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Red velvet cake with heart on top sitting on a white cake pedestal.
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5 from 17 votes

Red Velvet Cake

This elegant easy homemade red velvet cake is moist and full of chocolate flavor. Time to impress your friends and family with this delicious cake. If I can do it, you can do it! Let's get baking.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Chilling and Resting Time2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time3 hrs 30 mins
Course: Cakes, Desserts
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cream cheese, easy, moist, soft
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 470kcal
Author: Matt Taylor

Equipment

  • Bowls
  • Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer
  • Spatula
  • Sifter
  • Whisk
  • 9-inch cake pans
  • Parchment paper (optional)
  • shortening or kitchen spray
  • Flour or cocoa powder to dust the pans
  • Wire racks
  • cake spatula
  • Bread knife
  • Cake pedestal (optional)
  • Cake Icing smoother or cake comb (optional)
  • Heart-shaped cookie cutter (optional)

Ingredients

Red Velvet Cake

  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter room temperature (115g)
  • 1 1/2 cups of white granulated sugar 300g
  • 2 Large eggs add one at a time
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder 24g
  • 1 cup of buttermilk 250mL (or use a tiny bit less then a cup plus 1 Tbsp. of vinegar or lemon juice, let sit for 10 minutes)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract 5mL
  • 1 tsp. of white vinegar 5mL
  • 1/4 cup of oil vegetable, etc. (55g)
  • 2 to 2 1/2 Tbsp. of red food coloring liquid 30 to 40 mL
  • 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour or cake flour 320g
  • 1 tsp. of baking soda 5g
  • 1 tsp. of salt 5g

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 ounces of softened room temp cream cheese 450g
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract 5mL
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened (room temperature) (115g)
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups of confectioner's sugar powdered sugar (440 to 500g)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F/176 C. Time to make the cake batter. In a large bowl cream together the softened butter and the granulated sugar. Then mix in the eggs one at a time until just combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed with a spatula.
  • Sift in the cocoa powder and mix. Alternatively, you can add the cocoa powder in the flour. Don't overmix the batter, it will create too much air which can cause large air pockets once the cake is baked.
  • In a separate bowl mix together the buttermilk, vanilla extract, vinegar, and oil. If you don't have buttermilk take one cup of whole milk and add 1 tbsp. of lemon juice or vinegar to it and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Now add in the red food coloring to the buttermilk mixture. Add enough to get a nice red color.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and the cocoa powder, if you didn't add it in with the sugar and butter.
  • Finish the red velvet cake batter by adding in half of the red buttermilk mixture to the main bowl with the creamed sugar and butter. Also, add in half of the flour mixture. Mix until just barely combined and then add the other half of both of those mixtures.
    Mix until just combined. Sometimes I will just use my spatula and fold the ingredients in to help prevent over mixing.
  • Grease two 9-inch pans with shortening or butter or kitchen spray. Then flour them or use cocoa powder. I also like to put a round piece of parchment paper on the bottom. Evenly divide the cake batter between the two pans and level off the top with a spatula.
    Give the pans a good tap, on the counter, which will settle air bubbles. Add water-soaked cake strips if you like around your cake pans. But that is optional.
  • Bake the cakes in the middle rack position for 23 to 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean when poked in the middle.
  • After they are done baking, allow them to cool for about 10 minutes then remove them from their pans and remove the parchment paper.
    Allow them to cool on wire racks completely. It helps if you then wrap them and chill them in the fridge for 30 minutes before frosting, but that is optional.
  • For the cream cheese frosting, in a large bowl cream together the softened cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract. Then add in the powdered sugar a cup at a time until you get your desired consistency. Frost the cake now or chill the frosting with the cake for 15 minutes.
  • Time to decorate the cake. Add one layer to the cake board or cake pedestal. Then trim any part of the cake that is mounded. This is called leveling. Save that cake scrap for later. Add a generous amount of frosting and spread it out evenly.
  • Add the top layer and level the top if desired. Frost the whole cake. You can leave it as is or add decorations.
    I like to take my heart-shaped cookie cutter and cut out a cake topper from the trimmed piece of cake. Place it on top of the cake. I also like to grind up the cake scraps into crumbs and stick them to the sides.
    You can also put some frosting in a piping bag and pipe on designs. Have fun with it!
    Place the cake coved in the fridge for a few hours before serving. Although you can serve it right away too, it cuts better when all the frosting is set. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

The nutritional facts will vary depending on how much cream cheese frosting is used and how big of a slice is served. 
The batter can be used in a bundt cake pan and 13x9 inch rectangle pan, the baking times will vary. 
Nutritional facts for red velvet cake