What do you think?

July 23, 2012 03:53 PM
Jay said...

Bakerella pls what can i use instead of Buttermilk?
i may not find butter milk in my country

July 26, 2012 09:00 AM
becky said...

just curious, what would i need to do to make enough batter for a three layer cake and enough for a small six inch top tier?
also, would adding more cocoa powder damage the texture of the cake? i like mine more chocolatey

July 29, 2012 12:11 PM
Bornana said...

Delish! Second time’s the charm :) The cake is perf.

August 4, 2012 01:39 PM
Kristina said...

This is a great recipe! I baked the cake yesterday and it was a tremendous hit!
Thanks! :)

August 6, 2012 09:54 AM
Music4eva said...


August 11, 2012 10:50 PM
Katie said...

i absolutely love your cakes!!! i am always wondering, how do you keep crumbs away from the frosting? i always seem to get crumbs that i just cant cover up. Help!!!

August 13, 2012 02:51 PM
Amy said...

How long will this cake keep? I have a birthday party coming up and I’m thinking about making this the day before but would hate for it to be stale…

August 14, 2012 07:41 PM
boudine said...

would love to have red velvet cake recipy

August 15, 2012 12:07 PM
Laurel Ann said...

I want to make this (today!) in a 10-cup rose-shaped bundt pan. Would I need to modify the recipe at all? I assume I’d have to increase bake time, as it will be all in one pan instead of split between two.

August 19, 2012 01:11 PM
Mandi said...

My icing was a little “soupy” I guess you could say. The top of the cake slid off :( what am I doing wrong? I followed the recipe exactly as it is here.

August 23, 2012 02:06 AM
Rebecca said...

I just wanted to say i have made this cake so many times i can’t count and i love it. It is the most delicious cake i have ever had. Every time i make it everyone is amazed and loves it also. i have directed so many people to your website for the recipe. xx

August 28, 2012 12:26 AM
Eiman said...

Hi Bakerella,

I may have to make this a 10 inch round cake or a 12 inch square – how would you increase the quantity? Should I just double the amount? Thanks!

August 30, 2012 10:40 AM
Anne said...

It looks absolutely amazing!

September 4, 2012 07:39 AM
Olivia said...

Wow! That looks delicious!

September 4, 2012 07:24 PM
Vanessa said...

Red velvet has always been one of my personal favorites, but I could never find a good recipe. I love the texture of this cake, it is so moist. But the taste was terrible. It felt like there was too much food coloring in it although I used the amount called for? I’m thinking it might have been the brand that I used to make it. What brand food coloring do you use for your red velvet? Please advise.

September 8, 2012 12:03 PM
Jeanette said...

Oh, you people have to try the REAL frosting for the original Red Velvet Cake. Everyone uses the cream cheese frosting now, but it really doesn’t compare. The recipe for the REAL frosting is in one of the earlier posts. You make basically a cream sauce using milk and flour (then you MUST be sure and let this cool completely) before adding it to sugar and butter that has been creamed. I know, I know…but, since I was raised on the REAL frosting for this cake, I gag when I think of the cream cheese frosting. I know…it’s all you have ever known. And, it is a lot sweeter than the original frosting. But, you must try it.

September 11, 2012 05:21 PM
baker-in-training said...

i’ve never tried making red velvet but i will tomz

September 18, 2012 10:27 AM
cindy said...

hi! i’m so gonna try your recepy, my problem? i live in mexico and it’s hard to find buttermilk, what can i use instead?

September 25, 2012 02:48 PM
Heather said...


Does this recipe work in the large cupcake pan? What are the best recipes to use in the cupcake pan?


September 26, 2012 12:44 PM
Anonymous said...

This is not the right icing for red cake

September 29, 2012 06:03 PM
Chanda Locklear said...

Is there any way to print your recipes? I haven’t figured that out yet. I’m excited to try them all,

October 3, 2012 02:24 PM
Jamie said...

Hi Bakerella,

I have a wedding I am doing the baking for in a few weeks. The bride wants a red velvet cake, 4 tier. Can I use this receipe, will it hold up?

October 4, 2012 10:09 AM
Megan said...

Can someone please tell me if the sugar was used as a wet or dry ingredient?! I know it’s usually treated as a wet ingredient but I just want make sure before I attempt to make these so I don’t end up with a giant mess….

October 4, 2012 03:57 PM
elizabeth said...

can i use this recipe to make cake pops?

October 7, 2012 04:15 PM
brandi said...

what exactly do you use to when you Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high for about a minute or until completely combined.

October 8, 2012 01:59 AM
Yanah said...

what kind of oil do you suggest i should use to make an awesome red Velvet cake ? . Reply please

October 9, 2012 08:53 AM
lol said...


October 14, 2012 06:21 PM
Karimah said...

How can I make this cake for 60 people?

October 14, 2012 10:29 PM
PreetiS said...

I would love to try this recipe for my dad’s birthday, but I’m not sure if I’ll find all the ingredients. Any suggestions as to what could I use as a substitute for buttermilk? Also, the sugar for the cake, is that granulated or powdered? Could I use demerara sugar?

October 15, 2012 02:40 AM
Lexy said...

This was a delicious cake! My lil bro loved it for his birthday! Can I use this recipe to make cupcakes too? or would it turn out different? Thank you!

October 17, 2012 02:32 AM
olivia said...


October 17, 2012 08:57 AM
EBarts said...

I make a Red Velvet cake also a receipe I recieved from my Aunt and everyone loves it. They always request my Red Velvet cake. The receipe is similiar to yours but with some variations; but yes this cake is VERY moist due to the oil and the buttermilk.

October 22, 2012 11:34 AM
Anonymous said...

pictures are so out of focus

October 24, 2012 06:23 PM
iheartcake said...

Great cake, so good!! We ran out of red, so we made a orangeish color and it looks like blood! Good timing for Halloween!

October 28, 2012 12:39 PM
Alicia Tafua said...

This Recipe is absolutely amazing and a favorite with everyone I make it for.

I do use it to make Cake Pops but the Oil makes it too much and it leaks out of the Cake pops after they are dipped in Chocolate. Would it be ok to make the Cake without the Oil or is there anything I can use to substitute it so it’s not dripping Oil?

October 29, 2012 09:40 AM
Henni said...

What kind of food coloring did you use? I used 2oz of liquid food coloring and yet my cake turned out gray :( I LOVE red velvet cake but can’t seem to get it right despite the fact that I’m really not an idiot around the kitchen when it comes to anything else

October 29, 2012 01:36 PM
Vanessa said...

I made this cake this weekend. The flavor was good, but unfortunately it did not bake very well. The middle would not cook so I left it in a little longer than the 30 minutes and it over baked the outer layer. I used my bake even strips and my thermometer in my oven was at 350 so I am not sure what went wrong. I will have to try it out again.

October 29, 2012 03:44 PM
anti said...

hi!My question is this: what kind of oil is better to use?olive oil?or another kind?

November 2, 2012 02:12 PM
Cathey Harris said...

I just don’t get red velvet cake?? I mean chocolate cake dyed red?? And yes I was raised in the deep south of the good ole U S A

November 3, 2012 08:47 PM
Alice said...

Does anyone know how many cups of batter this makes? I scrolled through the thread above but didn’t see any mention of it. I wish more sites would do this so I know how many batches to make to fit other size pans. I want to use this fabulous recipe for my mom’s birthday cake. Needs to feed 60 so making a 12 inch and 8 inch square tiered cake. Need 24 cups of batter total. Thanks!

November 6, 2012 01:08 PM
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